What you need to know about Pinterest

Publish Date: 
Apr 2, 2012

It seems as though once you get the hang of one social media site, up crops another that sends the World Wide Web into a frenzy. While you’ve been sharing media and engaging your fans on Facebook (we hope), Pinterest, an online bulletin board, has been growing at a rapid-fire pace. A recent article by RJMetrics, a metrics analysis company, found that in a matter of months, Pinterest has gone from a small start-up to one of the top 100 sites on the Internet. With these exponentially growing stats, it’s a good idea for you to at least be familiar with what Pinterest is, and what possibilities it offers for business growth. So here’s a summary of what the site is, and in later months, Dealernews will explore in depth how you can use the site to benefit your business.

What it is: Pinterest describes itself as a “virtual pinboard” where users can upload photos and videos of things that they find interesting. It’s like pinning photos to a corkboard, only you’re doing it online.

How it works: Users sign up for an account, then essentially act as curators by creating pinboards and uploading media, as well as peruse the pinboards of other members for things they’d like to “repin.” Users also can comment on pins and follow each other, much like they do on Facebook and Twitter, respectively.

How it can benefit your business: According to AppData, Pinterest currently has more than 10.4 million users, and growing. Mediapost reports that businesses currently holding Pinterest accounts include Nordstrom, West Elm, Kate Spade and Whole Foods. Home improvement giant Lowe’s, however, has gone one step further — its integrated its Pinboard account into its Facebook page, using a new took from Vitrue, a social marketing firm. According to Mediapost, the tool automatically takes content from Lowe’s website and posts it onto its Pinterest pinboard. This way, Facebook fans can see the company’s Pinterest bulletin boards and interact with them without ever having to leave Facebook. Since the integration, Lowe’s has reported a 32 percent increase in followers onto its Pinterest page.

To get started, sign up for a Pinterest account by either requesting an invite from the company (you can find a link for this on www.pinterest.com), or ask to be invited by someone you know who’s already a Pinterest member. Once you have an account, you can upload product photos and descriptions to your bulletin boards. Pinterest also allows users to post pricing information, and each pin generally is attached to a link, so users can click and be redirected to the original Web page that the pin was found on. Essentially, one could attach links and pricing information and turn your Pinterest board into a virtual catalog of sorts.

This story originally appeared in the Dealernews April 2012 issue.