I will be the first to admit that working in a social media department sometimes feels like a workout. You’re responsible for liking and tweeting and connecting and sharing and friending and +ing and stumbling and running and running and running. Did I say running? By the time the day is over, it feels like you were moving a mile a minute and you need a break. Whether you work in a social media department or are simply a company trying to keep up with the social media, enough is enough.

What is Pinterest?

However, even I will make an exception for the latest social network, Pinterest. Once you get over the groaning, you will find that this new social network is actually quite interesting. Basically, the site is a virtual board where you can “pin” visuals that interest you. Be it an infographic, video, picture, or just a color scheme you like, you can pin it onto your board for everyone to see. Individuals can also “repin” things that they see on others boards onto their own board. A person can create as many boards as they wish and can flip from board to board quite easily. Finally, the site allows individuals to “like” a board or a pin and then mention it on one of their other social networks. Below is an example of a board someone created to help plan their wedding:

Now you can probably see where this is going in terms of branding. This social network is a wonderful way to help increase the visibility of your brand because it focuses on visuals. According to Jungle Minds Digital Consultancy, 87 percent of people who saw an infographic stopped to read the text as opposed to the 41 percent who read the text without the infographic. In other words, visuals are very important when it comes to branding. After all, why do you think so many companies always tweet logos?

5 Ways You Can Use Pinterest to Build Your Brand

1. Social Media – They don’t call it a social network or social media marketing for nothing. This is of course the most obvious way you can use Pinterest for branding purposes. Think of it like Facebook except with a lot of images as opposed to a lot of words. You still want to create your own board, visit other boards, and promote your board in any way you can. Make sure you pin quality information much like you would publish quality content, and then begin connecting with other companies as well as individuals.
2. SEO – Every photo on Pinterest allows a link back to where the image was originally published; thus helping your SEO efforts. If you have links coming back to your website on several different Pinterest boards those will count as inbound links. This will help improve your SEO and give users an outlet to find where the picture originated. You can also improve your SEO by focusing on your own business board. Make sure you use keywords that make it easy for others to find you.
3. Niche Specific/Target Audience – One of the first things you learn when learning how to start a business is the importance of your audience. People generally have a common theme with each board they create. That means if they are creating a board for an event, such as a birthday party, they will likely be looking for things that surround that event. If you work in an industry that targets that event and you see that one of your photos has been pinned, you will have that individual along with everyone who has interacted with that individual interested in your product. These are people that are interested in purchasing, so this is a great way to find your target audience and get your brand seen by those who are really serious.
4. Extra Perk – You can think of Pinterest as an extra perk in your marketing department because it does not take much time to manage. It’s crucial that a company is constantly updating their Facebook page and tweeting information, but it isn’t like that with Pinterest. Past customers and clients who are using the site will be noticed that you have joined, and they will take care of the “re-pinning” and sharing. You should check back occasionally, but it’s certainly the easiest network to manage. After all, it’s much easier to pin up a picture than write an entire article.
5. Popularity – The site is quickly becoming popular, and this is something that will improve the branding of your company. According to Site Analytics, the site has approximately 7.2 million unique visitors. In fact, there is a waiting list to just join! You must go to the site and be invited before you can participate.
I think that once your business really begins playing around with Pinterest you will find the benefits on your own. It is a lot of fun to use, so I expect its user based to grow in the coming years. This social network isn’t like the rest, so you won’t feel like it’s just another thing to add to your plate. It’s laid back and quick and easy to use, so when you need a break from your mile-a-minute social networking, you can jumpt over to Pinterest.
About the author: Amanda DiSilvestro is a writer on topics ranging from social media to small business loans. She writes for an online resource that gives advice on topics including document software to small businesses and entrepreneurs for the leading business search directory, Business.com.