Pinterest: A Great Social Media Marketing Tool

May 2, 2012

Intrigued by the buzz that it’s generating, I took my first serious look at Pinterest. In case you have filtered the topic from your radar screen, Wikepedia explains:

Pinterest is a pinboard-style social photo sharing website that allows users to create and manage theme-based image collections such as events, interests, hobbies and more.

A Conversation Starter

So what does that mean in general?

And more importantly, what does it mean for purposes of social media marketing for service professionals?

Pinterest is like a scrap-book in which we collect photographs, images, notes and miscellaneous other stuff. Many of us use cork-boards for the same purpose.

This collected and pinned stuff is intended to serve as reminders of good people and experiences.

However, what happens in fact, is that the scrapbooks and cork-boards serve as conversation starters. And as a result of the conversation, the people involved get to know…and hopefully like…each other more.

In effect they either start a new relationship or enhance an existing relationship.

A Social Media Marketing Resource

As a tool that facilitates conversations and relationship building, Pinterest represents an excellent social media marketing resource.

The best and most effective social media marketing is not about pitching and promoting. It’s about conversations and relationships.

Pinterest offers a new and unique opportunity of connecting and building relationships with others. But it attracts attention through visual images…not text.

These images link to other content on the Pinterest site. This content in turn, helps facilitate and continue the conversation.

And this is the challenge for those of us who provide professional services. Unlike tangible items, services do not readily lend themselves to images or visual representations that can be pinned on a Pinterest board.

The Creative Response

Like all challenges, a healthy dose of creativity is helpful.

For example…

…coaches and advisors could pin slides or even scanned handwritten messages that offer help for specific problems

…market researchers could pin some of the photographs they have taken as part of their work

…motivational speakers could pin short video clips offering helpful tips and suggestions

…nutritional consultants could pin images of healthy meals.

As with any application of creativity, the only limitations are those we lay on ourselves.

I am quite excited about the potential usefulness of Pinterest as a social media marketing tool. And yes, I will be setting up my own Pinterest boards.

But that will have to wait until next month. Today is only the second day of the month and my list of goals the month is already too long.

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