Marketing and Networking with Pinterest

Pinterest. Love it because it’s an addictive-inspirational-time suck, or hate it because of their privacy policies, terms of use, and copyright issues. Either way, Pinterest is here, and it is a growing favorite social media tool.

According to AppData.com, Pinterest is gaining users at a breakneck speed since December 2011, and as of March 2012, is nearing 12 million worldwide users, making it one of the top and fastest growing social networks available. Although 12 million users doesn’t sound like much, growing to that number in about a year is nothing to shake a stick at. Pinterest is gaining so much momentum, that it is becoming a top referral source for brands, retail websites, bloggers, and Etsy shop owners. If you are interested in expanding your social media presence, while at the same time being inspired and having fun, you should really look into Pinterest.

How do I use Pinterest to market my blog or business?

There are many ways you can use Pinterest to benefit your blog or business. Remember, though, there is a fine line between engaging followers or customers, and spamming them. Sure, it’s great to showcase some of your greatest content, products, or services, but it should be a small part of your pinning. As always, good content and balance are key!

How to use Pinterest to market your blog or business:

Create an engaging and detailed profile and use your branding images as your profile picture.

Invite your blog/website visitors to join you on Pinterest. Use a Pinterest follow me button in your blog posts or social media area of your blog/website.

Ask your readers to pin your content to their Pinterest boards. You can ask readers directly to do this, “please pin this,” but you also need to offer a Pinterest pin it button above or below your content. You can create this yourself with the help of Pinterest, or, if you use WordPress, you can use a plugin such as the Pinterest “Pin It” Button.

Again, if you use WordPress, you can use Pinterest plugins such as Pretty Pinterest Pins and Pinterest Pinboard Widget in your sidebar to display your recent pins and drive readers to your Pinterest page.

Create Pinterest boards to post and highlight your own content – your blog posts, products, etc. Remember the “no spam” rule, though!

Create boards that offer some sort of discount or free download on your blog/website.

Create boards of other pinner’s content that you know would be interesting or useful to your readers or clientele.

Utilize search engine optimization. Everything you pin should have an accurate description of what it is. For example, if you are posting a recipe, instead of labeling it “yummy cake,” label it, “homemade yellow cake with chocolate fudge frosting.” Use keywords pinners might be using when utilizing the search option, and it would be helpful to also put your name, or your blog or business name in the description.

Integrate Pinterest with Facebook by creating a Pinterest tab for Facebook. LINK In coming weeks I will be posting a tutorial on how to create a Pinterest tab app for your Facebook page. Or, contact me, and I can create one for you or walk you through it!

Don’t afraid to be YOU! Pinterest is supposed to be fun, and having fun and highlighting who you are will ultimately make your customers or readers more endeared to you.

 

Protecting Your Content

If you are worried about protecting your content, using Pinterest as a marketing and networking tool might not be the right option for you. There are really not a lot of ways for you to protect the content you pin on Pinterest, other than including a watermark on your images. Another option might be to find a happy medium. Post interesting content that you don’t care as much about protecting, and do not post content you do want to protect. The copyright issue is one that is in it’s infancy, and will continue to play out over months. Ultimately, you should read the Terms of Use before you decide to start pinning your own content.

Tracking Pins and Traffic

In addition to the general tracking of your stats that you should already be doing, here are a couple of resources to help you analyze how Pinterest is working for you.

Thanks to MomComm, for teaching us how to see what has been pinned from your blog or website. Type in the URL below (replacing YOURWEBSITE with your domain name) and (hopefully) enjoy what you see. But remember, having your content pinned is the same as having it circulate around the internet. It takes time, so don’t obsess! http://www.pinterest.com/source/YOURWEBSITE.com

Other resources for tracking your stats is Pinerly and PinReach (formerly PinClout). Pinerly it is not open to the public and it feels as though you have to jump through hoops to get an account. Both are obviously in their infancy and it will be fun to watch and see how they grow.

The Breakdown

Using Pinterest as a marketing and networking tool for your blog or business has the potential to further your brand, build relationships with customers and readers, and drive traffic to your site. The disadvantage to using Pinterest is the copyright issues. It should take a lot of thought and consideration in deciding how to best use Pinterest.

Tell me, will you use Pinterest as part of your social media campaign?

 

Are you new to Elaine Griffin Designs? Visit me on Facebook to see how I have integrated a custom Pinterest app! You just might decide you want your own….

 

About Elaine

Elaine GriffinElaine Griffin is a freelance WordPress designer, content creator, and speaker. She brings her background as a sociologist, advocate, and educator, to her work and her writing, which has been featured on BlogHer and The SITS Girls. On Elaine Griffin Designs, she writes easy to follow tutorials about WordPress, social media, SEO, and blogging. On The Laine List she spills her guts about life, motherhood, and balancing work and family. She also sprinkles in some fun recipe and cocktail posts.
Working from her home office in Finger Lakes Region of NY, Elaine, a wine lover, also enjoys the beauty of living in wine country! Read more about Elaine...

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