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Pinterest for the Social Entrepreneur

By Erin Tillotson

Are you Pinning yet? Or are you thinking "Another social network to keep up with!" I feel your pain. Just as we're getting used to the changes on Facebook we have a completely new network to try and work into our busy lives.

But hear me out on this one. I'm really loving this pinning stuff. It's not just business and branding but I really get to see a new side of everyone and learn about them in a different way.

This is such a powerful new network for entrepreneurs and is driving a ton of traffic to websites right now. The network already has over 10 million users, of which about 97 percent are women (via AppData and Facebook).

So all this excitement, now what can you do and how can you do it? Let's look at a few cool ways to start using Pinterest.

Creating Your Pin Boards
Your account will come with a few pre-made pin boards. I changed most of the titles to be more in line with my personality, you can do this too if you'd like. Then add some new boards as well, do you like quotes? Consider creating a board based around your industry. Let's look at an example, gardening. You can create a board with beautiful garden pictures and layouts. Even a funnies board, with some oops pictures. Another valuable board would be based around your business and valuable information. Consider a portfolio, featuring some of your work, or a training area where you can feature great blog posts and videos.

The objective here is to have several areas you can pin a variety of content to. You will be pinning your content and others, so keep that in mind when you title the boards. You can always add more boards as you need or change the ones you have.

Start Pinning
Once you have your boards setup let's add some images! You can do a search in the top left corner. Type in something around your industry and start browsing for images to add to your board. You don't have to spend too much time just enough to have some content on your profile (you don't want to invite people to connect to a blank profile!).

Next let's add the Pin It button to your browser. This will allow you to pin content from any web page while you're browsing the web. Go the Goodies page on Pinterest and follow their instructions, really easy promise!

Once you have that installed you can visit your business website and pin a few pages from there. Items to consider:

A few recent blog posts (that have images of course)
If you have a portfolio section I recommend pinning a few pictures from that page
An optin page, if you have a great graphic on one of your optin pages pin it!

Don't pin your entire website right away. Adding content over the next few weeks and staying in front of your new connections will be more valuable in the long run.

Remember, each image you pin will link back to the page you're pinning from. If you pin an image from your portfolio website page and someone clicks on your image via the Pinterest website they will be directed to the portfolio page on your website! Cool right?

Finding People to Follow
Once you have your boards up and a few pictures pinned let's see about adding some followers and starting your network. Keep in mind while you're following people that they match your target client or market.

One of the easiest ways to find people is to look up your Facebook friends. To do this go to the top right corner and click on "Find Friends" from the drop down menu. You'll be taken to a page were you can see what Facebook friends are already on Pinterest. You can click Follow All, or go through and only follow specific people.

Next you can search for thought leaders in your industry and mentors. These are great people to connect with!

You've got the basics setup, now what?
Something I do when I join new social networks is I leave the email reminders on. Why would I want to clutter my already crazy inbox? Well, this helps me remember to go back and check these new people following me. It helps me see what content I'm posting is most popular so I can do more of that. I can see when people are commenting on my posts and reply back to them. All in all, it helps me get in the groove of the network.

Next, add some time on your schedule to test and play on this new network. Maybe 10 minutes at the end of the before you shut down the computer. In these 10 minutes you can:

See what's being pinned and re-pin some content.
Follow new people each day, set a goal - say maybe 10 people
Comment on some content you find interesting or have insights on
Pin a few more items from your website

Start slow and see if this is a network that fits your business. If you love it, stick with it and put a plan into place for using it. If you chose to stay active on Pinterest be sure to add the pin it button to your website! So Pinterest users can share your content with their friends. Then add your profile button with your other social media links so people can follow you.

Are you going to start Pinning? Share your links with me below, I'd love to connect!

Want more social media tips from Erin? Check out her free report 5 Easy Steps to Stress Free Social Mediawhere she shares what being social means, the best tool to manage your social media accounts, and much more. Grab your copy here


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