Social Media: How to Use Pinterest for Business - dummies

Social Media: How to Use Pinterest for Business

By Marsha Collier

Social media sites like Pinterest can help you advertise and market your business. The best way to describe Pinterest is as a cross between an overpopulated refrigerator door and a scrapbook. It is one of the newest, hottest social networks. Members “pin” images and other media content (graphics or videos) from their computers or shared from the web.

A picture is worth a thousand words, right? That could be why Pinterest had 90 million unique (180 million total) visits in July 2012. Pinterest is currently the third most popular social media network, behind Twitter and Facebook.

The site is incredibly successful for brands such as Whole Foods, Women’s Health, Better Homes and Gardens, Southwest Airlines, and Martha Stewart. For example, Pinterest is the top social media referrer for and For those brands, Pinterest is sending more referrals than Facebook and Twitter combined.

Pinterest is best for businesses that lend themselves to a visual format, such as those in the following areas:

  • Interior design

  • Fashion stylists

  • Photographers

  • Travel agents

  • Restaurants

  • Veterinarians and animal lovers

  • Event planners

  • Real estate agents

As an example, the AARP Pinterest page, shown in the figure, follows most of the accepted best practices for Pinterest. It is a visually appealing page. Currently, their board has only about 1,600 followers. For a small business, consider the percentage of members who are liking your page to measure the page’s worth in time investment.

Even the AARP has a Pinterest page.
Even the AARP has a Pinterest page.

For the most engagement and sharing on Pinterest, follow someone back when they follow. Repin items from other users to gain follows. Social networking is all about interaction.

If you have the impression that more women than men are using Pinterest, you’re correct. Their user base is 80 percent women. But a survey from exposes that more men (37 percent) than women (17 percent) make purchases as a consequence of seeing something they like on Pinterest.

However, a total of only 25 percent of survey respondents said they had actually made a purchase due to viewing a product on Pinterest.

Pinterest is not ideal for every business. If you enjoy using it, that’s great. But adding one more network to your social arsenal may be too time-consuming.