What did you discover last time you visited Pinterest, one of the fastest-growing social networks on the web? Recipes? Home decor ideas? Inspirational quotes?
How about consumer research infographics? Photoshop cheat sheets? Curriculum for teachers?
Since Pinterest exploded out of beta version in 2011, it has become the third largest social network on the web, reaching a wider audience with broader content areas. The site has changed from a platform for showing off recipes and home improvement projects to an image-driven, inspiration community full of tricks, tips and great ideas you can take to work.
Not Your Grandma’s Social Media
Today’s Pinterest is more than just recipes for the Ultimate Carrot Cake and guides to DIY a distressed dresser. I visit Pinterest regularly for professional resources like graphic design shortcuts, leadership quotes, and marketing research. Pinterest boasts some of the best templates I’ve come across for brochures, websites, and even resumes.
Pinterest is a great first stop when you’re looking for inspiration for your next project or post, but finding the right content takes a little savvy searching. You can search for content, remembering that tags and titles are user-generated, so it may take a few tries to find the right keywords.
Most boards (which function as folders) and pins (which are really graphic links to other websites) are organized by categories. Try searching through the “design” and “technology” categories for a live stream of creative and informative content.
Finding Your Audience
Sure, Pinterest is a goldmine of professional resources if you know how to navigate the site, but what if you’re the one with content to share? Pinterest has an easy bookmarklet tool that makes it simple to upload content. All you need is a photo or other image as an anchor for link.
Pin self-produced content, such as photographs, infographics, and publications. Include attention-getting photos in your website content, and you can pin those photos to drive traffic to your site. Check out the site’s resources for business to get started.
Brands across all industries – technology, consulting, cosmetics, even automotive – are using Pinterest to post eye-catching, shareable content, knowing that 70% of brand engagement is driven by users. That means when a user likes your content, he shares it with his friends. Those users in turn click through pinned images that send them back to the original pinner’s website.
Referral traffic like this is pure gold for people looking to attract a larger audience to their websites. Pinterest refers twice as much website traffic as social media giants YouTube, Google+ and LinkedIn combined. With 1.36 million daily visitors, it’s certainly a community that deserves a second look.