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Using Pinterest as a business tool

Have you ever spent hours scrolling through websites searching for the dream dish to cook for a dinner party, or the perfect outfit to buy for an upcoming social event? Consumers are increasingly finding just what they’re looking for, and are also being influenced to look at new things, through visual platforms such as Pinterest. You might have seen their recent eye-catching advertising on TV and for those of you working in the capital, across the London underground.

Pinterest is an online social media platform used by businesses to connect with their audience by sharing visual content, such as images and videos. Launched in 2010, Pinterest has become one of the most successful social media platforms. The platform allows businesses to tell its story, through a series of visual compilations, ‘pinned’ onto its ‘board’, which reflect the business’ values, culture and interests.

The popularity of Pinterest is explained by Gary Vaynerchuk in 'Jab Jab Jab Right Hook; How to Tell Your Story in a Noisy Social Media World.' He claims that the urge people have to create their own Pinterest page, is the same one that "compels teenagers to to decorate their lockers with pictures of their favourite bands, office workers to liven up their workspace with bobbleheads...". These visual reminders remind us on a day to day basis of who we would like to be. He says that "aspiration and acquisition are two of the most powerful human drivers that lead people to buy, and Pinterest can satisfy both." This claim can is supported by statistics; Pinterest users are 79% more likely to purchase products they've seen on Pinterest than on Facebook, and it provides "four times the revenue-per-click on Twitter".

Another reason that Pinterest is extremely useful for businesses is that not only can it help project an image of who the business professes to be, it can also provide them with analytical tools. When signing up as a business account, it offers three options: overview, profile and audience. These analytics allow businesses to extract valuable information about key audiences, such as: gender, location and devices used.

Other useful tools for businesses include: the ‘Pin It’ button, which makes it easy to share content, the ‘Follow Me’ button, which allows others to easily view and follow your board without leaving their browser page and the ‘Pin It Bookmarklet’, to pin content from a website of interest to personal Pinterest boards. For many businesses, Pinterest can seriously boost exposure and revenue, and is a great way to connect to audiences on a creative, visual level.