This is the last post I will write about Pinterest...this month. By now you're probably tired of hearing about Pinterest. Since its rise in popularity every news outlet and internet marketing blog has tried to pinpoint how businesses large and small can take advantage of the U.S.'s third most popular social network. Funny enough when I first discovered Pinterest I swore I would keep it sacred and not blog about its advantages for internet marketing and yet here I am on post number four. Instead of talking about how you can use Pinterest for SEO, or resurrect old content with Pinterest, I thought I would talk about how small businesses can use Pinterest to help tell their story, share their personality, and ultimately create another social engagement channel.

Getting Started

Create a strong profile. As with any profile you setup for your business be sure to fill out everything to the fullest.

  • Add keyword-rich, descriptive text to your about section
  • Include your location
  • Include your website address
  • Connect Facebook and Twitter

The more complete your profile the more interesting it will be to Pinterest users and the more opportunities you create for users to engage with you and your small business online. As an added bonus it will also help with the search engine placement of your Pinterest profile.

Create meaningful and relevant boards.

Boards are where your individual pins are housed. When creating boards be sure to use meaningful titles, select appropriate categories and build boards relevant to your business and its products or services. Create topical boards that help tell your story or are themed to your business.

Pizza Ranch Restaurant in Orange City, Iowa does an outstanding job with this by not only featuring menu items and information about their business, but by including Western themed boards covering everything from decor, to clothing and even party ideas.

Pizza Ranch Restaurant on Pinterest

Some Niche Specific Pinterest Board Ideas

Plumbing: Create boards displaying attractive bathroom or kitchen designs, unique or designer faucets and fixtures, water saving tips, or DIY plumbing information. Keep the Books Worth Reading board and feature reputable books on DIY plumbing

Landscaping: Create boards showcasing different landscaping designs, feature images of your completed work, gardening tips. Keep the Books Worth Reading board and feature reputable books on any of the subjects mentioned above.

Real Estate: Create boards of local properties, historic properties, famous properties and the like. Create a board with home staging ideas or with buyer and seller tips

Regardless of your business type think about how you can showcase what you do and what you're about. Also consider related subject matter or interests that may appeal to your customer base. In addition to creating new boards, be sure to clear out any irrelevant boards that come with Pinterest by default.

Getting Local

As a small business the local relevance is going to also play an important factor. As you build up boards for your business consider a local board as well. Raven Tools, an internet marketing tool company out of Nashville, TN does a great job with this by featuring local interest points as well as some of their favorite local hangouts.

Raven Tools Nashville Pinterest Board Additionally you can repin and follow other boards related to your local region to show support of other local users and showcase information about the city you're located in.

Once you've established your account, built your boards and started pinning you can also start following users in your community. A simple search of the city you're located in can provide you with people as well as boards about or in your community. Connecting with local users is a great way to increase local brand awareness and connect with potential customers.

Getting Involved

No matter what you do with Pinterest it's going to require some additional time and effort on your part. As with anything in social media don't make it all about your and your business. Interact with other Pinterest users; comment, repin, and follow. The more real you are the more likely users will interact with you. Most of all be sure to pin content that is actually compelling. Remember how I mentioned in the beginning of this post how I didn't want to spread the word about Pinterest because it was sacred? Don't taint Pinterest with meaningless imagery and spam. Curate imagery from the people you follow and from things you find in your day to day online activities.

Once you've gotten the hang of Pinterest you may also want to add the 'Follow Me on Pinterest' and 'Pin It' buttons to your website or blog to increase your presence on this fast growing social network.

If you're a small business already using Pinterest I'd love to hear more about your strategies and what has worked for you in the comments. While you're at it, why not also follow me on Pinterest. If you're looking for additional inspiration and ideas on how you can be using Pinterest I have included some stellar resources below that I have found very useful during my time on Pinterest.

Additional Pinterest Resources

  • 7 How To's I Learned About Pinterest
  • 21 Unexpected Ways Brands Can Use Pinterest
  • Fast Facts About Pinterest: What Your Business Needs To Know
  • Mashable's Pinterest Content Archive