We’ve all heard the saying that a picture’s worth a thousand words, right? Why is that? There’s just something visually engaging about an image that makes people want to interact with it. Bloggers know to add an image or video to their posts to increase engagement. Facebookers know that posts with images of some kind (previews, photos, etc.) receive more likes and comments.
Well, the new social network, Pinterest (still in beta release), takes that concept and blows it out of the water. Image a network that’s driven by imagery. Engagement explodes. People virally share, or “pin,” the images so that their own network sees them too. They can be embedded on blogs, like the one in this post. Or they can be shared on Facebook, tweeted on Twitter and even e-mailed!
But Pinterest is so much more than the image may lead you to believe. Each pinned item has a link leading back to the source, whether that’s a spot on your blog, a photo album, etc. Suddenly, Pinterest becomes a ready-made vehicle for broadcasting your message to a completely different audience than the one you already have. And since the “repinning” that takes place is focused around categorized topics, it’s easy to find others who share your same interests and are willing to spread the word to their followers!
Every user in Pinterest creates their own bulletin boards that they post images to. These are usually focused around categories like cars, kids, nature, pets, food, inspirational messages, books, music, travel, etc.
Whether you’re an author, photographer, realtor, chef, landscape architect, home organizer, interior decorator, builder, website designer, artist, social media maven or what-have-you, you should be using Pinterest. Create boards that are relevant to the audience you want to attract. Then start filling your boards with visual content (in this case, pictures and video).
Do you have a portfolio? Show it off on Pinterest. Are you an author? Share your book cover image, as well as photos, sketches or other drawings related to the setting of your book. Or take brief, inspiring excerpts and create an image from them to share (like the one above). Have video you want to get out there? Create a board of your videos as well. Have products you want to sell? Pin an image of your product with a link back to the site where they can purchase it, whether that’s on Etsy, your website, Amazon, eBay, or elsewhere. Are you a realtor? Create a board for each town you sell in, and post images and video from your listings. The options are only limited by your imagination.
Looking for new content or something to blog about? Find and follow other “Pinners” who inspire you. Join in the discussions taking place about each image. Share your thoughts and ideas, and engage authentically.
Oh! And did I mention that by default, your Pinterest activity is visible to the search engines? So, it’s yet another source of SEO for the sites that are being linked to…
But be warned! Pinterest is addictive! And keep in mind that Pinterest is not about self-promotion so much as it is another social network. As with any social platform, etiquette requires that you keep self-promotion to a minimum. Consider the audience you’re looking to attract and share the content that’s going to interest them. Not every pin should go back to your website. Share what others are pinning, and what you find elsewhere on the internet.
If you aren’t using the site yet and want an invitation to join (since it’s still in beta release), let me know and I’ll send one out to you. If you are using Pinterest already, be sure to follow me and say “hello!”
What do you think of Pinterest? Post your thoughts below, and feel free to share your favorite pin if you have one!