Get on the Pinterest Bandwagon

Pinterest is currently the fastest growing social media site on the web. It grew from 1.6 million subscribers in September 2011 to 11.1 million in February 2012. “Quite the leap” would be an understatement.
And while you may not have been one of those visionaries that jumped on the Pinterest wagon immediately, it is still early enough for your business to benefit from the website’s ridiculous growth rate. And you thought getting Facebook put you on the marketing “edge”? Sorry, partner. Them cows have sailed.
How It Works
Pinterest is a basically a service that lets you create an online inspiration pinboard of images. When you see an image you like on another site, you click the Pin It! button, and the image gets added to your Pinterest page, along with the link to the original website.
In that way, it essentially acts as a curation service. You browse people’s Pinterest boards to get inspiration yourself, and when you find an image you like, click on the link to see the original page the image comes from. You can also RePin an image from somebody’s board onto your own board.
It is very popular with visual fields like fashion, interior design, and the world’s relentlessly growing population of amateur photographers. (Thanks, Pinterest, for getting them off Facebook!)
Why It’s Great for Marketing
As you can see from the graphic, Pinterest referral rates (the percentage of people that click on a link to go to the original site) are through the roof. That’s right, they’re 24 times higher than those of Facebook. There must be something about an appealing image that makes people want to find its source.
The image, then, becomes a sort of ad, which gets people to your original page. Needless to say, businesses quickly figured out they should be on Pinterest. Check out the 10 Commandments for using Pinterest for Marketing.
How to Use It
Obviously, to use Pinterest for your business, you need to be able to represent something through images. After all, Pinterest is a visual medium. From there, there are two basic ways to use Pinterest — as a creator of images that others will Pin, and as a Pinterest user yourself.
Some businesses lend themselves to Pinterest more easily than others. Got a hair salon? Why not make a Pinterest board of all the latest hairstyle trends, that customers can browse and get inspiration from? Or take awesome photos from your own salon for other people to Pin to their boards.
For other fields, you might have to think harder and use your imagination. Financial planner? Though not an inherently visual service, how about posting pictures of cars/homes/vacations that customers have been able to attain through your firm’s financial advice? Or even just ones to aspire to? (There’s nothing like panoramic pictures of tropical paradise to get people thinking about saving.)
These are just a couple of examples, but you get the jist. No matter what your business, you can think of a way to incorporate Pinterest into it. And considering how fast the service is growing, that’s one wagon you should be on. (We’re fighting with ourselves not to create a Pinterest board solely composed of marketing infographics. Oh wait, someone already did that. Nerd alert.)
The social media game is one of rapid response. If you want to be on the cutting edge, there’s no better way right now than creating a Pinterest board. Do it.
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