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    Pinterest – the popular new kid on the block

    Anthea Kuthan

    By now, most of us know of someone who is using Pinterest. Some of us even have a friend who not only uses it, but is addicted to it. I use the term addiction loosely, but it’s fair to say Pinterest is quenching the thirsts of the visually-minded, expressive social media user.
    Have you had a chance to use Pinterest yet? If so, are you pinning like crazy?
    If not, hear me out before you roll your eyes and refuse a spot on the bandwagon. And fellas – I’m mostly talking to you.
    So what is it?
    Pinterest; it’s not just a clever name. You literally ‘pin’ your ‘interests’ to an online pinboard in the form of images from websites. You can categorise your pins into ‘pinboards’ – for example, ‘Style’, ‘Home’ or even ‘Sh*t You Can’t Afford’. The choice is yours; you name them and fill them to infinite capacity. You can follow and comment on other user’s pins and pinboards, and link your own pins to other social platforms such as Facebook and Twitter for greater reach.
    If it’s sounding a little complex, rest assured, this is not the case. When you join Pinterest (which is still signing up members on an invite-only basis, from current users) it guides you to install the ‘Pin It’ button on your toolbar, which allows you to ‘pin’ what is on your screen to one of your pinboards. Even your mate that never joined Facebook could work this one out.
    Pinterest stats (as of March 2012):

    • More than 90% of Pinterest’s users are women
    • 2.2 million active users daily (approx)
    • 12 million active users monthly (approx)
    • Pinterest drives more traffic to websites than Google+, LinkedIn and YouTube combined

    Business gets Pinteresting
    Pinterest is fast becoming a powerful marketing tool for brands, whether it be used as an online shop window or a visual representation of brand voice and personality. Brands are quickly finding their feet on this new platform and milking it for increased sales and brand awareness.
    A few key points for businesses using Pinterest:
    Invest some time
    We know you hate trawling the net during business hours, but this is for the greater good of your brand. Take the time to research brands that are experiencing success on Pinterest. Check out their pins, how much of their content has been ‘re-pinned’ (like Twitter’s ‘re-tweet’ or Facebook’s ‘share’) and the type of content they are pinning. Link with relevant brands.
    Be genuine to gain genuine interest
    It is important on any platform to be genuine and be yourself. This is how we connect and make content engaging, otherwise, you run the risk of your Pinterest account being an online catalogue. Uninteresting.
    Think outside the box
    Get creative in how you keep people coming back for more. You could run a competition or have a daily pin theme. See what works for you and run with it!
    Integrate with other social networks
    Leverage other networks, and all the hard work you have already put into them – advertise your presence on Pinterest to your FB and Twitter communities. Give them a reason to join you; what are you doing differently on this platform as opposed to what you’re doing on Facebook or Twitter?
    Think about what YOU would like to see
    For example, if you sell wool, you could post some fun photos of knitted toys or baby clothes (rather than a boring picture of a ball of wool against a blank background) and link the user back to your site. If your business is as nursery, you could post photos of beautifully designed gardens with a link back to your site.
    Excited yet? What are you waiting for? Get pinning! Millions of new pins are added on a weekly basis so you can be sure to not get bored.
    Start your Pinterest journey right here – http://pinterest.com/