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How to Use Pinterest for Social Media Engagement

Pinterest was touted as the fastest-growing social media network of all time when it surpassed 10 million monthly unique visitors in January 2012. (ComScore, Feb. 2012) By October 2012, Pinterest was receiving nearly 25 million monthly unique visitors (Compete, Oct. 2012), surpassing the popular microblogging site Tumblr. Pinterest is hot!

Like Twitter, Pinterest is also changing the way we communicate, focusing far more on images than on text. Though Twitter challenges you to publish messages in 140 characters or fewer, Pinterest pushes you to find more visual ways to convey your messages and position your brand. There's no denying that Pinterest is all about the visuals.

If you prefer to publish text content, Pinterest can work as a gateway to content residing on your website or blog or other sites. If you prefer to communicate with your audience using only text, Pinterest may hold you back based on how most people prefer to use the network — looking at and sharing visuals.

Even though Pinterest users can comment on pins in a similar way to commenting on updates and photos on Facebook, fewer than 1 percent of Pinterest users (according to Repinly, a Pinterest directory) choose to comment. Knowing the limitations of certain social networks, and how people prefer to use them, are important factors in choosing which networks are right for you.

You can communicate and interact on Pinterest using these actions:

  • Pin: A post of an image and video to the Pinterest stream and to your topic-specific boards with descriptions.

  • Like: A favorable reaction to other people's pins.

  • Repin: Sharing other people's pins to your followers.

  • Comment: A response to pins, but used less often than Likes and Repins.

  • Collaborate: Pinning with others using Pinterest's group boards or secret boards.

Pinterest introduced business accounts in late 2012 for brands. The implied intention of these accounts was to eventually provide companies with metrics, advertising, and monetization options. In early 2013, Pinterest introduced metrics strictly for business accounts.

Although Pinterest is enjoyable and powerful, consider focusing most of your online marketing time and energy, however, on networks where you can engage more conversationally. Regardless, Danielle has many videos that are ready-made for pinning. Aliza likes to use Pinterest to publish bite-size pieces of advice culled from her many articles and blog posts that lead to the content source.

While pictures speak louder than words, remember that great-looking pictures speak louder than words. A poor image or video is a hindrance, and not at all helpful when it comes to Pinterest.

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