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Time to garner interest with Pinterest

Pinterest for Small BusinessesSmall business owners may be skeptical about joining yet another new form of social media. After all, finding the time to properly manage business profiles on Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin is quite hard enough for most of us.

However social network newcomer Pinterest offers several new marketing opportunities to small businesses and its amazingly rapid growth has created a buzz in the marketing world this month.

Pinterest is a mixture between a social networking site and an online scrapbook. Users create multiple boards to which they "pin" - or add - items from around the web. These pinned items could include photographs, products, infographics and news.

The site launched in 2010 and is already experiencing wild growth. Pinterest registered more than 7 million unique visitors in December, up from 1.6 million in September and continues to grow day by day.

The platform allows companies to create online scrapbooks of their newest and most popular products. Embed links can link to items you sell through your own website or affiliate programs on sites like Amazon.

A small retailer can capitalize on this free advertising without too much effort.

The first step is to create a Pinterest account. Then follow users who have an interest in the products or services you are selling.

You could also look for people in the same area as your company. Then start adding photos with embedded links of items you are selling. Build a social networking community and customer base by pinning and re-pinning posts.

You could try creating an image of a special deal or coupon just for your Pinterest followers. Upload it to a new board for deals. Offering a prize to the person who gets the most likes or comments on a re-pin of the coupon will ensure your business is getting extensive free target market advertising.

By clicking “settings” and filling in the prompts, you can include links to your company website, as well as your Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn profiles. Then, add links back to your Pinterest profile from each of those pages.

These trails will lead to consumers to your site and will help your company take advantage of the latest social media marketing opportunity. If one of your products grabs attention it could go viral as users of this social network platform can “follow” your profile, as well as repining your product.

This is why so many businesses are making time for Pinterest - it drives traffic to websites that may otherwise see few visitors. If done well, the online bulletin board has the potential to improve your company’s bottom line. 

A great example of this is the brand Etsy – the online marketplace, which sell handmade, or vintage items, art and supplies. Since joining the social network in October 2010, Esty's main profile already has accumulated more than 51,000 followers.

Pinterest is driving more traffic to company websites and blogs than YouTube, Google+ and LinkedIn combined, according to a recent report from content-sharing site Shareaholic. If you need to boost your web traffic and have time to invest in a new channel, Pinterest could be a fantastic opportunity!


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