Pinterest is the new social media fever. When I heard about it, my first reaction was “overwhelming”. I asked to myself, “What? Yet another social media?”.
Well I hate to spend time on social media. I simply don’t have the time for it. I’m sure many of you bloggers are on the same boat with me.
Although I love to spend reasonable amounts of time on social media by sharing stuff and interacting with people, I cannot get the most out of social media interactions.
Well, don’t get me wrong; by “making most”, I don’t mean making the most sales for my business. I simply can’t even effectively build relationships with people.
It seems to be a lot easier with email marketing and interacting with people on my blog, than trying to do the same on social media. I feel more “personal” with emailing and interacting with people on my blog.
Well, that’s a lament and its a totally different story.
But when Pinterest entered the social media arena, I simply thought that I should ignore it. And then I saw that most bloggers were talking about it and there were mixed views about Pinterest. Some liked it, some totally hated it.
I then read the awesome guide to Pinterest by Neil and decided to try it out. Neil was kind enough to send me an invite.
Within minutes of me registering and filling out the profile, I started getting emails telling me that people are already following me, when I still didn’t have any boards or pins!
Oh well… its nothing but the social media craze. It happens with any other social media. It happened with Google+ too!
What Pinterest is all about?
Well, it a social media site – this means it is a place where a big crowd gathers. Since the number over there is pretty good, there’s also a greater chance for attention, right?
Yes for sure. But can’t you catch the attention of anyone with anything? Certainly nope!
You need to call out the right people with the right product/service/anything in order to make them at least give you their couple of seconds.
This is one of the basic rules of marketing – Selling/promoting the right stuff to the right people.
Pinterest is about visuals. It is a social media where we can create pinboards, just like the boards we have at home or office where we pin cards, pictures of our kids, scenery, motivating phrases, sexy women posing, meeting schedules, goals, etc.
Once you have your account, a gravatar image, and your profile set up, the next thing you need to do is to create Pinboards. Each pinboard will have a theme – the title of your board should represent the theme of your board.
For instance, if you’re a puppy lover and pin a lot of cute puppy images, create a board called “Cute puppies” and pin them all there. It is just like categorizing your pins. It also makes it easier for your followers to follow particular boards of their choice.
Just like the default Google+ circles, Pinterest also has default blank boards once you create your account. You may use those boards as well and create new ones too depending upon your needs.
Why should you pin? Well, its about sharing awesome content. When you find something appealing and interesting you tend to share – that’s the fundamental instinct in being part of any social media.
But for internet marketers Pinterest can help to build backlinks (each image you pin will link back to the original page and the links are do-follow) and to help building relations, brand and audience.
What’s there at Pinterest?
As I said already, Pinterest is about visuals. You get to pin photos/images/pictures – whatever you call them. So its about images (and also videos, but they’re not very popular). The Pinterest community is mostly comprised of people who have a very good taste of enjoying visually appealing stuff.
But this is where it also gets diluted for internet marketers. IM people are so serious about business (I hope so ;)) and just like “Facebook for fun”, Pinterest is also close to that point.
You can see loads of the following kind of images there (I’m not saying these are the only things you see there; there are lots of other kinds of stuff too)-
(i) Fashion bloggers/online marketers pinning lingerie, boots, fashion stuff, garments upon sexy models.
(ii) Too much flesh – meaning, pictures of women and men posing almost naked, just covering their privates. Again, promoting lingerie, boots, beds etc.
(iii) Too much cute puppies. Well there’s too much of cute “anything” – not just puppies, but kids, kittens, birds, elephants and even cute Rhinos.
(iv) Quotes, quotes and quotes.
You see, I’ve just pointed out a very few.
It is all about your perspective. If you’re in the right mood, you’ll see Pinterest strike a chord with you. If you’re in a different mood you’ll really be annoyed.
Let me explain. Let’s say you’re overwhelmed with blogging and that you are in a refreshing or relaxation mode. If you land on Pinterest to see scenery, motivational quotes and fun stuff (flesh, cuties, other hilarious stuff etc.) you’ll enjoy it.
I know what you’re thinking – “Jane, if you follow people who post such stuff, you’ll only see those”. Well said (or well thought!). But you know, everyone strives to get attention on this new social media platform and you can’t help people pinning these kinda “visually appealing” stuff.
And also with the fun stuff, Pinterest can be a very big distraction or a time waster.
OK Internet Marketers, what do we do?
Will Pinterest work for internet marketers? Yes it will, despite all the argument about its relevance to your niche and products. You can make it work there.
Here are the golden tips.
When you jump on to the Pinterest platform, just like with any other social media, you will naturally have a urge to pin all images from your blog posts. Pinterest clearly asks you to avoid too much self promotion.
This basically means that you should not only pin images from your own blog posts, but you need to pin more of other’s stuff.
The 60-40 rule plays here as well. Pin 60% of others’ stuff and 40% of your stuff.
There’s no point in just pinning. You need to get there and interact. But wait, I hear you – there’s no time! Same here.
There’s good news though. You can use Pinterest as a refresher or a recharger. When you’re really exhausted go to Pinterest – you can kill two birds with one stone – (i) give yourself a nice deserved break and refresh, (ii) build your community and engage at a tremendously growing social media platform.
Pin it and make it easier to pin
This is the purpose of Pinterest. Whenever you read a blog post you will usually tweet it, leave a comment, like on Facebook or share on Google+ (or do all of it).
Now, make sure you pin it too. Most blogs have the “Pin it” button installed either on top of posts on or the Sharebar. This makes it easier for the readers to share the image on Pinterest.
If you don’t have one on your blog, go ahead and grab the code here (you need to scroll down a bit) and use it.
In order to make it easier for you to Pin stuff as you blog hop, install the Pinterest Pin It bookmarklet on your browser (the bookmarklet is also available on the same page given above).
Make your images appealing to Pin
You see Pinterest is all about eye catching stuff. And if you are an internet marketer there is not a greater chance for you to get your feet there compared to a fashion blogger. A fashion blogger usually has a lot of appealing and stunning images.
Therefore in order to compete with and be relevant to the crowd there you need to go for high quality images on your blog posts. This way you get a nice chance of getting repinned and liked a lot.
Sometimes, your images in blog posts won’t be very related to the topic, but simply catchy/colorful. Such images can go viral and create buzz on Pinterest. And, if the image manages to get a lot of repins, you get a lot of backlinks too!
Make your images meaty to pin
Not just beautiful images, but images that carry useful information also gets noticed a lot on Pinterest. For instance, infographics. They have it all. They have all the information and don’t need additional text or other accompanying information.
But if you’re not skilled at doing infographics (and yes, they can’t be done very often) you can simply create images on Photoshop or Paint. You can put some text information on a colored background with mild patterns.
If you’re good at Photoshop, you can create such an image in about 5-10 minutes.
The text can simply be the title of the post or the title of the post plus the bullet points discussed at the post. Both of these will create curiosity to check back the original post.
Pinterest for internet marketing: Takeaway
Well, you have it. 5 simple, no-gimmick and not-so complicated strategies to get your wheels spinning on Pinterest
As we’re all busy bloggers, there’s no surprise anything that adds to our to-do list is overwhelming (that’s why we use social tools after all); and Pinterest is no exception.
If you use Pinterest lightly and apply the basic engagement tactics, you should be doing great.
What do you think about Pinterest? Do you find it useful for your internet marketing life?
I appreciate your comments as always.