18 ;e Costco Connection NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2012
By Harvey Meyer THE WILDLY POPULAR Pinterest social media site has been described as visual crack. Many can’t stop surfing the ocean of intrigu- ing, dazzling and inspiring photos on Pinterest ( www.pinterest.com). They often “pin” the colourful graphics or create their own in their
her website, boosting exposure and the
potential for generating leads and revenue.
While it’s uncertain Pinterest has bumped up
her revenue, Sansevieri says its connecting
links boost her website and other social
(ing) Business owners “pin it” to win it
Before fully engaging, Sansevieri observed how others, including competitors,
used Pinterest. Since the site is often a vehicle
for inspiration and sharing information,
Sansevieri suggests Pinterest users eschew
Pinterest is only a couple of years old and
is still working out kinks and concerns. But
even as it’s evolving, useful tips have emerged
for small businesses interested in leveraging
the social medium.
Pinterest collection, a kind of virtual scrapbook that can be shared with the world.
“Pinterest is addictive,” says Tracey
Manailescu, Costco member and co-founder
of the Toronto-based for-profit
Specific “pinboards” appeal to
specific people, so Pinterest offers
built-in niche-marketing opportuni-
ties, says Penny Sansevieri, Costco
member and owner of the
five-employee, San Diego,
Wedding Planners Institute of
Canada ( wpic.ca). Beyond its
personal appeal, Manailescu
says, Pinterest enhances exposure for the institute and her
own wedding-planning firm,
both of which are represented
on her Pinterest account.
Data supports Manailescu’s
optimism for Pinterest’s business potential. Getting its name
from its pinboard-style approach,
in which pages are organized by
themes, the site draws millions
of unique visitors monthly.
“It’s not a good idea to lead with your
wallet on any social networking site,” says
Moreover, reports indicate the average
Pinterest user easily spends more time on the
site than on Facebook or Twitter.
“It’s a great marketing tool,” says
Ani Semerjian, a Costco member who owns
Devon, Pennsylvania–based Semerjian
Interiors ( www.semerjianinteriors.com).
Clients have contacted Semerjian for
interior-decorating work through her
Costco member Penny Sansevieri uses
Pinterest to inform and educate both
followers and potential clients.
Marketing Experts ( www.amarketingexpert.
com). Sansevieri has created about 500 “pins”
on 17 pinboards that blend her business—for
example, book-marketing tips—with her
personal interests—“Things I Love.”
Once you’ve signed
up, follow the straight-
forward directions to
create a Pinterest pro-
file. As you build your site, you can post
images from your own and other websites,
blogs and You Tube channels. Pinterest also
offers links to personal Facebook and Twitter
accounts, blogs and websites. And you can
ensure that others can repin photos, graphics,
text and videos from your account.
So far, women are Pinterest’s largest
demographic group. Thus, companies tied to
weddings, food, clothing, crafts and interior
design represent a sizable Pinterest presence.
The site is also gaining traction in the areas of
home improvement, architecture, publishing
and many other industries.
What to pin
In Pinterest parlance, her boards draw
hundreds of “followers,” “likes,” “repins” and
“comments” that help forge a bond with
potential customers and others. Sansevieri
prefers repins because they provide links to
Wedding planner Manailescu espouses a
friendly and professional approach to pin-
ning that illustrates her and her company’s
uniqueness. Another approach is to fashion
thematically related pinboards that commu-
nicate a story about your firm. Consider
conjuring catchy board titles that include