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NEW!  Pinterest for Business:  How to Get Started

NEW! Pinterest for Business: How to Get Started

November 21, 2012
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Pinterest announced in November 2012 that it was open for business-to-business… 

I know you've heard of Pinterest; it’s not the third most popular social networking site.  This has to be the latest, greatest, most unique social media networking website to hit the Internet since Facebook.  If you don’t know, Pinterest works on the premise of sharing pictures rather than making posts or sharing other text-based content.  You can create a description of your picture and your picture can be a picture of words, but Pinterest revolves around the idea of "pinning" pictures to an online board, much in the way that someone would pin notices, information or things they like to a bulletin board.  Remember bulletin boards?

A lot of marketers and purists claimed that Pinterest would remain marketing-free, that it would be a by-the-people, of-the-people and for-the-people-type structure that wouldn't open up room for business marketing efforts.  However, that day has now come, and now businesses are invited to stop by, create an account and set up shop. 

All Aboard?
Pinterest announced in November 2012 that it was open for business-to-business.  It also released a more specific Terms of Service policy for business owners and marketers than it has for just regular folks.  Apparently the business community contributed a high volume of quality content, prompting Pinterest to embrace it as a part of their growing community…

In their statement they cited, "great ideas, content and inspiration" that came from retailers sharing information about products, grocery stores sharing recipes, and collections being made available by the Smithsonian.  Unfortunately, we can probably already predict that these stellar examples of effective usage in pinning interesting items to various boards will ultimately be the exception and not the rule.  TOS aside, you can bet your bottom dollar that businesses will be abusing this new opportunity before year's end  ?

Convert or Start Over
Those are your two options for establishing your business account.  If you already have a personal Pinterest account that you have been using to promote your business, you can either convert that personal account to a business account or just grab a brand new account and start over from scratch.

Business pages and personal pages will essentially look the same; they will just be governed under a different set of terms, so you don't need to completely start over in order to get the full effect of this new opportunity.  There are some definite advantages to converting your current account to the business model:

•    Bonuses that come from identifying yourself as a business - including educational/tutorial content to help you improve your experience.
•    This is just the beginning - Pinterest will continue to evolve its foray into business accounts and by converting early on, you will have access to it all.
•    Opportunity to grab new features (statistics? advertising?) and try new resources as they come available.
•    It's easy - if you are a business you should just do it.  So, do it.

How to Convert Your Account
Here is a simple step-by-step guide that will help you to easily convert your current personal Pinterest account into a business account.  The Pinterest website has an extensive FAQ and set-up tips guide that can help you if you have specific issues or problems.

Step One
Visit business.pinterest.com and choose "convert your existing account" from the options.

Step Two
Choose a business type and update your personal/business contact information.

Step Three
Fill in new section:  Profile Information.  Not required, but will help others find your page.

Step Four
Read the agreement in the Agreement section and agree to it if you agree with it.  Once you accept the terms just check the "convert account" check box and press the button to change.

How to Set Up a New Account
Another simple step-by-step guide; this time to help you create a brand new Pinterest account for business.  You can choose this method if you have never had a Pinterest account before or if you need to start all over again.

Step One
Visit business.pinterest.com and choose "join as a business" to get started.

Step Two
Fill in your profile information and add a profile image.

Step Three
Click to start your new account. Pinterest will walk you through the verification process, help you add links to your current website to increase interaction, and get access to tutorials and other tips.

Pinterest:  What Works
While you are at business.pinterest.com, it is worth your time and effort to visit a special section entitled, "What Works," and view the outline that will help you to create an effective presence for your readers.  It covers four specific sections including:

•    telling the story of your brand.
•    how to build a community.
•    sending traffic to your website.
•    analyze your presence to improve results.

The tips included in the "build a community" section will be most helpful, as there is a different and unique approach involved at Pinterest than at any other social media network.  If you can develop a solid community that follows your pins on a regular basis, you'll be able to start sending traffic to your website in no time.

The other sections are also very useful, particularly to those who are new to Pinterest.  This is a fantastic opportunity to tap into a growing resource and reach potential customers who otherwise might not have been exposed to what you have to offer.  Take advantage of all the buttons and widgets provided to help link your website to your Pinterest account and integrate them into the rest of your marketing campaign for the best results.

Be sure to monitor your time spent on these social networking sites – you must measure the ROI on your time, or the time of your staff, and determine if the expenditure and effort is justified by the return - just remember, the return is not necessarily increased revenue although that is a great measure, but may include improved brand recognition, increased traffic, customer interaction, community building for future viral efforts, list and data building and a myriad of other cumulative marketing assets.

You spend a lot of time and money finding and attracting customers and it’s a never ending process.  Even more important is keeping customers happy and returning.  One element of your successful site you must not forget is your payment options – if you are attracting customers to your site that cannot pay, you are losing money every day.  There is a cost associated with every surfer who lands on your site; make sure you offer a familiar comfortable method of payment for all of them.  Please write me with any questions about the best high-risk rates in the adult space, local global billing capability and secure confidence-inspiring customer marketing options.

Now get busy!


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