To Pin Or Not To Pin – How To Use Pinterest To Grow Your Brand

Everyone else was doing it!

I did it too!

No; I didn’t jump off a bridge.

I finally joined the pinning world over at Pinterest.

I just did it yesterday so I have only one follower at the moment and have only pinned a couple of things; just to figure out how it works.

I did a lot of reading about ways to use Pinterest for your business and to grow your brand. While I am by no stretch of the imagination a marketing pro, and still know very little about Pinterest, I did want to share a few things that I found out.

*most of this could be applied to just about any social media site*

1) Use with caution! I have heard horror stories of how a photo is pinned, then re-pinned, then re-pinned again, and again, and again… until eventually the original link and the name of the photographer is lost. At that point no-one knows who took the photo, who owns it, where it came from… or even cares. All they see is a wonderful photo to share among friends, post on their own websites, print out onto an awesome greeting card for grandma, and generally use as they please. No credit given to the photographer who took the photo in the first place. No cash earned for its use. No repeat customers gained. NO SALE.

My answer to this is… when posting your images online post only small low res copies with watermarks. In the past I have put my little watermark in the corner of the images (mostly). In the future you will see a little change in that; I plan to make the mark a little more noticeable and right smack dab in the center of the image. Now when those photos “go viral” everyone will know where it came from, or, the watermark will make the image less attractive to those who would use someone elses image in the first place; and they will simply not bother. 🙂

Recently I received a comment from a man (at least I think it was a man) who said that he “really hates it when people put those stupid watermarks on the pictures. It makes it so much harder for other people to use the picture on their own sites!”.

I resisted the urge to reply with “Duh; that’s the whole point!”.

So my first tip about using Pinterest for your business is… PROTECT YOUR IMAGES! After all Pinterest is an image based social media site.

Now on with more tips about how to use Pinterest for your business…

2) Add your website link in the description box of each and everything you pin from your site(s). Yes; right now a link is automatically attached to the pin however it could get lost along the way; or just maybe Pinterest decides to stop adding a link that can easily be followed. Even if at some point that link becomes no longer clickable; at least it’s there in the description for someone to simply copy and paste into their browser.

3) Link your Pinterest with your Twitter so that you can tweet your pins! Two for the price of one! Yes I said tweet your pins; what kind of language is this anyway!

4) Use proper pin etiquette. Avoid creating nothing but a self-promotion page, be nice, credit your sources, and report objectionable content.

5) Be active! Pin regularly, re-pin things that appeal to you and things that have something to do with your field (such as photography), comment and like other’s pins.

6) Keep it organized by setting up different boards for different topics. That way if someone wants to follow your favorite recipes but not your favorite products they can do so easily.

7) Use keywords and hashtags that are relevent to your pin so that when someone is searching for content they find what they are looking for. Don’t just pin something without talking it up in that description box. Add a few (not too many or it will look like spam) hashtags to the end of your pin. Example: I pin a photo of a lion — I might fill in the description box with… I saw this lion at the zoo and just had to get a shot. He would look awesome as a desktop background or as wall art in my living room! #photography, #wildlife,  #big cats, #wall art -Now you have the keywords lion, zoo, background, wall art, and the hashtags photography, wildlife, big cats, and wall art.

8) Use your company name/brand as your user name. In your “about” box include your tag line, logo, company description, and a link to your website.

9) Create visual content in any and all posts. If you have a post such as this and you know your going to pin it add visual content. Now I don’t exactly have a photo of Pinterest but I have created that fun text image. Now when I pin this post that text image will give some visual content. Remember Pinterest is images.

10) Don’t forget to pin in the evening and on the weekends! Most people are busy during weekdays and don’t have a lot of time to explore and follow inks. However if you pin in the evenings and on weekends you just might get a few more folks to follow those links as they have a little more free time to play around.

Now what do you think? Should you pin or not pin?


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