5 Ways to Use Pinterest for Your Business

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medium_6880406512So far, many entrepreneurs have come to realize and appreciate the importance of social media marketing. Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn get lots of the press, but platforms like Pinterest have their unique features and advantages as well. And the response to Pinterest has been great: millions of users use the boards to pin unique aspects about their businesses, much to the happiness of the online audience.

As such, Pinterest is garnering a reputation as one of the best and effective marketing tools for an entrepreneur. However, there’s more to Pinterest than just marketing your product offerings. As a research tool, you can use Pinterest to gain very valuable information [tweet this]; about your business, competition, and the marketing strategies you utilize.

Here then, are ways you can maximize Pinterest for not only marketing purposes, but for research as well.

Watch the competition

Competition will always be there, and instead of ignoring it, why not keep an eye out for what your competitors are doing? With Pinterest’s secret boards, you can group your competition by category and keep tabs on the products they launch, the topics they post on their blogs, the news they announce, and so on. Because the boards are secret, only you know what is contained, and the information you gather regarding your competition helps you structure your marketing campaigns to take advantage of what the competition doesn’t say, do, or offer.

Perform market research

Before you undertake any marketing campaign, you have to undertake market research first. With Pinterest, you can gather all the valuable market research in one place without anybody else knowing. Pinterest’s user friendly and visually appealing nature makes it easy to compile all the relevant data (videos, blogs, infographics, and much more) related to your target market.

Understanding potential customers

Where market research is geared towards understanding the target market as a whole, understanding potential customers narrows it down to specific companies and individuals. Through Pinterest’s boards, you can gather as much information on a particular client, and plan an effective strategy to get them to invest in your company, or work with you towards a purpose. You can use different categories to group the clients, so that for every group (say, those that like video demos over blog content), you can plan a strategy to bring them in.

Collaboration for better business

In business, you will definitely not have all the answers. Sometimes, you need the help of others to figure out how to solve problems, or for brainstorming purposes. For such reasons, you need a platform that will be easy to access, work with, and keep all data private. Pinterest makes this possible with its ability to create private group boards that you and other team members can use for your collaborative purposes.

Don’t forget names!

One very important aspect of business is networking. You interact with different people, some whom you might need in future to grow your business. However, with all the work involved in running the business, forgetting names and faces is bound to happen. By using Pinterest boards, pin photos of people you’ve interacted with, together with their names, profiles, likes, hobbies, and such. This board will come in handy when you need to brush up on a client’s personal information before going out to meet them.

There you have it, five ways which Pinterest can work to increase your business research efforts. Share them with others, and let us know other ways you think Pinterest may be helpful!

photo credit: Lamidea per casa tua! via photopin cc

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Maria Elena Duron
Maria Elena Duron, is Editor-in-Chief of the Personal Branding Blog, CEO (chief engagement officer) of buzz2bucks– a word of mouth marketing firm, and a professional speaker and trainer on developing social networks that work. She provides workshops, webinars, seminars and direct services that help create conversation, connection, credibility, community and commerce around your brand. Maria Duron is founder and moderator of #brandchat - a weekly Twitter chat focused on every aspect of branding that is recognized by Mashable as one the 15 Essential Twitter Chats for Social Media Marketers.
Maria Elena Duron

@mariaduron

Founder,#brandchat |Chief Editor,Personal Branding Blog| Coach, Appreciation at Work & GetClientsNow! |ALE @ConstantContact |Moderator @MarketingLand | Rotarian
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Maria Elena Duron
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  1. I've always struggled with Pinterest for my business because I have a very non-sexy product – Merchant Services (credit card processing for business). What do you suggest for us non-sexy non-product (or equipment that couldn't be less interesting to most)? Are there things that just don't do well on Pinterest?

  2. Maria Elena Duron says:

    Hello Lynda,
    Thanks for taking the time to read and to ask questions, Lynda! If a story can be told about the product, then the story can be told in pictures. Pinterest is perfect for "picture" (instead of words) stories.
    For example, with your business – your pictures could be a series of photos showing how to: (in fact, each of these could be a Pinterest board) –
    1. Change paper
    2. Read your monthly summary
    3. A step-by-step photo of how to batch your payments
    4. Industries benefiting from your service
    5. Places that your business has taken you (the geography of where your customers are showcasing the different towns).
    6. Awards you've received
    7. Faces of your customers
    8. Best Business Tip Videos ( you don't have to create the videos- you can repin or pin videos from the SBA (Small Business Administration), SBDC (Small Business Development Center) and other organizations that create business helpful tip videos)
    9. Different terminals and the best benefits of each (shown in pictures)
    10. Mobile Solutions
    I hope that jump starts your Pinterest account!

  3. Hi Maria. Great article! One more tip is using hashtags to categorize your pins, as well as to make your pins more searchable. For instance, a homemade craft business pinned about DIY ideas. Their niche market includes pet lovers and DIYers. They included the hashtags #animallovers and #diypetprojects to better be found by this audience. This one pin has gotten over 141 repins, and 15 likes. Check out this article from my colleague Krista, which includes more tips for Pinterest SEO: http://blog.wishpond.com/post/55782776914/pintere
    My recent post 15 Email Automation Stats that Might Surprise You

  4. Maria- Excellent article! We included it in our monthly resource roundup http://www.northcutt.com/blog/2013/12/november-re

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