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Pinterest for businessIt seems like all anyone is talking about these days is Pinterest and Pinterest and One Direction and Pinterest. Even ‘Gamification’ has begun to be drowned out by incessant Pinterest articles, tweets and Facebook Timeline posts. I did recently write about whether you should be on Pinterest, but it was more from a personal angle than business. It also provided a bit more of an overview about what Pinterest actually is. So it’s different to this post, OK?! YES. Great.
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Everyone who is anyone is setting up Pinterest accounts, but the question is: should your business be? And if so, how should you be using Pinterest to achieve business goals?

It’s a great question. And here’s how I think you should figure it out.

1. What products/services does your business offer? Pinterest is not for every business. The most defining element of Pinterest is that it’s inherently visual. Do you sell products that are pretty, unique, innovative or just plain weird? Or do you provide a service that has some sort of aesthetic result? Like interior design, landscaping, architecture, hair dresser, graphic design etc? If you can take pictures or screenshots of either your products or the effect of your services that people would find interesting, get on Pinterest. If, on the other hand, you fix toilets for a living… well maybe not.

2. Do you have a web channel where people can ‘convert’ by purchasing or at least enquiring about your products/services? Sticking pictures on Pinterest is awesome, but the end goal is to drive sales/revenue, correct? So you have to be able to send those people who are are interested in the images to some place where they can contact you or directly buy your products. If you don’t do this, you’re losing a huge opportunity… Ideally you need to have these images on your website or on some sort of digital channel, and pin them from there, so that when others click on them they will be sent to your website!

3. Do you have a blog or some sort of online content you write/create on a regular basis? Pinterest is meant to be visual, and it works best for tangible items, but if you’re writing content it is another channel you can share that content in to drive traffic to your site. You just need to make sure that you find the most appealing (and relevant) image to include in the content, so that when it’s pinned the visual image catches peoples’ attention and they read the heading underneath, which would be your headline.  For example, given that my ‘services’ are social media, I don’t have any tangible products and the results of my services quite often can’t be shared (strategic docs, advice). BUT what I do do is share my articles on my Pinterest account, and this ends up driving traffic to my site. It’s not enough to be revolutionary, but it’s up there in the top 10 referrers, so it’s definitely worth doing!

It’s extremely common to have people in your business running up and asking you if you’re on the new, shiny social network that everyone’s talking about, but before you rush in and add another channel that will take up your time and efforts, you need to seriously consider how you can use that channel to achieve your business goals. Almost all businesses should be on Facebook, but not all businesses should be on Pinterest. If you’ve got interesting products or your services lead to interesting, visually appealing (or unique) results, get on there. Alternatively if you publish some sort of interesting content to the web you might want to get onto Pinterest so you can add it to your distribution list. If neither of these apply to you, hold your horses and focus your efforts on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube or one of those other network things.

At least, that’s what I think.

This article is long enough for all our poor brains, but tomorrow (or some day in the near future) I’ll share how to use Pinterest for your business so that you are actually getting measurable results. How exciting is that!? YAY!

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