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While Facebook and Twitter may be social network powerhouses, and G+ frantically trying to catch up, one platform that exploded onto the scene in 2011 with such force, it seemed to have come up overnight: Pinterest.

Pinterest is a photo-sharing website in which users can “pin” photos from across the web (or uploaded from their computer) and organize them on virtual bulletin boards. The design of Pinterest is minimal, putting all focus on the images in a stunning display.

Followers can add to others’ boards (at the creator’s discretion), like, comment or “repin” images they like. The user has the freedom to categorize their boards any way they want, making the uses of Pinterest endless.

Although Pinterest has been in beta form for over a year, and still requires an invite to join, there were more than 4.5 million unique visits to the site in November. And while Pinterest is a fun and creative way to express ideas and share images, some companies have found a niche for their brand.

Nordstroms, Whole Foods, and Real Simple are just a few examples of how a business can use Pinterest for professional use. Although there are no official business pages, these companies have used the site to integrate their brands in a creative, unique way.

Although the uses of Pinterest may be clearer for retail, hospitality and otherwise B2C companies, PR agencies can create boards for their clients’ photos, events, clips – even as visionary boards for the direction they want their company to go.

So, for today’s Tip for Tuesday, here are some of our tips for using Pinterest:

-Have clear categories. Some great personal uses can be home decorating themes, places to visit or hobbies and interests. Have a board for your favorite memes or to point out similarities between your friend and an alpaca. You can be as creative as you’d like.

-Use it for personal branding by creating a portfolio board of your work and separating personal photographs from images collected on the web.

-Add the Pin It button to your web browser. By having the button on every page can allow you to easily add an image in a few seconds without having to leave the page you are on.

-Pair with a site discovery platform like StumbleUpon. This can help you find images and ideas that you may not normally come across.

 

Have a Pinterest? Share with us some of your favorite boards in the comments below.

 

Stephanie Lough
Stephanie Lough
A former HMA Public Relations employee.

10 Comments

  1. So, I admit it – I am signed up for this and have yet to really investigate it. I blame the holidays and my husband’s many plans for us. Darned family and friends. But, consider this my first NY resolution – to make this a new obsession. 🙂

  2. I also signed up for this and started getting a few followers/friends. But I’m feeling a little like, “Hey, everyone is doing it, so you should too.” After spending some time checking it out, I don’t think I’m every going to lose my amateur status as a pinner. Once the ship has sailed, I’ll probably end up being one of those categorized as “Llack of Pinterest.”

  3. Some comments from Facebook friends of mine within 1 mionute of posting this on my page:

    Alanna Webb I love Pinterest! It is totally helping me find great ideas for my wedding!

    Kat Dizon McLane addicted

    Autumn Kippes Love it! Such a great way to save and organize ideas from blogs, etsy and around the web.

  4. Yvette says:

    The concept is interesting. It’s your inspiration board and your platform to describe your lifestyle, your style, your interests, without being TMI. For companies…well, they’d be happy to just be included in one of your boards because it’s free publicity for them. Maybe it encourages other websites to be more creative and visually appealing so they can be featured in one of your boards.

    The concept, however, seems so female-centric. Maybe because we are stereotypically more creative, more appreciative of cute, pretty things. All my followers, and I don’t have a lot because I just started, are all females…well, except for Scott. Way to go Scott!

  5. More comments from Facebook:
    Jen Dougherty Love pinterest!

    Becky Blaine totally addicted… yesterday I was on a mission to re-decorate my fireplace mantel with Pinterest inspiration. also made tons of great recipes … LOTS of inspiration

    Page Englert I am most certainly a pinaholic. I’ve found everything from my favorite recipes to my hair color on the site!

    Allison Buffington Totally love it!!

    Jolinda Pullen OBSESSED.

  6. Erica Bailin says:

    This could be a great visual tool for education.

  7. I requested an invite — feeling a little left out :(.

  8. Stephanie Lough says:

    HMA now has a Pinterest! Check it out: http://www.pinterest.com/HMA_PR

    We welcome feedback, suggestion and repinning! Share your boards here in the comments.

  9. Becky Blaine says:

    Thanks for following our Pinboard! It just makes sense for us to be there with our guest demographic, it’s a perfect fit. Plus with all our beautiful photography and links we are able to pin from our vendors, it’s a win – win for everyone. Not to mention that I love being able to bring my passions to the office!

    Alison & Abbie – once you start pinning, you might be hooked too! 🙂

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