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Pinterest has had the tech scene sizzling lately, especially over the fact that it is a platform mostly used by women. And according to these stats, it is true. I actually couldn’t care less about who’s using it by gender. If you aren’t using it yet, it is your loss (whether you are male or female).
“ But what do I need it for?” This is the most common question I hear whenever I’m recommending it for people to use .
Here are some reasons:
As a Visual Bookmarking tool- As an addicted Delicious user, I’m pretty amazed by the easiness of moving from one platform to another after so many years of becoming accustomed to the former one. But it is not anything like Delicious. The visual bookmarking concept is something else entirely for me. For daily links from tech blogs that I see and like, I mostly use the +1 button (to save everything as a list in my Google+ profile), but anything that looks good, and I know I will remember based on a visual memory and category, goes inside one of the albums I’ve created in Pinterest. And, I love that it can be DIY content that you created (such as food or craft photos that you can upload) along with content you find around the web.
As an Inspirational Platform – Thinking of remodeling your house? Having a party and need some desserts ideas? Feeling too geeky and looking for something fashionable to wear? All of these and more are click away when it comes to Pinterest. The most amazing thing I’ve learned quickly is that even if you think you just shared the most unique cake or gadget, there will be always something better posted by someone else – it is an endless lot of brain pickings and recommended goodies.
As a Discovery Tool for New People/Businesses – The beauty in Pinterest is that anything you share can be viewed by people you don’t even know, and you can see whatever other people share, just by searching a category or an album name. It is a great way to discover new small businesses or any other stores worth visiting, online or offline. The more you search for things that you like, the more you have the chance to find new people that share your interests, and start following their albums and pins.
Now, all the above are from an individual user point of view.
If you have a business (online or offline), and you have visual elements to showcase it, here’s how it can work for you:
As a Traffic Booster and Business Promotion – I don’t see lots of businesses using Pinterest as a marketing tool yet, and there are only few blogs that I’ve noticed having embedded the pin-it button. However, I usually read mostly Tech Blogs so this might just be particular to my web experience.
In any case, I’m sure Pinterest will grow like wildfire. If you have something to sell or you want people to see and talk about something, and it also looks good, go and place the pin-it button on your blog posts, and if you have a store that you want to market, start posting on Pinterest, let your customers know that they can follow your Pinterest account if they want to get updated directly by placing an actual display in the store itself and/or if you have an online store, you can simply place a follow-us button on your site – there are not many buttons out there, but again, I know it will just be a matter of time before people start creating goodies for Pinterest. Meanwhile, you can use whatever on their site: Pinterest Buttons.
Make sure your Pinterest is visually appealing and that everything you want to showcase is easy to find through albums. Also, make sure you maintain it often enough to keep people interested.
The re-pin system is what makes traffic skyrocket, it is somewhat like “reshare” and “retweet,” but moreover, it reminds me of stumble upon. Because it is focused on the visual and everything is shared publicly, the chances more people will see something is higher than at any other place. Offering your audience another way to follow, connect and track you online and your chances of getting some engaged traffic towards your site increases.
In summary, I want to say that I don’t think Pinterest is the best tool for just any business. If you don’t have anything visually attractive, it will be hard to get people to pin it. However, I do think this is a service for everyone and I’ve seen people taking it to so many directions, I can’t even tell you what Pinterest is/does for them. I can only speak for myself. And for me, it is a great discovery and bookmarking tool. But again, it can be something else for you.