It’s hard not to like Pinterest: a digital bulletin board where users can collect, and organize images that strike their fancy. It’s fun, a total feast for the eyes, and it’s simple to use. In fact, that winning combination turned this niche sharing site from a tiny community into the third largest social network in the world seemingly overnight. Well, more like three months, if we’re aiming for accuracy. If you’re not already obsessed with ‘pinning’, you probably know several people who are.
While some of the initial fervour has died down, it’s still clear that Pinterest has established itself as a major player on the social web. After several months of Pinterest’s amazing growth, the numbers continue to confirm that it’s a great platform for e-commerce after all.
All this fuss can make it seem like you need to get your business on Pinterest, and fast, before your customers leave you in the dust… but do you? Here are three questions you should ask before you add Pinterest to your social media arsenal:
Do I have a photogenic business?
You may run a great company, with stellar service and a long history of success. But, unfortunately, if it doesn’t look pretty, people won’t be pinning you. Most business-to-business, or professional-service, companies fall under this category: IT support, or recruiting agencies, for instance. Since Pinterest is visually-driven, your business has to offer something that grabs the eye, and that makes it better suited to consumer-based businesses, like speciality retail or artisan handicrafts. Of course, with a little creativity, you might be able to make your business the exception. For instance:
· Pinterest is a natural venue for wedding and event planners to showcase their portfolios
· A veterinarian could share animals in their hospital that are available for adoption
· A dentist, or hairstylist, might pin before-and-after photographs of drastic makeovers
Think about the ways in which your business could communicate with visuals – if you can find a way to offer something compelling, unusual, and attractive, then even the most ordinary objects can find success on Pinterest.
Sharpie is a great example: they take a singular product (permanent markers), and highlight how artists and DIY-ers use them to elevate their own work instead of posting pictures of the same thing over and over. Looking at their boards it’s easy to think that you could do the same beautiful projects, too… if only you had a Sharpie!
Can I invest in quality photography?
You don’t need to hire a professional to take beautiful photos, but having a great camera and some specialized equipment definitely helps. There’s a lot of competition for attention on Pinterest, and just like a display in your store, a little goes a long way in attracting new business. You wouldn’t dream of handing someone a tattered business card, or selling them a sub-par product, so be ready to commit some extra time and effort to produce images that really put the best possible face on your business. It won’t just leave a great impression, it will make people want to pin, re-pin, and click through to your website.
Am I okay with others sharing my images?
This might seem a bit redundant – after all, you want them to share your images, right? Just remember that you might not always receive the credit you deserve for your photographs. While it’s considered good Pinterest manners to link to the image source, or cite the name of the original owner, not everyone adheres to that rule. If you’re worried that you might not get the credit you’re (or even that someone else might take it), you might consider watermarking the image with your company’s name, or website address, to ensure that people know it’s yours – no matter where it ends up.
If all this sounds good to you, then you’re ready to start using Pinterest for your business. The simple platform allows you to engage your current customers and reach a wider audience with ease. After all, what part of marketing is more enjoyable than seeing your customers share what they love about you, and your product, with their friends?