According to Kathy Macomber, a business development specialist with University of Missouri Extension, Pinterest now ranks as the third most popular social media site behind Facebook and Twitter.
“Pinterest is a free social media site and, when used correctly, it can complement other marketing strategies that most any business or organizations has in place,” said Macomber.
The site acts like a visual bulletin board where users “pin” an image or video to their “board.” The boards are visible to other Pinterest users who can comment and re-pin the image to their own boards. All pins and repins link back to the original source.
“As a business owner, your goal is the re-pin, the viral component of Pinterest,” said Macomber.
For example, a restaurant owner might use photographs of signature dishes and a clothing boutique could use photos of a fully accessorized outfit. Users who want to remember the image and site will re-pin it to their boards.
“Because all the pins backlink to the source, using Pinterest can increase your search ranking with Google and other search engines as these back links drive traffic to your website. It may also increase the potential customers visiting your bricks and mortar location,” said Macomber.
One key to success, according to Macomber, is to remember that Pinterest is highly visual.
“If you upload your own pin, be sure to list your website in the description. You can also add a ‘pin it’ button to your website to make it easy for Pinterest fans to add your image to their board,” said Macomber.
Information and tools are available at http://about.pinterest.com/basics/.
“Any business what wants to grow needs to consider adding this social media tool to their marketing toolbox to increase exposure to potential customers,” said Macomber.
For more information or assistance related to a current or future business, contact one of the MU Extension business specialists in the Ozarks: Chrystal Irons at (417) 546-4431, Kathy Macomber at (417) 682-3579 or Willis Mushrush at (417) 256-2391. There are also three Small Business and Technology Development Centers in southwest Missouri: Missouri State University in Springfield at (417) 836-5685, Missouri Southern University in Joplin at (417) 625-3128 or Missouri State University in West Plains at West Plains, (417) 256-9724.