Would you like to benefit from a flood of new traffic as millions of new users join the social media site and search for familiar brands?
Could your business benefit from 482,000 followers?
That's what happened to author Sherry Petersik, on Pinterest at Sherry @ Young House Love. Talk about an early lead.
#1: Tap Into the Wisdom of Your Crowd
Look in your Google Analytics. You might have a surprise if you check the traffic referral section and discover that Pinterest is already driving traffic your way.
If so, then your customers are already indicating this is a platform for you to consider investing your time on. They say the customer is always right, and in this case, you might have a very easy decision to make about joining Pinterest.
As a side note, in October 2011, we went through this process. We had no clue about Pinterest until we saw it pop up as a strong source of referral traffic.
#2: Audit Your Eye Candy
Do you have any high-quality pictures, video or related visual content developed?
Think creatively about this. It doesn't have to be a product shot or video. It could be an infographic you've had made, a book cover from one of your published works or even an original quote placed onto an image using Photoshop Elements.
The trick here is quality over quantity. To spark a pinning frenzy, you must identify your highest-quality visual content, and then put it within easy reach of Pinterest users.
#3: Test Your Creative Tensile Strength
Do you already have an ongoing method for creating high-quality visual content? Does the idea of needing to generate this type of content stretch you to your breaking point? Let's call that a question of your creative tensile strength.
Some small businesses will have it, some won't.
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You'll need to decide if you can produce a steady stream of really good content. It needs to be niche-specific, and rather than just purely promotional, it needs to help your customers express themselves.
You benefit when you help them display their enthusiasm to their friends.
#4: Run a Bandwidth Check
Let's be frank—Facebook and Twitter are labor-intensive. For a one-person shop, the thought of adding another social media burden might be enough to send you over the edge. But don't worry. There is good news here.
Pinterest is more passively managed than either Facebook or Twitter. Pinterest content has a long shelf life, more like YouTube content. So your contributions are much more valuable, and will provide a longer-term stream of referral traffic. And again, as identified in factor #1, you might already have a fan base building your Pinterest referral links for you.
But even still, someone has got to do the work. So let's just make this simple. Be honest, do you have the mental and emotional energy or not?
#5: Get a Free Pass if You're Simply Passionate about Pinterest
Regardless of whether you have any customers pinning, have any initial content to use, have any ongoing source of content or have any personal or organizational bandwidth, you might still be really passionate about what you can do on Pinterest. Maybe you're an artist stuck in an accounting practice…
In this case, if Pinterest is something you're passionate about, there is a 100% chance that you can turn that passion into a successful traffic-generating strategy for your small business. It might sound silly, but a passion for visual curation is all you need. You'll figure everything else out.
The inverse is true as well. You might have customers pinning your content, a nice set of professional items to use as a starting point, a steady supply of high-quality content and the mental and emotional wherewithal to do Pinterest right, but if you're not passionate about it, then you should stop. Don't even bother, just agree from here on out that it's not for you. Pick your best communication platforms and get super-good at using them.
What do you think? I'm interested in what you think about Pinterest, and whether it's right for your business. Leave your questions and comments in the box below.
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