More specifically, Pinterest is a virtual pinboard that allows users to organize and share interesting things they find on the Web. Users can easily set up their own boards and browse boards created by other people to discover new things and get inspiration from people who share similar interests.
This social media channel that has been around since March 2010 but has really grown in popularity last year with 11.7 million active registered users. In fact, in Feb 2012, Pinterest drove more traffic to online publishers (blogs/sites) than Twitter who has than 100 million users, 50% of whom log in every day.
How to start:
First, establish your objective in using Pinterest.
Maybe you want to focus on driving awareness as a go-to resource in your area, driving website traffic. Secondarily, you may want to book sales and speaking engagements. Overall, Pinterest can allow you another way to connect with your audience – where they are spending their time online.
Then, define your strategy to achieve this objective.
Create awareness by utilizing Pinterest to share images and videos with links to your website and others. These images should be in line with your personal branding, visually showing your core values and interests, professionally, and building /engaging with the online community.
And, finally get started!
- Request an invitation here
- Establish your profile with a profile image to represent you and your brand, including a bio telling people about you.
- Find friends to follow – Pinterest guides you through the steps.
- Create boards to categorize your pins by interest (see board suggestions below)
- Start pinning and interacting with others. Approach Pinterest with the mindset that each like, pin, repin, follow and comment is a touch point, a connection with someone.
- Track results – review referral traffic to your site and pins from your site.
Pinterest allows you to choose customize your profile page to be consistent with your website’s look & feel by uploading a file that you design. You can choose to connect your Pinterest profile page to your Facebook and Twitter pages, as well as your website, for ease of log in and sharing of images and pins with your fans and site visitors.
What is a pin?
A pin is an image that can be added from a website using the Pin It button (you can download it), or you can upload images from your computer. Each pin added using the Pin It button links back to the site it came from. You pin to your boards.
Think of boards that fit your brand and the theme of your main message. Come up with creative names for the boards to make your profile stand out.
Some suggested boards for authors:
- Have a board for each of your books to pin quotes, pictures, etc. that relates to the specific title.
- Consider a board for topics related to your work, for example, if you are a doctor with a book on health, have a board on fitness, diet, recipes etc.
- Blog. Pin the picture from your blog post and write a blurb underneath describing the specific blog to direct traffic to it.
- Books I Enjoy (favorite books, pay it forward to others)
- Friends Gallery (photos of friends / readers from events)
- Videos. If you utilize video content, you can pin these too! Remember, they link back to the source you pinned from, directing traffic to your site!
You can edit and rearrange your boards at any time, from the drop down menu at the top of the page.
What should I pin?
Your pins can be images from your blog posts, pictures on your website, book covers, video book trailers or video blogs. Now you can also pin text to your boards to include quotes from readers or you can make a pin from a comment someone leaves on your pin.
- Use the bookmarklet function to add this to your toolbar so you can easily pin images from other sites.
- Add the Pinterest logo and functionality to your website.
- Start tracking your website traffic from Pinterest on your Google Analytics reports. This can be found under traffic sources showing you the sites referring traffic to you.
- See what is being pinned from your own site by using the following URL: http://pinterest.com/source/YourWebsite.com/
- Add the Pinterest app to your iPhone so you can pin pictures you find while online, reading other posts and to pin pictures you take while out and about.
- When someone comments on your pins, like and sometimes comment on them to give them better ranking and increase their reach.
- Repin some of the images or comments people share with you.
- Follow those who pin your pages, showing reciprocity and interest in their pins as well.
As with other social media sites, be social and not too self promotional. You’ll want to share your interests and appreciate others. Nurturing these social relationships is key to successfully using the sites to build awareness for your work among existing and new audiences.
What would you like to share on Pinterest? Let’s brainstorm.