In case you didn't have enough on your plate, here comes another social
media site demanding your attention. Meet Pinterest.
Pinterest, an invite-only website, calls itself a virtual pinboard. The average person might use Pinterest to help plan their wedding or gather information about an upcoming trip. It relies heavily upon photos and videos, which are the most popular posts for business fan pages on Facebook.
Pinterest does not (yet) allow business or brand pages, however, the external links that are pinned to each user's page help connect users with similar interests and may help drive business to your website. By setting up a personal account, you can "pin" photos and links to your business' website. If other users follow suit and "re-pin" (re-post) those links, it potentially allows your brand to be spread throughout Pinterest. Like other social media sites, Pinterest just gives you another opportunity to gain exposure for your brand and interact with your customers.
You must understand your intended audience before you decide to request an invitation to Pinterest. The site is especially popular with women between the ages of 25 and 44, which comprise 59% of its readership. It caters to those searching for recipes, room décor, and do-it-yourself crafts. Pinterest's mission statement is: "Our goal is to connect everyone in the world through the 'things' they find interesting. We think that a favorite book, toy, or recipe can reveal a common link between two people. With millions of new pins added every week, Pinterest is connecting people all over the world based on shared tastes and interests."
You should also be courteous if you are using Pinterest. Like with many social media sites, the point is to connect with your potential customers, not "shout" hard sales at them. Pinterest, in fact, warns: "Pinterest is designed to curate and share things you love. If there is a photo or project you’re proud of, pin away! However, try not to use Pinterest purely as a tool for self-promotion."
So, for the right business, using Pinterest may be a new and interesting way to share content. If you aren't sure, start by asking your customers where they are spending their on-line social time. Then you will know where you should spend your time too.