5 Reasons You Should Be Using Pinterest

As one of the newest kids on the social media block, Pinterest is growing by leaps and bounds.  Once thought to be for women alone, men are jumping on board with the site that lets you ‘pin’ images to virtual cork-boards where friends and followers can find them.

Click to view a larger image

What is Pinterest?  Let’s take a look at the official description:

Pinterest is a virtual pinboard. Pinterest allows you to organize and share all the beautiful things you find on the web. You can browse pinboards created by other people to discover new things and get inspiration from people who share your interests. People use pinboards to plan their weddings, decorate their homes, and share their favorite recipes.

Pinterest goes well beyond that.  People are using it to share news, book recommendations, articles, neighborhood information, trusted companies – essentially anything and everything.  All you need is a website or blog post with an image attached and someone can ‘pin’ you to their board where their friends will see it and can ‘repin’ it to their boards.

Why should you be using Pinterest?

1.  It’s easy.

With the ‘Pin It’ button added to your web browser’s toolbar, you can pin any website you visit with the click of a button.  All you need to do is setup your boards ahead of time and pick them from the list when you hit ‘Pin It’.  Don’t just pin your own website or blog posts, be sure to mix things up and show a diversity.  If you’re a news junkie like me, you will never find yourself wanting for sites to share.

2.  It’s fun.

People love pictures.  Here is a way to quickly organize and share collections of pictures (that link off to articles and websites) that doesn’t take a lot of effort, but has a decent reward level.  Pin something particularly entertaining and your friends and followers will repin and comment, helping to build a dialogue between you.

Click to view a larger image

3.  It’s connected to your Facebook

Odds are, you are already using Facebook as part of your marketing efforts.  Well, Pinterest connects with Facebook, arguably the largest of all the social networking platforms.  With a few clicks, your Pinterest and Facebook accounts link and you can find friends who are already using Pinterest and connect with them on the site, deepening your relationships.

4.  It’s casual, and people prefer that

The single biggest mistake a sales person can make is to use social media to sell.  Social media is about being social.  People hate to be constantly sold and, 9 times out of 10, will ignore or block someone who is filling their streams with ‘buy this’ messages or links.  A company can get away with this but not an individual.  Pinterest is a nice, casual platform to build relationships, not sell.

5.  Pinterest is the up and coming contender

A lot of people tell me there is just too much social media for them to keep up with.  My suggestion is to look at all the social media platforms as tools in your arsenal; use the ones that make sense to you. Pinterest is easy to use and maintain, and it’s growing fast.  According to statistics released by ComScore in February 2012, Pinterest has more than 10 million monthly unique visitors and is now the third most popular social networking site behind Facebook and Twitter.

Why wouldn’t you take advantage of this growing platform?