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Gini Dietrich

Three Ways to Use Pinterest for Business

By: Gini Dietrich | January 9, 2012 | 
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I’m not going to lie. I’m obsessed with Pinterest. I blame my sister. She’s an enabler.

Since its launch, I’ve been a big proponent of it. It’s, in a sense, an online scrapbook. You find images and videos you like and “pin” them to your online boards.

For instance, I have “must make,” “winter training,” “books worth reading,” “gift ideas,” and more that feed my creativity. But the best part? The “what do you want for dinner” discussion has left our house. Now we just look at the “must make” board and decide very quickly what’s for dinner.

Something like 84 percent of us are visual learners. Pinterest feeds that in a big way.

I’ll admit I avoided it for a long time. I knew there were business applications for it, especially if you sell something visual such as clothes, food, or jewelry, but I knew once I got on there, I’d have to quickly attend rehab. I was right.

But the more I play with it, the more business applications I’m finding.

Following are three things you can do for your business right now.

  1. Hold a contest. When I saw what Samuel Gordon Jewelers was doing with their “Pin It” contest, I was very intrigued. In order to win Honora Pearls, Samuel Gordon encouraged people to visit their website, pin photos of the jewelry to their personal boards, and share with their networks. Because Pinterest incorporates Facebook and Twitter, the sharing capability is automatic and the viral effect is large.
  2. Add the “Pin It” widget to your sites. Just like you have the social network widgets on your website and blog, you can add the Pin It widget. This allows readers and visitors to automatically share something they like on your site with their networks.
  3. Create a company board. The site is still by invite only (let me know if you want an invite), but once you get in, you can create a branded board. While you’re not allowed to blatantly promote your business, you can follow the lead of brands such as Nordstrom and Whole Foods.

Granted, there aren’t a ton of applications for a business-to-business organization, but if you’re thinking about how to share your products and services visually, you’ll want to consider Pinterest. It might be behind-the-scenes shots of your manufacturing floor, the insides of an engine, oxidizer, or gauge, or how-to videos.

Remember most people are visual learners so think about how you can cater to them while showing off the cool things you do.

This first appeared in my weekly Crain’s column.

About Gini Dietrich


Gini Dietrich is the founder and CEO of Arment Dietrich, a Chicago-based integrated marketing communications firm. She is the lead blogger here at Spin Sucks and is the founder of Spin Sucks Pro. She is the co-author of Marketing in the Round and co-host of Inside PR. Her second book, Spin Sucks, is available now.

193 comments
Mark Madere
Mark Madere

Thanks for sharing some ideas about Pinterest. When I first starting looking at it, I just didn’t see any value for creating pin boards and how it might help my business. A few weeks later, a friend starting telling me all these “Ninja” ways she was actually making money with her pin boards! And it is way easier than anything she’s ever done with other Social sites like Facebook, Twitter and all the other “Johnny-Come-Latelys” that keep popping up on the Internet.

So wanting to know more, I found a fantastic video that shows some really clever ways to easily make money with Pinterest. I wasn’t thrilled I had to pay some cash for it but for $7 and change – the valuable knowledge I gained is worth hundreds of times that price. Just be aware that if you want to invest in the 45 minute training video – the price rises with every sale - so don’t wait long to check it out.

Oh, here’s the link to the video: http://www.jvzoo.com/c/403/1571

Have fun!

Mark Madere

sheconsulting
sheconsulting

Great post, yes, love an invite! Thank you. :) esta email esta@sheconsulting.com @sheconsulting

Wade Kwon
Wade Kwon

Just a quick correction to No. 2: The "Pin It" button you linked to is a bookmarklet for users' browsers. So if I add this button to my Firefox or Chrome, I can Pin a page quickly.

If a widget or Share It-type button exists for sites/blogs for Pin It (like the Like or Tweet buttons), please let me know.

BenjaminHofmann
BenjaminHofmann

I'm a man and I enjoy Pinterest to store any manly ideas I find. It is interesting to think about using it for business and I enjoyed your article. One thing I like about social media in general is someone or some organization can't be too irritating or they will be "unfriended". It forces businesses to look at marketing totally differently. This new way of marketing is difficult to determine effectiveness. How would someone track how effective their efforts on Pinterest were? I know you can track referring web sites using traditional web analytics but what other ways can you track marketing efforts on Pinterest?

matthixson
matthixson

I may not be as obsessed as you Gini but I agree that there is a major opportunities for business here, especially if there product has a visual element. I posted a picture of the new Range Rover Evoke on my Pinterest the other day. I think the design of the car is amazing so I pined it. My email went nuts over the next 8 hours with people repining and liking it. It was amazing to me. Range Rover should be in there engaging with these people - they are possible customers. I agree with you - very addictive. The other site I love like this is www.houzz.com.

feliciahudson
feliciahudson

Gini, I recently got an invite and signed up, but haven't had a chance to pin anything yet. From the way you've described it--and what I've already seen--I, too, predict I'll soon be addicted. Thanks a lot for promoting yet another thing to compete for my time and attention! ;-) In fairness, you did introduce me to Evernote, which has turned out to be a productivity gem, so I guess it evens out. :-)

I do see Pintrest being useful for nonprofits as well though.

bdorman264
bdorman264

As usual, I am a late adopter and actually just getting in Pinterest this weekend so I haven't really done anything with it yet. However, without doing anything I have picked up a handful of follows and most are people I know but a few I don't......of course, I'm not that picky so I will probably welcome them all.

I do like the books worth reading idea............

ryancox
ryancox

I just heard from a very reliable source (a good friend) that he has seen on his own account, and confirmed with friends, that Pinterest is auto followng people for users insinuating intrest in others thus creatng activity/growth. <That'd be a shame because I am really digging Pinterest!

jacque_PR
jacque_PR

@Wade Kwon

I believe the button you're referring to is listed on the same page (http://www.pinterest.com/about/goodies ). Try scrolling down, past the "Pinterest for iPhone" app link and you should find an assortment of badges, either for following a Pinterest account or pinning your posted images, that you can embed on your site or blog.

Hope that helps! :)

Howie Goldfarb
Howie Goldfarb

@bdorman264 dude have you checked out panasonics new 8 track tape player. It rocks. But my BeeGees tape is having trouble.

adamtoporek
adamtoporek

@ginidietrich Too many! But I'll still DM you about invite. Imagine a world with just YouTube and Twitter... sounds like heaven 2me. :)

katskrieger
katskrieger

@ryancox They do auto follow from your contacts...I linked mine to FB and it auto-followed my friends on it already. But I didn't mind that so much. IDK. Brings up a few issues I guess.

jkozuch
jkozuch

@jylui I wasn't overtly excited about it, to be honest. But when I saw what some of my friends were sharing, I got into @pinterest more.

bhas
bhas

@ginidietrich@feliciahudson , you could try Rescue Time. It is swell for keeping a track of where you spend your time online.

Every day I look at the pretty bar charts and am absolutely gobsmacked by how my time leaks. And as you become aware, you can clamp down on time wasters

jkozuch
jkozuch

@jylui It certainly is. Seeing alot of great content from my network on there. @pinterest would be a neat tool for creating mood-boards.

jylui
jylui

@jkozuch the amount of stufff curated on @pinterest now is staggering. A quick search and who knows what other graphs etc you'd find

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