Friday, July 12, 2013

Pinteresting - Pinterest Strategies for Brands and Bloggers - My Review

Having a social media presence is essential in today's on-line marketplace. If you have any type of on-line business, it's not enough to throw together a website and wait for the customers to flock to your site. However, it can be overwhelming with so many options out there.

I've decided to concentrate on two social media outlets to grow my business, Theresa Rose Designs. Facebook and Pinterest seem like good candidates for my on-line handmade jewelry business. I went ahead and purchased the book 'Pinteresting - Pinterest Strategies for Brands and Bloggers' by Tabitha Philen. I was able to purchase it for my Kindle on Amazon for only $2.99 - a worthwhile investment.

There are 4 sections:
  • Part One: The Basics of Pinterest
  • Part Two: Pinterest Accounts for Brands & Bloggers
  • Part Three: Growing a Following
  • Part Four: Optimizing your use of Pinterest
At 84 pages, it's a quick read, but she packs a lot of useful information in a short amount of space.

Part One: The Basics of Pinterest
Tabitha explains the terminology of Pinterest such as the concepts of boards, pins, and repins. She also discusses how she uses it herself and why she uses it. If you are new to Pinterest, it's worth reading carefully because she does a very good job of explaining step by step how to start your pinterest account. While I had already used Pinterest sparingly, I still found this section useful because there are new features such as pinmarklets and secret boards that I hadn't bothered delving into. She includes a lot of pictures with her step-by-step instructions, and as a visual person, I really appreciated it. It's very thorough and well thought out.

Part Two: Pinterest Accounts for Brands & Bloggers
This is where we really started getting into the 'meat' of the information. Tabitha talks about the importance of your logo and profile to support your branding. There was also information in here about connecting to your twitter account and using keywords to optimize google search. These are two things I hadn't thought about, but now are always on my mind when I pin my jewelry and blog posts. Did you also know you have a choice between a personal or business account? I didn't - but Tabitha explains the difference and what to consider when deciding between the two.

There is a chapter in this section regarding boards and how to use them for promoting your brand. Again, a lot of useful information that I found very helpful. There's even a section about using collaborative boards to grow your reach. She goes into much detail. I'm not sure how I'm going to use this yet, but I 'm sure I'll refer back to it a later time.

One of the most beneficial parts for me was the chapter on Who, Where, and What of Following. Here she really explains etiquette and tips on following other pinners. Here's one tip that I found especially good: "When you interact in the comments section of the pins, your brand is seen by everyone viewing those pins." She stresses that you shouldn't comment just to comment, it should be meaningful and genuine. People can spot spam a mile away and will turn pinners off to you (and your brand).

Part Three: Growing a Following
In this section, Tabitha goes into more detail about how to encourage other pinners to follow you and your boards. Keys to getting followers include knowing when to pin, cross-promoting on other social media outlets and  keeping Pinterest visible on your website or blog. Utilizing the social aspects of Pinterest is, of course, the best way to gain followers, and there is a definite etiquette to socializing on Pinterest. I like the way Tabitha goes through the social protocols and how not to turn off other pinners.

There is a whole chapter dedicated to campaigns and contests. There are restrictions on running contests, so be careful or your account may be deleted! This book explains some of the limitations and restrictions, but always remember that Pinterest can change the rules at any time, so always stay current on their policies.

Part Four: Optimizing your use of Pinterest
This section goes into the more advanced uses of Pinterest. She discusses tips for creating your own images for pinning. I found it to be very straightforward and useful in many ways. There is also a chapter that lists some of the analytical tools that can be found outside of Pinterest to help you in using this site.

The last part of the book discusses hashtags, using your source URL, Facebook options, and other 3rd party apps you may find useful.

Overall, this was a very good book. Whether you are a complete novice or have been using Pinterest for some time, I am sure there is information that is new to any one reading her book. I highly recommend it, and for $2.99 (for the kindle edition), it costs less than a Starbucks coffee - definitely worth the money!