Pinterest for Business Part 1 of a 2 Part Series.

Pinterest is hot! But before we even get to that point I know you’re thinking, “I’m on Facebook, Twitter and Google+.  Social media already overwhelms me…do I need to be on Pinterest too?”  Yes, here’s why: Pinterest is referring more web traffic to websites than some of the other platforms combined!

Pinterest is a virtual pinboard. Pinterest allows you to organize and share all the beautiful things you find on the web. You can browse pinboards created by other people to discover new things and get inspiration from people who share your interests.

Pinterest is gaining enormous traction in just the last couple months. Unique visitors to the site grew 400% from September to December 2011 and it’s quickly becoming a favorite tool, especially among the design and retail communities.

With that said, we’ve found ways to use Pinterest to grow your business and build your brand all while adhering to Pinterest’s etiquette.

Quite simply, if you are doing work you would love to share, pin it; if your work is inspired by someone or something, pin it; if there is something you personally like, pin it. But let me break this down a little more to make sure you are fully leveraging Pinterest.

How to humanize your brand and why it’s so important

People like to do business with other people they know, like and trust.  Creating boards that show who you are is compelling.  It offers a personal side to your business.  If you are already using personal branding for your business, use Pinterest to take it to the next level. Use boards to showcase your lifestyle – maybe a “Your Style,” “Offices I’d Love to Have,” “Best Books List” or “Dream Vacations.”  These boards help show who you are and give your followers a chance to connect on a personal level with you.

The tip to network with out being pushy and self promotional

Just like any social network, Pinterest is meant to be social.  Social media gives you a unique opportunity to get in front of people you might not reach otherwise. You can connect, comment, like and re-pin just as you do on Facebook and Twitter. As you start doing this, you are putting yourself and your business in front of more people.  The best way to comment is to be genuine and never self promote in someone else’s thread.

What it means to curate content and how to create boards for your target

Curating content means creating boards around a particular idea, category or theme.  This becomes even more of an opportunity when you are 100% clear on your target customer. If you know who your target customer is and what they find entertaining, educational and empowering start creating boards that sit in the sweet spot of what they want and what you are an expert on.  This helps position you as an expert on that content.

Exactly how to optimize your post for more web traffic

Just last month one study showed that Pinterest drives more visitors to third-party websites than Google+, YouTube and LinkedIn combined and in many cases Pinterest is driving more web traffic than Twitter. Each pin is a permalink taking people directly to the website where it is from.  When you post, be sure the link takes them back to your website where there are opt-in forms or take them to a page where they could purchase, see more items, pin more items or opt in to hear more from you.

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