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Mar 7, 2012

Ultra Smart Ways to Use Pinterest as a Business Tool

"Pinterest is the hot new social network in town". Everyone wants a piece of the action, but if you want to get in on it, you have to request a membership or get invited. If you’re lucky enough to get one for your business, there are lots of ways you can use this site to your benefit.

Here are some ways you can use Pinterest for your business.

Pinterest: Why should we be interested? [infographic]

Add the “Pin It” Button to Your Website

You probably already have the Like, Tweet, and +1 buttons on your website. Its time now to add one more. The "Pin It" button will encourage people to pin your products and photos to their clipboards. You can also add a “Follow Me on Pinterest” button.

Fan Photos

One of the best ways to use Pinterest is to encourage your customers and fans to take and pin pictures and videos related to your brand or business. For example, ask them to take photos of themselves and their friends using your products. You can re-pin the best ones onto your page, or use them on your website. When real people are shown enjoying your products, it raises the trust quotient of your brand and increases brand awareness. You can also turn this into a photo contest, with the best entries winning prizes.

Learn About Customers

As you increase your presence on Pinterest and get more of your fans to follow you, you can use it to learn more about them. Check out the things that your followers are pinning, and you can learn more about their interests, hobbies, likes, and dislikes. 

Build Links

When you post pictures on Pinterest, you can always link them back to your website. Actually when someone pins a picture directly from your website, Pinterest automatically links it back to your website. However when you upload something onto Pinterest, you will have to create a link manually. This can be a good link-building strategy, and it will encourage people to visit your website. After all, you’re trying to promote brand awareness and gain new customers and fans.

Brainstorming

Pinterest can also be a powerful internal tool for your business. The virtual clipboard can be used in many ways for brainstorming and planning. Use it to create color palates, for example, or compile ideas that you can share with your employees and partners. Even if you don’t share it, you can use it to highlight your own ideas and inspirations. Pinterest is especially helpful in this way for designers, artists, and anyone who relies heavily on visuals for their business.

See Who’s “Pinning” You

Hopefully people are pinning things from your website. It’s an insightful tool to be able to see who is pinning you and what they’re pinning. To do this, type this URL into your browser: http://pinterest.com/source/Your Business URL
Of course, substitute your business’s web address for “Your Business URL.”

Show True Participation

While all of these strategies can be effective, they won’t work if you use Pinterest solely as a marketing tool. People will see through your efforts and think you’re not being genuine. To really use Pinterest for your business, you have to participate in the community and post more than just your own stuff.

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