Pinterest has managed to wangle it’s way into the same class as Facebook and Twitter when it comes to social media. Many businesses have come to recognize this and have now become ‘pinners’. How do you stand out from the crowd?

It’s all about fun, quality and engagement.

1. Take pride in your images

Pinterest is all about sharing, collecting and organizing images and as a result, information. It stands to reason then that quality images are key. There simply is no place for the blurry thumbnail on your board.

The better the quality of your images, the more people will be inclined to repin them or to come back and visit your boards again and again.

2. Get organised.

No one has time to spend hours trawling through endless pins looking for the information they need and they will soon become frustrated and disinterested if they can’t find what they came searching for.

Set up multiple boards all with their own unique themes. This will not only make it easier for your audience to find what they are looking for it will also help you engage with a wider audience as each person coming to view your content has their own unique reason. You can customize your boards according to this and widen your reach.

Remember people come to social media to engage and have fun, make sure your content allows them to do this.

3. Engage your staff

How many times have you looked online for product recommendations and reviews or ideas for presents, parties, themes, new hairstyles, makeup, clothes – the list could go on forever.

Make use of your staff’s unique personalities and give them their own boards to show their style. They may have book reviews, the latest music they are listening too, the latest hair styles they can do in the salon, the latest health and fitness trend they are following. There is no limit to what they can share.

What a fun way to spend an hour or so, uploading their favorite trends in a way that compliments your business and the products/services you provide.

4. Engage your clients

What would your clients say if you asked them about your business?

Why not find out by loading some of your products and getting them to post their reviews and their favorite ways to use it. You may find your products are being used in other great ways you hadn’t even thought of.

Take it a step further and get them to pin their own photo’s using your product. What a great way to inspire other customers and potential customers.

5. Engage with your online community.

Social media is not the place to spam people or to be all about the hard sell. It is a place for you to share your ideas, brand and build some loyalty. You wouldn’t attend a cocktail party with people you just met, interrupt the group to talk about yourself then walk away before anyone has a chance to interact with you, so don’t do it online.

Spend an hour a week giving back, re-pin things you like, follow boards that you like or are complimentary, make connections and basically be active in a non self-promoting way. Ten minutes a day is all it takes and you might find you enjoy it so much that you spend more time.

6. Have quality links

How many times have you clicked on a link that you really like and found it either doesn’t work or you end up on some obscure website that is irrelevant to the information you thought you were getting.

Don’t be one of these people, test your links and test again. Make sure your audience gets the experience you would like to get if it were you browsing.

This goes for links when you re-pin, follow them and ensure they work correctly and point where they say they do.

It pays to go back and do some maintenance every now and then and do a link check to make sure nothing has happened to them.

7. Promote your Pinterest account

You engage with people everyday on your website, Facebook and Twitter so utilize this opportunity to let them know you’re on Pinterest too. Although it’s not critical, why not give it a go? It certainly won’t hurt.

8. Share your ideas and how-to’s

Rather than focusing on individual products why not include ways to use them. Examples of this is if you sell food – share some great seasonal recipes. Nurseries can show landscaping ideas such as how to build a vertical garden. Hairdressers can show how to do some great new styles to battle the winter blues. A baby shop might have images of playrooms or bedrooms. Wedding venues can show various themes and ideas to make your wedding unique.

9. Pin it to win it

Running out of content ideas? Get your customers to provide it for you. Pin it to win it competitions are a great way to get your customers to pin images onto your boards to win a prize. Many of the large companies such as Macy’s and Volkswagen use this method with great success.

There are so many ways to sell your product without screaming buy me, buy me!

Just remember Pinterest is all about fun and visual appeal and if you stick to these rules you will reap the benefits.

*Send in your product or service details for some ideas on how to use Pinterest to promote it in a unique way.