Seemingly overnight (literally a few years in) Pinterest is now the second largest social media network in the world.  With Pinterest ‘pins’ and buttons popping up all over the place, a lot of people have asked me what are the best practices they can follow to maximize their influence on Pinterest....  For me, there are 3 fundamental ways companies can attract more clients.  
  1. A visual game
Pinterest is a place that uses visual content to attract people’s attention. The quality of the photos or video could show the difference between professional companies and a personal post.  Nice photos or video are easily repinned, liked, and followed. Just take a look at what Mark Zuckerberg (Facebook’s CEO) pins for a good example of catchy, quality pics.
  2.   It’s not a walled-garden, so let’s go viral 

Social media’s element is networking.  Social media should be all linked together and speak the same language for a brand.  Therefore, the corporate Pinterest account could be and should be linked to company’s Twitter and Facebook accounts. Companies can also provide links to their websites or blogs at the title and description of the pins.  If all those channels are linked, companies will ultimately increase the traffic either directly or referred by other channels consistently and virally.

Companies also need to discover related content or useful for your business, and re-pin, like and follow the them.  It is also a great idea to create a board invite multi-followers or customers to participate the editing and posting with your business. Companies can increase engagement and interaction with the fans and customers that way.  

  3.  Clear categories and searchable titles 

Creating clear categorized boards and giving them searchable titles is essential, because Pinterest search feature is really functional, unlike Twitter.  People can search “boards”, “people” and “pins” by the keywords.   If you have searchable titles, people will discover your content easily.  Add relative content to the relevant board. Don’t put pins into wrong categories; otherwise people will never find the right content and be turned off to your brand. 

Pinterst is a great new channel for business, but a lot of brand companies like Nike, LVMH, Banana Republic haven’t use the full features yet. But I think it will be a potential huge social media channel for certain companies. Although Pinterest daily has 1.36 mm users, your company needs to find out who are the customers you should target.  Data shows the food, craft, beauty and fashion are the most popular themes on the Pinterest that people will interact with frequently – not surprisingly given that 68.2% of Pinterest users are women.  We need to go case by case, industry by industry, to continue testing and experimenting to gain the best practices for different industries on Pinterest.  
* This is also a guest post to International Business Lesson
 
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I am a 10-day old user of Pinterest, I have already become addicted to it, and spend almost two hours a day on it.  Here are major reasons.

1.   Interest-Based Social Network

Interests based networking is huge and unlimited.  It can bring two people without any conversation or any geographic boundary to follow each other and go viral of individual people’s social media networks.  I commented on a Herb Scissors:. there are over 100 people’s comments after that for two days, and I got hundreds of e-mail notices of who is commenting about this product. No wonder Pinterest’s growth is unbelievably rapid. 

2.   Discovery Over Search

There is a moment, you don’t have any inspirations, Google won’t tell you what you should look for.  Go to Pinterest, follow some interesting people and their boards, you will discover a lot of fresh things you couldn’t even think of.  

3.  Potential Platform for E-commerce

Pinterest lets you easily put a dollar sign and price lable on your product. People differentiate them easily with other pictures.  In the eCommerce era, it is such a great idea to put a product on Pinterest and let it snow ball, circulating it to more and more people. I also use it for fund raising for the NGO I am working on – Global Press Institute.

4.  Interaction with Friends
This could be really huge market for Pinterest.  It increases the engagement within your networks, establish a community to interact with the people who are in your pinterest networks.  It also could be another channel to be developed to handle CRM.  Also it provides a platform to share content, you don’t have to send a huge size of picture via e-mail to your friends and coworkers, just post it on Pinterest.

The only complaints are one limited invitation, sometime you tweeted about your product, but some people might not have a Pinterest account, therefore, they can not see it.  The other is some of the website doesn’t show pictures, I think it should be a way to do some coding to interpret the language of the pictures.  Otherwise I love it.  No wonder the pinterest is so hot now, every social media or high-tech site is talking about this hot potato.