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Entrepreneurs: Using Pinterest to Expand Your Business

TMCnet Feature

July 18, 2013

Entrepreneurs: Using Pinterest to Expand Your Business

By Drew Hendricks

Pinterest is a social networking site that is the equivalent of a giant bulletin board. It allows users to "pin" their favorite pictures, activities, videos or any other information that they would like to share with others. For a time, the platform was most commonly used by middle-aged women sharing craft ideas, but in recent years, it has continued to expand to attract many other types of users. Because of its growing popularity, Pinterest has become a huge name in the world of social media marketing. 

Image via Miva Merchant

Get Creative with How You Share

One method of using Pinterest for business is simply taking pictures of your products, posting them and hoping that they get attention. If you get lucky, one of your photos might go viral and begin to spread around the Internet on its own, but it isn't very likely. Pinterest users are exposed to hundreds of photographs each day, so it takes something special to capture their attention. Instead of simply posting your merchandise, consider posting projects, recipes, step-by-step articles and other ideas that can inspire users to use your products in a creative way. For example, if you own a company that designs custom ribbon, post a step-by-step craft project that will allow a school teacher to use your ribbon with her students. This is the type of post that has the potential to go far on Pinterest.

Start an Employee Board

Pinterest has more to offer than just marketing. If you run a business with a large staff, try using Pinterest as a way to communicate. You can share ideas, give tips and even post notices about employee meetings and parties. Pinterest is also a great way for employees to express themselves. For example, if you run a tattoo parlor, each of your artists could potentially have their own Pinterest board to show off their work. Not only will this attract new customers, but it will also make each individual employee feel like they are an important part of the team.

Host Contests to Attract New Customers

No matter what type of business you run, contests are a good idea, and Pinterest can help you host one. Many big-name companies have held contests over Pinterest, and one popular method is to have customers pin their own photos to the company board. This works especially well if your product allows customers to be creative. For example, if your company makes organic vegetable broth, you could ask customers to post their favorite vegetarian recipe that they created using your broth. The prize awarded for the best recipe is up to you, but no matter what it is, simply hosting the contest will attract a lot of new customers.

Allow Your Customers to Speak the Truth

Another good use of Pinterest is to set up a customer board. Having an open-door policy that allows your customers to speak truthfully about their experiences with your business is one of the best ways to gain trust from the public. When people see customers speaking their mind on Pinterest, they will be inclined to believe they are seeing real opinions. The positive words will stick in their minds and help them remember your name the next time they need a product or service you offer.

Edited by Rachel Ramsey

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