Is Pinterest Useful to Software Businesses?

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By now, you've probably heard about Pinterest. It's an online “image” grabbing site that allows users to group images captured (pinned) from websites onto pages which can then be shared with others who have a similar interest. Think of it as online scrapbooking except that, this being the internet, you're able to follow the graphic image back to the original website.

Let's say that someone I follow has a page of “Hardware, You Gotta Have.” If I see a photo of a new Ultrabook™, I might be inclined to click on that photo to get more information from the original website. It is in those traffic clicks where lies the possible advantage of Pinterest to your company. Pinterest is yet another possible way to drive consumers to your website.

Source: via Intel on Pinterest

Quite frankly, the platform is so new that the jury is still out on whether or not Pinterest is helpful for generating leads. But this is what we know so far: people are flocking to Pinterest and creating all sorts of groups which are then attracting the attention of lots of other people. And when people are interested in something on the internet, that means there is an opportunity to get involved and to get your marketing message heard.

As an example of how a software company effectively uses Pinterest to engage its audience, take a look at Microsoft’s Pinterest page. Not only does this page highlight new apps, software, and some of the latest products and services, but if you look through the “pins,” you’ll also see links to things like “Foods that boost you immune system” and pictures of the Microsoft main campus. This diverse visual combination results in a page that both sells product and gives value to its audience by presenting “nice to know” information right alongside the important marketing information. It all works together in grabbing the potential customer’s attention.

For now, what should your company do about Pinterest?

Set up a page and let your presence be known
When you set up your Pinterest page, you'll be asked to invite others to follow you (usually from your email list) go ahead and invite everyone you think would be interested. Just the fact that you are willing to give Pinterest a try might be enough to get someone interested in your company.

Click here to sign up for Pinterest.

Don't spend a lot of time on it
I know, I know, it sounds a little counter-intuitive but Pinterest is new and still has some problems, most notably regarding image copyright. For now, set up your account. Do searches and follow those who have similar likes and interests, but resist the urge to spend huge amounts of time creating lots of groups. Like some other Social Media platforms, this could fizzle out fairly quickly. Have everything in place, though, in case it doesn't.

Have outstanding graphics on your site that someone might be inclined to pin
People can't pin your image if there is no image to pin. Not only should you have an outstanding graphic on your landing page but you should put a little “Pin this” tag near the graphic to remind people to pin it. The more people who grab the image, the more people are going to see it and possibly click back to your website.

Use Pinterest to check out who is pinning your site
Pinterest can be used for customer demographics. Do a few searches on your name and your images to see the types of people who may be pinning your company to their pages. Are they who you had hoped would grab the images? If not, do you need to rethink your image and perhaps use another one that might be more attractive to your desired demographic?

A quick way to search on Pinterest is to go to:

Find the people on Pinterest who are interested in your field and start following them
Like people share like things, and eventually learn to trust each other. If you follow the people who have an interest in your field, you will establish yourself as a member of that community and soon others in that community will start to follow you.

What have you heard about Pinterest? Do you see the use of collected images drawing traffic to your site? Have you seen good examples of Pinterest accounts highlighting software?