Pinterest: What’s the role for businesses?


This screen shot taken Friday, Feb. 24, 2012, shows a page of women's products from Pinterest.com. A virtual pinboard or scrapbook, the site allows users to collect and organize favorite images and ideas. (AP/AP)
March 11, 2012

On Small Business has a new feature in which young entrepreneurs will answer common questions about small business owners’ social media needs. The following answers are provided by the Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC), an invite-only nonprofit organization comprised of young entrepreneurs.

Q: Is your business active on Pinterest? Why or why not?

Dave Kerpen, CEO of Likeable Media in New York:

“Likeable is active on Pinterest; we pin images related to the social media industry, our core values and the cities our company is in. Pinterest is valuable to Likeable because it gives us the ability to showcase our company culture and what we do. It’s great for our clients because Pinterest users are actively looking for great visual, which means that there’s an opportunity to be discovered by consumers interested in the brand.

“Although Pinterest is a valuable tool for many different types of brands, because of its demographics, it is most useful to brands that offer a tangible product for women. One of our clients, Ritani, is a jewelry company that specializes in engagement rings, so the brand pins its products along with wedding-related content. So even if a Pinterest user is looking at cakes instead of wedding rings, Ritani can still drive traffic toward its boards.”

Alexandra Levit, president and founder of Inspiration at Work in Chicago:

“As I understand it, Pinterest is most helpful for businesses that are in the food, crafts, and decorating businesses. My business helps people find meaningful work and connects organizations with top talent. Right now, this is most effectively done via written content and one-on-one meetings and conversations.”

David Spinks, director of product marketing and community of Zaarly; co-founder of Blogdash in New York:

“The new collaborative boards are creating an interesting opportunity for community building. It allows people in your audience to share content around interests that they have in common. We’re trying it out for u30pro, a community for young professionals.  Members of the community are sharing images onto collaborative boards like ‘office fashion,’ ‘cubicle design’ and ‘inspirational quotes.’ This strategy probably won’t drive a ton of traffic, but could serve as an efficient way to keep your community engaged.

“Pinterest has been around since 2009, but it’s only recently become a platform with a serious presence.  It’s unclear exactly how it will grow as a business tool, but you can be sure that any social site attracting as many eyeballs as Pinterest does will attract a swarm of marketers in no time.”

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