We usually recommend Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn for all of our clients. We also suggest special networks like forums within the client’s field or lively blog communities — rarely do we have more than one client in any of those.
We’re increasingly recommending the two newest bright lights in social media: Google+ and Pinterest. Basically, we suggest Pinterest for everyone who has a photogenic business and G+ for everyone who’s willing to put in some time.
Pinterest has obvious benefits for those who have a physical product. Great pictures of your stuff get pinned and repinned, and they carry your link with them. People click through to your site and buy things. If they like your stuff, they follow your Pinterest boards, and then you’ve essentially got an invitation to announce all your new products to them.
What if you have a service, though? Or something that might not pin well, like batteries? Then you can pin images that bring people back to your website for lead generation purposes, interspersed with cool stuff you’ve found elsewhere. For example, a caterer could pin pictures from catering jobs and photos of recipes — and also images of interesting table settings or bridal flowers from noncompeting websites.
“Think of it as a bulletin board,” said Rosie. “You save your ideas there for the future, and share them with other people.”
“Why would I share the ideas I find instead of keeping them for myself?” our client asked cannily.
We pointed out that the ideas aren’t private now, really. They were already on the web, or out in the world where our client photographed them. On Pinterest, they’d be in a curated board so our client would, in a way, get credit for them.
“That way, you get to be the useful, helpful, knowledgeable person,” I explained. “People follow your board, and some of the things you pin are links back to your website.”
Then, I continued, other people repin your pins on their own boards, drawing new people from their own circles to see your boards and eventually your website. At this point, many people are also posting their Pinterest boards and pins to Facebook and Twitter, increasing your potential reach exponentially. What’s not to like?
Those really new ideas that you came up with yourself? Your special tricks of the trade? You don’t have to share.