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A few weeks ago I discovered Pinterest. It’s quickly become my favourite social media tool! What a blast!

Of course, being a small business owner, I’m also interested in finding ways to build my business with it without being annoying. My personal experience and the research I’ve done have led me to the following tips:

  1. Carve Out Some Time: As with everything you are going to need to spend some time. Start by simply opening an account, connecting to your friends who are already there, finding stuff you like, and sharing it. Get a feel for how the site works. Spend 30 minutes a day for about 10 days to start with.
  2. Find Your Target Market: Do some research when you’re first on (use the search bar) to find people who are already interested in what you’re offering. Follow them.
  3. Know Your Goal: Once you’ve spent time and found your market, you’re ready to figure out what it is you’d like to do with Pinterest. What kinds of things are others doing that you could adapt for your business? Where are some of the holes that you could fill. figure out what you want, and then be focused in your work on Pinterest.
  4. Make Sure You’re Shareworthy: Find things to share that are interesting to others and truly worthy of a share. (translation: Spare us the spamming!)
  5. Be Generous: Share things from others, too – including those that might be competing. They might share your stuff to their followers, which could expand your market
  6. Watch Your Links: When you share something from your site, make sure you have a working link that takes the viewer back to your page if they’re interested in finding out more
  7. Use Catchy Captions: Create a catchy caption with your links to entice people to look further – works like a headline! Use your captions to define your brand if you can.
  8. Start or Join In the Conversation: Before re-pinning, make a comment on the other person’s pin and say something that engages them in conversation. Also use questions on your pins to start a conversation.
  9. Share a Wide Variety: As with every social media platform, please don’t just share a bunch of links to your products. Engage. Create lots of boards that tell a little bit about you. Make some quirky, some fun, some interesting, some original, etc.
  10. Boost Pinterest with Other Platforms: talk up your Pinterest page on other platforms you’re involved in to engage your followers in a different way again.
  11. Respond to your comments: People will often comment back to you about your pin – make sure you follow up with these. See the action on the left hand column of the home page.
  12. Share Your Discusssions: When a discussion starts on your page, share it to your other platforms using the share links on the actual pin
  13. Bring in Your Physical Store: If you have a physical location that your clients come to make sure you have special promotions that encourage your clientele to follow you on Pinterest just like you did with your other social media platforms

BIG CAUTION! Before you get too excited about sharing stuff on Pinterest, please read this article: How your business could get sued for using Pinterest – Boston Business Journal

Even if you’re not using Pinterest for business, take note of this from Pinterest For Business? Yes!

Most people separate topics for the pins. For example, food, cats, cars, skiing, etc. You should also use care and not upload images you do not own or have the rights to — Pinterest may not police copyrights, but copyright laws still apply. A good rule of thumb is to never upload anything to the web for public viewing that you do not have the right to. (See, Getty Images Settlement Demand Letter to learn how you can get into trouble for using images you don’t own.)

Oh, and if you’re already on Pinterest? I’d love to follow you! Find me at http://pinterest.com/darhull/

Darlene

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Post your comments below and join in the conversation (or get it started!) and then share this post with your friends using the different share buttons on the blog.

I’d sure appreciate it! Thanks!


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