Pinterest is the latest Social Media kid on the block. It can be a little overwhelming but – as with any tool – I suggest you just jump in and start having fun. Pinterest is great for creatives because it’s a visual medium and encourages your followers to share and have fun.
Caution: As with any social media tool set a time limit that you’re going to give to exploring Pinterest.
Remember: Social Media is about creating relationships and being a leader. It is NOT a place to push sales messages or do advertising. Here are 10 ways to use Pinterest to get your community sharing:
1. Add a “Pin It’ button. On Pinterest’s Goodies page you can grab the code to put on your website, blog, articles, or even in your email signature. It makes it easy for people to share YOU.
2. Link to Twitter. Link you Pinterest profile to your Twitter account (FaceBook only links to personal profile pages at this time). Within Pinterest you can choose to use your Twitter photo or upload a new one. You can also add a location and website and a brief description of your services.
3. Play nice. Don’t spam others with your sales messages. Pin others’ valuable info and always give credit. Pinterest is about sharing, so connect with other like-minded people and become a recourse hub.
4. Use Pinterest as a Focus Group. Pin up ideas and ask opinions. Or you can follow your clients or desired clients; see what they like and use that as information to grow your services or products.
5. Paint a picture. Pinterest has theme-based pinboards such as Edible Celebrations, How Does Your Garden Grow, We’re Using to Reusing, etc, you can create Pin Boards to relate to a lifestyle that can be achieved by working with you.
6. Bookmark it. Pinterest has a “Pin It” bookmarklet lets you grab an image from any website and add it to one of your pinboards. When you pin from a website, Pinterest automatically grabs the source link to credit the original creator. You can find the bookmarklet on Pinterest’s goodies page.
7. Optimize it. When you create a new pin, be sure to use keywords and any relevant hash tags in your description so that it can be picked up by search engines.
8. Interact. Seek out others with similar interests or who share your target market. It’s about interacting and engaging with others. The more you share with others – the more you’re seen. Tip: It’s OK to share the personal side of yourself – just beware that it’s visible, so only share what you wouldn’t mind your mom seeing.
9. Comment. Comment on others Pin Boards. Be friendly and share.
10. Be a Hub. Collect info, images, articles, videos, whatever – that your target market will be interested in and pin them to relevant boards. This makes YOU the resource for your potential clients. Associating yourself with what they’re looking for makes you more credible as an expert.
11. Limit and monitor. Don’t spend more than 10 or 15 minutes on Pinterest – especially at first. Drop in to monitor what’s being shared. You can also monitor some of the activity from the FaceBook stream and engage there. This is a tool for visibility. Be sure it doesn’t become your JOB.
Would you like to learn more ways to use Pinterest? Check out this great how-to article from Social Media Examiner
Author Info: Barbara Saunders is a publication designer and has run a successful solo pro business for more than a decade. She is the Solo Pro Success Coach and the Director of the International Association of Self-Employed Communication Professionals and the Solo Pro Academy. She also hosts the Solo Pro Radio show everyday at 10am Pacific and 1pm Eastern. It’s our mission to build community and help creative solo pros build and run successful businesses by providing support, innovation, tools, and strategies. Our goal is to liberate our members from the feast and famine cycle.