Pinterest: Can Businesses Catch “Pinsanity”?!?!

If you are a slightly plugged-in user of social media and technology, by now, you may have heard of Pinterest. It’s certainly the flavor of the month. Hopefully, it sticks around longer than Jeremy Lin and his “Linsanity” followers as his production comes back down to earth.

Pinterest is an online bulletin board where you can post your favorite images. I’m kind of hoping it helps move some of the image spam / memes / and other noise off of Facebook and onto there. The site has registered more than 7 million unique visitors in December more than quadrupling its userbase of 1.6 million in September (source: Entreprenuer magazine article).  Not sure why, but I find it very interesting that 97% of Pinterest users are women.

This “pinning” of images allows you to show images of interest, wishlists, favorite crafts, saying, celebrities, etc. The key is the linking ability which would drive traffic to other blogs, shopping, etc. It’s a great way to generate traffic to your site if you have people pinning your items to their boards. In fact, many retailers are encouraging it and shaping their pictures to best fit on your pin boards in hopes you do just that. I don’t think businesses are spamming by pinning their products. In fact, the products are getting visibility by users pinning other product images that get clicked thru to the point of sale website. Viral / influential marketing at its best.

As I said, the most powerful business application is the ability to post images of your company’s products on your Pinterest board and link them back to your website. It works as a sort of virtual store catalog. However, savvy social media users know not to get too promotional. For example, Whole Foods Market pins pictures of delicious-looking food, food art and images of recycled or reused products to inspire customers to be environmentally responsible.

If you run a lawn-care center, for instance, pin pictures of landscaping you find online or snap in your community. If you’re a brick-and-mortar store, pin shots of the interesting sites and people around your neighborhood and photos you take at community events. You also can search through Pinterest’s categories and add some inspirational, funny or beautiful images you find.

I would suggest checking out Pinterest and seeing if it works for you.  The answer may surprise you.  If you’d like to see how I use it, hit me up on Pinterest as well.