A Guide to Pinterest


If you are exploring social media avenues for online promotion and your business is in fashion, home decor, food and cooking or entertainment, then Pinterest should be at the top of your list. Pinterest, co-founded by Ben Silbermann, Evan Sharp and Paul Sciarra, was launched as a prototype in March 2010. Since its inception, the social media site has grown exponentially and matured into a search-worthy visual matrix of ideas, creativity and color.

Pinterest is a collection of digital bulletin boards. Free to join, Pinterest gives members the opportunity to post images on a bulletin board, and group them in collections. These can be kept private or shared amongst friends. Businesses can create boards or accounts as well to post images of their products, suggestions for usage or visual memoirs from events. As Pinterest has developed, industries that include an artistic element have been highlighted more often on member boards. This situation makes sense, because these industries are more visual.

As an example, freelance fashion writers can use Pinterest to promote their fashion articles or blogs. If a writer posts an article about the newest trend in handmade leather sandals, they can post the image from their article on Pinterest. The posted image links back to the original article, and has space for a short description. As long as a member does not keep their boards private, images posted on Pinterest come up in search engines. Therefore, the image becomes a second pathway to the article.

The social media aspect of Pinterest is powerful. Members can follow boards that they are interested in, join group boards or follow other members. While in some ways, this is similar to Facebook; on Pinterest the effect is completely visual. If you are looking for ideas for your flower garden, you can browse other members’ ideas. If you want to find a picture of a specific flower, you can search on Pinterest or on Google to find it. Members can comment, share or repin images. Repinning means that the image will be posted to one of their own bulletin boards, and will repost to their followers. Reposting is what induces viral growth, and it happens quickly.

In April, 2014, Pinterest introduced Guided Search. According to the Pinterest blog,

“There are more than 750 million boards with 30 billion Pins hand-picked by travelers, foodies, and other Pinners, so the right idea is just a few taps away. Now when you search for something (road trips, running, summer BBQ), descriptive guides will help you sift through all the good ideas from other Pinners.”~Hui Xu, Head of Discovery Team

Pinterest is rolling the new Guided Search out to mobile devices first, then to the web. The search mechanism is a scrolling feature at the top of the mobile application that makes searching more user-friendly and much more fun. Since it is starting on mobile, it is sure to push more users to add the mobile app to their devices.

The Cincinnati Business Courier reported that brands cannot ignore Pinterest when creating an Internet marketing strategy. A study commissioned by Ahalogy, a Cincinnati company that helps brands maximize their impact on Pinterest, showed that the most active users on Pinterest are “Millennial Moms” – young women who grew up with mobile devices and social media and have young children. The conclusion of the study was that for brands looking to market to Millennials, Pinterest is a key resource.

Paula A is a freelance writer who has been writing on the Internet since 2008. When she is not writing, Paula creates and maintains websites, searches for handmade art treasures and nibbles on chocolate to keep herself motivated.

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