Pinterest just became more business-friendly by allowing businesses to create their own accounts. Until now, this online pinboard of pictures has been for individual accounts only. The social media service now include business tools like Follow and Pin It buttons, and Pinterest widgets. This makes Pinterest an increasingly viable social media marketing tool for businesses of many different types.
What makes Pinterest interesting is how the images are organized. People love pictures, and love extracting meaning from them. Pinterest gives you the ability to organize pictures on virtual pin boards in ways that are meaningful. So instead of digging through a bin of random images, Pinterest visitors enjoy the title of the pin board, the commonalities among the pictures on the board, and the picture captions. This amuses and educates Pinterest visitors. If they are inspired, they might “like” it, re-pin it, or make a comment. Like many major social media systems, Pinterest can automatically share content across other social media such as Facebook and Twitter.
Pinterest is a great place for attraction-based marketing, and a bad place for hard selling. In the same way that flowers produce nectar to attract bees, companies create attractive Pinterest boards to attract people interested in visuals associated with the company, market or industry. It is useful for visually-oriented businesses (stores, artisans, artists, designers, dance studios, photographers, jewelers, crafters) and other types of businesses. For example, inspiring quotes, funny cartoons, history, and new ideas all have images associated with them that could be used on Pinterest.
If a company is already using Pinterest with a personal account, the account can be converted to a company account, or the company can start anew. The new features include a verification process to connects the company website to the Pinterest account, which prevents imitators.
To help businesses use Pinterest effectively, Pinterest has launched a new site called “Pinterest for Business” (business.pinterest.com). It is filled with case studies, guidelines for brands and best practices.
Just how far Pinterest will go for business remains to be seen, but here is one indicator: The company was valued at $1.5 billion in 2012.