Pinterest, it seems, is the next big thing in social media, but why should you take note of Pinterest?

The traffic it could bring you is one of the best reasons for this.  Launched in 2010, it has been acquiring a lot of users lately, and has more than 7 million unique visits chalked up in December 2011.

A recent report from Shareaholic also indicates that Pinterest has been driving more referral traffic than YouTube, LinkedIn and Google+ combined.

The thing is, it is fairly easy to make pictures, images and photographs go viral on Pinterest.  When you pin something, users who follow you can comment on it, re-pin it and basically spread it.

Pinterest is also helping small businesses get more customers.  Pinning your products on Pinterest could help attract people from all around the world to your site.

So if you have a visual product, why not give Pinterest a try?

How to Use Pinterest for Local Businesses

Set up your profile right.  Write a good "About" description and pepper it with keywords you want to rank for.  Always remember to add your location, such as San Diego, CA.  Add your website's URL and connect to your Twitter and Facebook accounts.  Also, you should not hide your profile from the search engines.  

Find beautiful pictures.  Pinterest is highly visual, and your pins would be competing with dozens of others.  The only way you could get your pins noticed is if they are worth a second look.


Set up boards with your location and your services.  For example, for a restaurant in Abilene TX, you could come up with a board named Abilene and show all the other places in Abilene that's worth a visit.  You could also create a board named Best Meat, and pin your meat dishes.


Pin it right.  Pinterest might be focused on images, but you can add a description of the photo that would help you market more effectively.  Put in your business name, address and contact details, as well as a short description of your business.  If you are featuring a product, then talk about the product, but still include your business name, address and contact information.  You could also put in your keywords when you describe your pins.  This works perfectly for recipes as well.

Get your customers into the act.  Run a contest on Pinterest by letting your customers pin a photo of them with your product.  Be creative.  Not only does this drive traffic to your Pinterest site and your website but this also drives up sales and helps you engage your customers better.

Don't focus on yourself too much.  It might help to get people into your boards if you have a variety.  Do create boards that are outside your area of interest.  For example, a restaurant owner can put up pictures of the city's landmarks, pets or humor pins.  You should also go around Pinterest and like other people's pins.

Take advantage of the text link.  Each pin could include a text link to the URL of the site where the photo was taken.  This link is a do-follow link and could give you a lot of link juice.


GUEST AUTHOR, Chris Barnwell: This post is brought to you by SEO Inc, a Search Engine Optimization Company located in Southern California.  From Facebook to PINterest to Google+ and beyond, SEO Inc. specializes in creating Social Media Marketing solutions for local businesses of all sizes on today’s hottest platforms.

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