How Your Art Staff Can Use Pinterest to an Advantage

There’s a new cowboy that just rode into the social media town called Pinterest.  ( www.pinterest.com )  If you haven’t heard of it, you may not be alone, but this is a great free app that is currently taking over the social media like nobody’s business.  A February 1 article on Mashable by Zoe Fox (http://mashable.com/2012/02/01/pinterest-traffic-study/) stated that Pinterest users are responsible for more webpage referrals than Google+, YouTube & LinkedIn combined.  It’s no wonder.

The app is extremely easy to load, and actually quite fun to use.  Millions of Pinterest fans love to “pin” an image and share online their different viewpoints on everything including fashion, home design, cooking, DIY projects, photography, crafting, and inspirational images.  Once you’ve created an account, you can post a button on your browser so when you see something you like you can “Pin It” to one of the “boards” you’ve created.  The boards are akin to individual page in a book and can be labeled and segmented any way you want.  The user defines the text on each pin and board for easy searching or branding later.

So how can you use this free app to your advantage in the business place, and more specifically in your art department?  I’m still playing with this, but here are some that are evident to me at first blush:

  1. Saving Images for Later.  The concept of an inspiration art book isn’t new.  This is where designers have historically ripped a page out of a magazine, or use a sample of something and pasted it into a notebook for future reference.  Many designers have notebooks like this that date back years, and use them when they get “stuck” on a project and are looking for a new layout, texture, font use, or whatever.  Sorting and sifting through the pages can help land on the perfect idea for that project that’s due in two hours and you don’t know where to start.  Now, with everything at your fingertips on the internet as digital files you can do the same using Pintrest.  See a cool logo, layout, texture or font use?  Click your “Pin It” button and add it to one of your boards for inspirational reference later.  It’s insanely easy.
  2. Market Your Portfolio.  What artist doesn’t want to do that?  You can “Pin” your designs just as easy.  There’s also a dialog box that goes with each image so you can enter some searchable terms so other people can find your image.  Type in “Yellow Banana Text Logo” and anyone searching for “Yellow”, or “Banana”, or “Text”, or “Logo” will return your image with all the others that are labeled that way too.  Get your work in front of millions of people instantly and easily.
  3. Drive Referrals Back to Your Order Page.  Do you have a t-shirt design on an order page somewhere and you want to drive more referrals back to it?  “Pin” the image and enter some searchable words and post it on your board.  Others will be able to find it, and if they like it enough to want to order it, click through to your Order Page.  Others may simply like the design and “Repin” your image, thus spreading your marketing through passive interaction with others.

Those are the top three that I can see happening off the bat.  I’d love hear back from others on how they can use this new app to their advantage.  If you’d like to see my pins, my boards are located at http://pinterest.com/atkinsontshirt/….just like my blog name.  Happy Pinning!

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