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Leverage Pinterest to Grow Your Small Business

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Pin products for tons of brand benefits

What combines the immense success of scrolling media with the ability to share and like pics? Well, lately, the answer is lots of things, but few do it in such an easy and efficient way as Pinterest. Modeled after an old-fashioned push-pin board, which was a traditional method of keeping notes and general paper keepsakes organized and on display, this app allows your consumers to create their own digital troves of ideas, cat pics and inspirational messages. What sets this apart from, say, Instagram or Tumblr? That's easy - it's almost 100 percent visual, and it allows for so much more customization.

Look at it this way: Human beings are constantly categorizing things, and that's been one of the major draws of Pinterest since its inception. When you think of foods that are eaten during breakfast, for instance, you probably aren't going to imagine sinking your teeth into a nice fish filet. Why? Because that's dinner food. If you've named a board "Favorite Shirts," you probably won't put shoes there, and so on. Basically, you are in the driver's seat, constructing digital push-pin boards that other people can view and subsequently re-pin to their hearts' content. 

To that end, if you're trying to grow your small business, Pinterest works. It's a marketing tool and a catalog all in one, and all it takes to make this social media phenomenon one of your best assets is a little creativity. Consider the following: 

It's a visual medium, so approach it that way

As was noted above, you can basically create your own viral content - if you know what you're doing. No matter what you're selling, if Pinterest is going to be one of the staples of your marketing strategy, make the content highly visual. Do you sell market research? That's fine, although instead of a picture of one of your cover pages, try using something that draws the consumer in, like a major factoid with an accompanying graphic. Businesses that sell physical products might have an easier time coming up with appropriate images, but even they should be exercising creativity in their approach. 

Organize everything for easy access

Once you've come up with an appropriate Pinterest-based strategy, build boards that consumers can navigate easily. Biz Journals noted that Martha Stewart Living has more than 13,000 pins spread out across 126 boards. Without that level of organization, just imagine how painful it would be to find how-to guides in a sea of decadent food photography. Even though this example revolves around a very large corporation, your small business will ultimately benefit from having recognizable categories.  

Have a little fun

This is another social media outlet that flops if you're too rigid. Customers who track you down on Pinterest are typically already part of this creative crowd. As such, they'll appreciate your branding attempts that much more if you add some personality. Take this opportunity to show your consumers what your business thinks about popular Internet memes. However, be ever mindful of the risks you run every time you move away from a stoic, corporate mindset and into more creative territory. Always ask yourself if you'll possibly offend anyone with that image of a sad teddy bear, and if the scales tip even slightly more to the "yes" side, abort the pin and try something else. It's for your own good.

Pinterest offers your small business a major opportunity to advance ideas and move into a younger market. All it really takes is the drive to make it happen, the ability to think outside the box and the motivation to see a project through.

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