Pinterest – is it the platform for you?

Pinterest is the newest social media darling online. Its simple premise has helped it to quickly increase its membership to 11.1 million users as of February 2012. Depending on where you look, between 82% and 97% of its members are women, which is easy to understand if you’ve ever been on the site.

Before you run off to sign up, check out some of the pros and cons of the newest social media platform.

Pinterest Pros

  • Pinterest is a casual place to hang out and peruse pretty things.
  • It’s a great way to learn about a person’s interests instead of just what their status update says.
  • The most successful pins are those with visual appeal.

Pinterest Cons

  • If you’re using Pinterest for marketing purposes, understand that once something you’ve pinned gets re-pinned numerous times, you may lose the credit associated with it.
  • Also, once the pins are being linked to other user’s mood boards, many of the back-links could be lost and you lose the luxury of the pin driving traffic to your site.

What do you need to do to get followers and drive interest on your boards?

  1. Don’t start following people and putting your name out there until you’ve got a few boards going. It’s like inviting people for dinner at a restaurant that’s not open yet.
  2. Remember themes, not promotion. While you’ll want to show the world your products to try to increase sales, remember that if you come on like an overbearing used car salesman, no one will want to be your friend. Start slowly, building a good reputation and community. For every promotional pin, pin three items that are from external sources, building around the mood board’s theme and creating a sense of community.
  3. Follow people and brands who align with your marketing objectives, and that will give you an opportunity to share and be social with.
  4. Remember to use best practice SEO when naming pins and boards on Pinterest – the search engines will pick these up which will bring you more traffic and better exposure.
  5. Use easy to understand images instead of abstract ones. Focus on the main points instead of lots of distracting scenery.
  6. Log into your Pinterest account regularly and spend time continually adding to your mood boards, seeing what’s new and responding to comments. Also, use the pin button on your browser’s toolbar for on-the-fly pinning.
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