Ben Silbermann, Paul Sciarra, and Evan Sharp came up with the concept of Pinterest began in December 2009. They launched it in March 2010. If you were online then, you might remember that you had to be invited to join Pinterest.
A year later, there was an iPhone app for Pinterest and that dramatically increased the number of users. By December 2011, Pinterest hit the top 10 list for the largest social network services. By January 2012, it was sending more referral traffic than LinkedIn, YouTube, and Google+. It holds the record for being the fastest site to break through the 10 million unique visitor spot.
Pinterest is an online pin board and it is based on images that are sorted by categories. People love images and can add something that they like based on the image on that page or they can create their own pin using their own images.
If you want to use Pinterest (and it is highly recommended that you do – having a potential audience of at least 300 million+ monthly active users is pretty awesome – Pinterest statistics), here are the top tips for maximizing the benefits of Pinterest:
1. Use images on your pages
Make the images as appealing as possible and of course, make sure that you are not violating any copyrights. If you have appealing images with the proper permissions, other people can easily pin your page to their boards. On Pinterest you have three options: Add a Pin, Upload a Pin, and Create a Board. Many people just add a pin but they need both your web address and an image on the web page so they can pin your page to their board.
2. Add a link to the site you are promoting
If you want to add your own chosen image on your computer, choose the right topic for your new pin and add a note but also remember to add a link to the site you are promoting. It is possible and too easy to just add the image and comment. This might be pleasant for people to look at but it does not help you market your site.
3. Choose the right category
If you just guess at the category to use and you are wrong, you might not reach the right audience for your pins.
4. Allow others to post to your board
When you create a board, allow others to post to your board. The default is “Just Me”. You can change it to “Me + Contributors.” You have to follow at least one of your contributor’s boards but this lets you share the load with someone else you trust.
5. Find great images
Once again, be sure you are not violating copyright. The easiest way to find huge numbers of great images is by searching for “images creative commons” plus your topic. You can also search Google Images for creative commons images. Another super source for creative commons images is Flickr. And of course, you can also search for images that are public domain. Credit the source. It’s only polite.
6. Pin videos
Find them the same way that you find images or combine Pinterest with another great viral marketing tool – YouTube.
7. Link your pin to Facebook
But pin it to the Facebook Timeline because this makes it easier for Facebook users to find your pin which they can then repin.
8. Edit your Pinterest profile
The Edit profile button is in the middle of the page. Look below your picture. Also, while you are there, find the Facebook and Twitter settings and in the oval box, slide the red slider button to turn on these options. You might as well share your pins with everyone in the Facebook option.
9. Add a Follow Me
Add a Follow Me on Pinterest button to your website.
10. Sign up to Zoomsphere
Which lets you check on Pinterest pins and pinners as well as other social media sites. You sign up with your Facebook or Twitter account. This is an analytic source for details by date.
11. Avoid efforts to game the system on Pinterest
Pinterest users are quick to spot a scam and trying to trick people will not win friends or influence followers.
12. Be consistent
Be consistent and use the same logo, colors and catch phrases so that people will recognize your pins.
Find a consistent source of photos and images and have them on hand. Keep checking for new and interesting pictures. While there are free sites available or sites that offer free samples, you need to look deeper and find a source that is not being used by everyone.
You want to stand out from the crowd and yet have images that reflect your persona and your product and services. You also have to credit the sources unless you own the photos and images. The best places to find all the images you will ever need:
1. Take photos all the time and keep only the ones that are clear and crisp. You do not have to be a genius photographer but the photos should be bright and appealing.
2. Use Flickr’s Creative Commons feature. There are literally millions of good photos there on thousands, if not millions of topics. Most of these millions of photos can be used in return for acknowledging where you got the image.
3. Search for public domain photos.
Build up a folder full of photos and use them liberally on your blog or website. Pin them. Let other people pin them. In this busy world, one photo really is worth a thousand words.
On Pinterest, the most popular categories are Home, Arts and Crafts, Style and Fashion, Food and Inspiration/Education. Food is the most frequently repinned Style and Fashion
Some Final Bits of Pinterest Advice
• 80% of pins are repins;
• Etsy is the most popular source for pins;
• Your Amazon affiliate link will be replaced by Pinterest’s affiliate link;
• No matter how many pins you have on a board, only five will appear.