Getting Started With Pinterest: The Top Questions from Small Businesses

You may have heard of the hottest new social media tool, Pinterest.  Pinterest is like a virtual bulletin board that allows users to find and curate images and videos. Unlike other photo sharing sites, Pinterest is focused much more on the discovery and curation of other people’s content, not storing your own. That’s why it’s caught the attention of so many organizations—big and small. It’s helping them spread brand awareness and is driving lots of web traffic.
Here are the three of the top questions I’ve heard from small businesses looking to get started:
1.“What are the differences between Pinterest, Facebook, and Twitter?”
Pinterest is not an entirely different world of social media marketing- it uses a language that most social media users already know. Often, people are intimidated when they hear terms like “pin” or “repin,” but put them in the context of “tweet” or “retweet,” and finally they make sense. And when it comes to liking, commenting, and sharing—these are things you’re probably doing every day on other sites.

Certain features do make Pinterest unique though. For example, there’s a major difference in how users approach Pinterest compared to sites like Facebook or Twitter. Many people log on with a “shopping mentality.” That doesn’t mean every user is going to spend money, but they’ll approach your content with the intention of gathering, which could lead to an eventual sale.

2. What are some of the different ways that I can use boards?”
If you’re new to Pinterest, start by creating at least three new boards:
A board about your products or services: This board can be a great way to start contributing to the community and to showcase your business.
A board designed to help: Create boards that your customers can use. If you’re a clothing store, create a board about fashion tips, or if you’re a marketing company, create  a board with pictures that link to blog posts—anything that will showcase your expertise.
A board that’s just fun:  The beauty of Pinterest is that you can showcase your business and have fun. Think of something you love and that your customers will find entertaining. Don’t be afraid to think outside the box.
3. “How can I get more exposure?”
Connect to other social networks:
Pinterest makes it easy to share your activity across your social networks. Use Pinterest’s social sharing buttons to share pins with your other networks and the Pinterest “embed” code to add pins to your blog or Facebook Page.
Follow and interact with brands and Pinterest users: Build your audience is by joining someone else’s. Use Pinterest’s “search” feature to find stuff that’s relevant to your industry. Follow other users and show them you like what they’re doing with a repin.
Send an email: Users love to hear that their favorite brands have started pinning. Let your readers know you’re on Pinterest and invite them to follow along!.

Gina Watkins is a leading expert on e-marketing for small business – and has a real passion for helping businesses to succeed. Her ongoing series of dynamic lectures are filled with real-world examples, humor and results-driven wisdom garnered from more than two decades of sales, business development and marketing experience. In addition to owning her own business, she is an award-winning direct marketer, has been featured on WUSA Channel 9’s Mind Over Money show, Dr. Gayle Carson’s Women In Business radio show, Morgan State’s Briefcase Radio program, and in numerous other media. In her role as Constant Contact Regional Development Director, she’s presented to more than ten thousand seminar attendees about the keys to success with easy, affordable, highly effective technology tools that grow trusted business relationships.