Pinterest: Can You Pin Your Way to Popularity?

July 6th, 2012 by | Print

Pinterest, nofollow links

If scrapbooking isn’t one of your hobbies, you may be wondering why you should spend any time on Pinterest. While social media networks may start out with one specific intent, if they become popular, businesses are sure to find a way to repurpose them for increasing their brand awareness, connecting with their customers, and converting sales.

Let’s roll back the calendar a mere 12 months ago. Chances are that you probably weren’t aware of Pinterest. Your time was likely spent on other social media networks, such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and YouTube. Since that time, Pinterest has firmly pinned its name on the leader board as a top social network. According to comScore, this fast-growing site had 18.7 million unique visitors in March.

I don’t believe in playing follow the fad … just because everyone else is using a new form of marketing that you should, too. However, I don’t believe in avoiding something either, just because it seems to be the latest craze. Here are four questions to ask yourself to determine if pinning on Pinterest is right for your small business.


1. What are my goals with social media?

How many times do you decide you’re going to spend say $2,000 on a week’s vacation, and start by jumping in the car and driving without any idea of where you’re going, how you’re going to get there, and where you may want/need to stop along the way? Chances are that you’ll run out of money or time before you feel like you’ve had any fun.

Social media without goals accomplish pretty much the same thing, except translate fun as success. Many small businesses wonder if social media is right for them. Those that struggle with it often start by simply getting started and figuring it out as they go along. Good luck.


2. Are my ideal customers spending time there?

If you’re a B2C business, you may balk at the thought of spending time and money on building a robust LinkedIn strategy. In many cases, you may be right. LinkedIn is an intensive B2B network. Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube, or other online networks and forums may be more advantageous for you. It’s hard to say without taking the time to perform some market research and analysis to see where your ideal customers are spending time, how active they are, and how they may be engaging your competition there.


3. Are my customers into scrapbooking?

At first glance, Pinterest may seem like a simple photo sharing site. You need to look beyond the “what” people are doing to the “why” and the “how” they are doing it. In today’s fast-paced Web 2.0 world, where we can share information at the speed of a mouse click and no entrepreneur wants to be late to join in the conversation, we’ve become more ADD in our communications. This leads us to an increase in the use of truncated text of minimal character counts and visual communication. We embrace the saying, “A picture is worth a thousand words.”

This is a big reason why Pinterest has become so popular. Sometimes it’s just easier to share a picture to make a point than to invest the time to write or read a lengthy message. And this holds true for many industries.


4. Should I spend time on a site that has “nofollow” links?

Pinterest did announce that their links are “nofollow”, meaning you won’t see the SEO benefits of borrowing authority from a high PR site. Don’t allow this to be the only criteria for deciding whether participation is worth the investment. Some SEO consultants will tell you that “nofollow” links are a waste of time. Not true, in all cases. There are other factors to consider.

A strong SEO strategy looks to satisfy people and not just the search engine algorithms. Ultimately, it’s about increasing customer conversion. If a social media site has “nofollow” links, but accomplishes the following, is it time well spent:

• Increases brand awareness? Yes.
• Attracts your ideal customers? Of course.
• Increases the amount of targeted traffic to your branding site, landing page, or a social media profile where you can build better relationships and convert more sales? Absolutely.

If you need help building and managing your Pinterest strategy and profile, contact us at

All the Best,

Doug Dolan
The Solopreneur’s Guide


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