Friday, October 5, 2012

6 Reasons Your Business Should Use Pinterest

by Yvette-Michelle Cottle Darby

There are so many social media platforms available and deciding which ones to dedicate your time and efforts to can be challenging. Once you think social media, many of us think time. However, in today's world investing the time needed to connect with your customers, prospects and others in your industry is vital to the survival and growth of your business. To simply choose to ignore the growing influence that social media has on business development and the world around us, might be the biggest mistake a business owner can make. Yet the next question that comes to mind is, how can I sift through the over abundance of information available in order to decide which social platforms are best.

One of the best places to start is by better understanding your customers and your target audience. What are their social media habits and what platforms match with their preferences and lifestyles. Another important factor is deciding what platforms best highlight your business' products and services.

Given that my business is built on the idea of creativity, I chose Pinterest ( as one of my social media platforms. Pinterest allows me to share creative ideas and to gather inspiration. It can also be very addictive. You can spend hours wasting time, but also spend hours discovering great websites and gathering amazing resources.

In short, Pinterest is a virtual pin board that lets you organize and share visual content that you like on the Internet. You can curate a collection of images or videos that can compliment your own work. You are utilizing other people's content to add value to your customers' experience. It is visual and very easy to navigate. It is easy to join and all you need to do is install a "Pin" button on your browser. Better yet, many sites have a "Pin It" button, which not only lets you know that they are okay with you collecting the image and linking to the information, but it makes it supper easy to do so.

You can create a "Board," in which you will "Pin" to. When you click on the image or video on your board, you are taken back to the source where you can review the full details. It is that simple . . . well almost. I say almost, because as with any social media platform, you have to learn how to make the best out of it to enhance your business, and it takes a commitment of your time to the process. Connecting with others, sharing, repining, and providing feedback on other "Boards," are important factors for getting noticed. The idea is to have fun and connect with others.

Here is a snapshot of some of my boards:

Here are 6 reasons your business should use Pinterest:
  1. Great way to encourage visitors to your blog or website
  2. Gain links to valuable information and a wealth of inspiration
  3. Gain more exposure by posting original images of your work on a board that features a collection of your work
  4. Interact with customers and others in your network
  5. Raise awareness of your business or things that interest you
  6. Take advantage of the fastest growing social media platform
Check out the "Pin Etiquette," along with other great information for getting you started. Another great article for getting you started can be found on wikiHow by clicking here. For more news on this social media platform visit Mashable.

When you do join, follow me on Pinterest.

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