By Marion Rhodes
In the world of social media, Pinterest is an oddball. It’s not really a networking tool, not a communication platform, not a photo album. Rather, it’s a collection of… well, everything. Recipes, home improvement ideas, style advice, you name it, you’ll find it on Pinterest. It’s a virtual bulletin board where people can literally save anything they are interested in, share it with the public and follow others who have similar interests. Pin a website, pin a photo, pin your location. It’s all there for your future reference, neatly organized in “boards” according to your preferences.
I’ve been pinning since the early days of Pinterest, when you had to be invited by another pinner. For years, my Pinterest profile was a collection of random things I liked as I browsed the web. At night, I would scroll through Pinterest’s DIY section and pin ideas for future projects. It was a fun waste of time.
But with 25 million users according to Business Insider, Pinterest is much more than that. The platform has developed into a powerful marketing tool.
And so, a few weeks ago, it dawned on me that my Pinterest profile could be so much more than just a collage of pretty pictures and innovative ideas. I realized that if I could pin random things I came across, I could just as well pin with a purpose – a business purpose!
Less than a half hour later, I had created several new boards on my Pinterest wall: one for my translation business Integrated MarCom Translations, one for translation in general, one for social media marketing, one for integrated marketing communications, one for blog posts I like, and one for my own blog posts. I’d also renamed many of my old boards to create a more cohesive Pinterest presence over all – recipe boards were labeled “Crock Pot for a Busy Life” and “Dinner Inspiration for the Working Mom,” DIY ideas were pinned under “Free Time Projects,” fitness and weight loss advice became “Healthy Lifestyle.”
With my new boards in place, I was able to start saving work-related and work-life-balance information without taking up valuable space on my computer’s hard drive. Now, whenever I read a blog post that has valuable information I may want to remember, I pin it. When I see a good infographic on social media, I pin it. When I see an announcement for an upcoming translation webinar, I pin it. At the same time, I use Pinterest as my own marketing tool by pinning my own blog posts so that others may read and share them. My Pinterest profile has grown up to reflect not just who I am outside of work, but also the business professional that I am.
Since Pinterest profiles are visible to the public, the idea was to give visitors a summary of me: a working mom with a translation business focused on marketing, social media and communication, who also has a life outside of her job. This is what makes Pinterest unique: People expect to “get to know” a person on Pinterest through the things they pin. Pinterest is a place to show your personality.
But what if your personality includes certain aspects you’d rather not share with the world, such as your interest in Mickey Mouse lingerie? Well, Pinterest has a solution for that, too: secret boards. These boards are only visible to you, and the pins you add will not be shared with your followers or the public. So now that you know all about the untapped potential of Pinterest, why don’t you go and create your own virtual pin board? I suggest you start by pinning this very blog post. 🙂