If a social network could drive more qualified traffic than Facebook would you be interested? Pinterest is and I think every small business should take notice.

Founded in early 2010 the Pinterest (often misspelled “Pintrest”) social media network has amassed over 7 million users while still in “Beta – Invite Only” mode.  If you are not familiar with the site, the name provides a great clue to its purpose.  A combination of Pin and Interest – the website is a drop dead easy way to create visual collections of things you love, are passionate about, and/or proud of.  It’s like internet scrap booking and very visual.

Like other social networks you can follow and friend other people to see what things they are passionate about.  Once you secure an invite – and you probably already know someone who is a member, you’ll sign in with either your Facebook or Twitter credentials and start pinning and sharing your interests.

As you follow others and explore the Pinterest network  you’ll find items worth commenting on or “repinning” on one of your boards.  In doing so – great pins can go viral and with several website links attached to each pins – there are breadcrumbs that lead back to the original website for the image.  So, with a little savvy and a creative pinning scheme you can, over time, create a good number of links back to your products and services.

Pinterest Links are Do Follow

One of the more powerful aspects of Pinterest is that the links are “Do Follow” which means they provide what search engine optimization professionals call “link juice” or what you may more simply consider a vote of confidence that one website can give to another.  Here’s in an excerpt from the Search Engine Journal with the lowdown of the do follow links from Pinterest:

Each “Pin” links back to the page the image is shown on OR the actual file location using a do-follow link. The difference depends on how the image was pinned. For example, opening an image in its own window/tab and then using Pinterest’s bookmarklet will create the pin and link to the file location jpeg. The “Pin It” button will usually link to the page the image is featured on. A page-targeted link is probably better than a jpeg-targeted link unless you’re purposely optimizing for image search.

Do-follow links are found on multiple parts of a pin, as shown below. The “From:” link and the image link are both standard in every pin. All image ALT attributes read “Pinned Image” with no way to edit. You can also insert links into the pin description and comments (here comes Pinterest comment spam). A pin comes with a custom embed code for easy syndication onto other websites, creating backlinks to the pin page.

Pintrest Links

Image via Search Engine Journal

Pinterest’s domain authority, by most SEO standards, is high and still growing. There’s always the possibility that Pinterest could convert the do-follow links to no-follow to curb spam, just as some other social bookmarking sites have done.

Small Business Marketing on Pinterest

So what does this mean for you the small business owner?  Well, it means you should take notice.  As long as Pinterest links are do follow, then you could be building powerful backlinks to your website.

If you are already leveraging social media via Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, or Google+ and are familiar with social media etiquette then you should probably find a way to wrangle yourself an invite ASAP.  Feel free to reach out to me in the comments and I’ll send you an invite if you want.

And if you do get inside – don’t spam the network.  It’s one of those social media etiquette things – don’t be all about you.  Engage with others.  Develop a strategy to leverage Pinterest effectively to engage your followers.  Inspire and inform them – become irresistible and ultimately “Repinnable!”  In time the rewards will be yours.

Pinterest Marketing Ideas and Resources

Here are a few websites and blogs you may consider visiting to help you develop your Pinterest marketing strategy:

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Are you already using Pinterest to Marketing Your Small Business?

Let us know what you’ve learned.  Share your story with us in the comment section below!  Of course, if you have a moment – hit the “Pin It” button below and share this post on one of your boards 🙂

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