Pinterest is a new online pinboard, social networking website that literally became the hottest new trend overnight. While it was launched in 2010 and it is still in beta, it wasn’t until the past few weeks that Pinterest finally made it to the mainstream masses and pierced the veil of social networking statistics. The site registered more than 7 million unique visitors in December and it is driving more traffic to company websites and blogs than YouTube, Google+ and LinkedIn combined.
But what is Pinterest? And should your business be part of it? If your products and services are visual (landscaping, food, clothes, graphic design, etc) then you can reap the full benefits of Pinterest. However, unlike Facebook Fan Pages, there are no business accounts. Your account will have the same permissions as any other account and your business entity will fall under the category of “People”.
And speaking of permissions, there are no privacy settings for Pinterest. This means everyone will be able to see your images and the images you pin. When you pin something new, your followers will see it. Similar to Facebook, they can like, comment and re-pin (share) and as such, the level of virality for your business increases.
Pinterest is currently invite-only, you can request an invitation by clicking here or visiting Pinterest.com. There are a few things you should know. First, you are required to have a Facebook or Twitter account to accept a Pinterest invitation. For your Facebook account requirement, you will not be able to use your business Fan Page, it will be linked to your personal account. Second, once you create your custom url, login and password, it will ask you to pick a few categories you like (Outdoors, Art, Cars, etc). Once you do this, it will automatically choose from a pool of users matching your interests and also pull up anyone from your friend list that has a Pinterest account. These will be followed by default. You can make changes to your settings later on, for example, removing Pinterest from your timeline.
While Pinterest is only at it’s infancy, there is no doubt that it will bring a new wave of social media interactions. Even if your business is already on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or other social networking sites, always keep your eyes out for new social trends. Pinterest may not be for everyone, but be sure to give it a try and see if it works for you. Because of the free for all platform, there seems to be a higher percentage of your product/service becoming more viral than other outlets.
This article was written by Paula VonKretschmann
Paula is the strategic analyst and logistics force behind Rare Pixel Design. She specializes in metrics tracking efforts, virtual monetization and new media marketing. Paula currently studies Neuropsychology and Human Centered Design at the University of Colorado Denver. In her spare time she enjoys gaming, gardening and the great outdoors.