Pinterest is one of the fastest growing social networking websites on the Internet. The usage statistics are impressive; the average Pinterest user spends almost 16 minutes on the site each time they visit, compared to an average of just over 12 minutes per Facebook visit by a Facebook user. Pinterest also provides a valuable demographic from a business or marketing perspective; approximately 70% of Pinterest users are female, and half of the Pinterest user base has children.
There’s a good chance that these Pinterest users are just the type of people you’re interested in adding to your network, regardless of whether you’re focusing on personal networking or professional networking. So how can use Pinterest to supercharge your own social network?
Sign Up For an Account
First, you need to set up a Pinterest account for yourself. Pinterest is still controlling the pace of its expansion, so you’ll need to request an invitation on the Pinterest website before you can sign up for your account. Alternatively, if you have any friends who are already Pinterest members you can ask them to send you an invite so you can sign up right away.
Keep Your Business Pins Separate
You might decide that you want to directly promote your business or do some professional networking on Pinterest, as well as building up your personal networks. Resist the temptation to use a single account for both types of networking. Sign up for a separate account, or at a minimum create separate business and personal boards, and make it clear which one you’re using when you pin an item.
Make Your Blog or Website Ready for Pinning
Pinterest is becoming the ultimate visual website. If you can get people pinning pictures from your website onto Pinterest, you might be able to significantly increase the traffic to your website. Include “Pin This” buttons throughout your website, and make sure the pictures on your website are high quality and visually pleasing.
Not every one of your interests will be suitable for using Pinterest. Pay attention to the types of pictures and the topics that are most popular. Don’t expect to make a lot of connections by posting pictures relating to topics that few people seem to be interested in.
The point of social networking is to be social. Make sure to follow the boards and individuals that interest you, and to comment on their pins when it’s appropriate.
Don’t be afraid to be yourself when you’re pinning, repining and commenting on other people’s pins. Let your personality come through, and show other people why they might want to follow your boards.
Don’t forget that Pinterest, like any other social network, has its own customs and standards of behavior. As you start using Pinterest, watch how the more experienced members act.
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