Guest Post: Pinterest – Shiny New Object or Indispensable Direct Selling Channel? [Maria Duron]

By Maria Duron, Director of Client Communities, Momentum Factor

New social network Pinterest is on fire. Should you adopt it as part of your company’s social media presence?

Pinterest is the latest addition to the social media network and is becoming more popular with individuals as well as businesses because of its eye-appealing nature. Retailers have touted the strength of the network in driving traffic to their websites and profit into their pockets.

Different from Facebook, the “big dog” of the social networks, Pinterest develops a social network through interests and ideas first rather than through people, it builds connections between interests and shares it with others.

With Pinterest, you can follow others, and others can follow you, somewhat similar to Twitter, allowing you to create a more expansive circle in which you converse and share. But unlike other social media, it focuses primarily on visual appeal, pins of videos and pictures being the primary eye catcher. It’s the shared interests that create the common frame of reference between “pinners”.

Is Pinterest ready to be the newest addition to a direct seller’s social toolbox? What can a virtual pin board do for you and your company?

  1. Educate. You can show off your business in a pinteresting way. You can even use it to tell the stories or history of your business, or demonstrate your company’s “personality” by creating boards for the types of products you sell, sale items, or items you’re featuring or promoting for the week. You can also create boards to highlight tips, tricks and factoids. Pinterest does provide a great forum to educate people, because at it’s core, users are interacting based on common interests and visual appeal, rather than social circles.
  2. Edify.  Following readers in your organization, industry or the company, gives you a chance to “pin” videos that they’ve appeared in, blogs they’ve written, meetings they’ve conducted or attended. It’s a chance for you to edify your field in a way that feels like third party validation. It’s easy, visual and quick for someone to sample your character, connections and competence.
  3. Interconnect. Cross-promoting through Facebook and Twitter is one of the best things about Pinterest. This boosts your Pinterest presence by putting already established networks to work. Make sure you link both Facebook and Twitter to your account to take full advantage.
  4. Duplicate.  Copying and sharing information or re-pinning what someone else has pinned, make it easy to duplicate what your upline or organizational leaders are doing.
  5. Get pinning. Pinterest has a section dubbed “Pin Etiquette,” so be sure to review it before you start pinning just any image. If you utilize the work, art, or photography, be sure to give the artist or source credit. It’s often best to utilize your own work, or purchase from licensed sites to avoid any problems. There was some recent press about other networks (like Flickr) not taking to kindly to copyright infringement.
  6. Once Pinterest opens its doors to everyone, be prepared for offers and specials to entice people interested in your product and service. Currently, Pinterest is still basically available by invite only (go to the website and request an invite). Before setting up, spend some time preparing to make your business’ debut, and come out in style.
Update: New studies say Pinterest drives more referral traffic than Twitter … and maybe even more than Google Plus, LinkedIn and YouTube combined. You shouldn’t ignore this major new player.
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