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Pinterest 101: A Beginners Guide
to the Latest Social Media Craze
With the growing popularity of the use of social media as an
advertising and marketing platform, it is more important than
ever to be aware of the latest social media trends and how they
can affect and improve your business.
So what is Pinterest, you ask? In essence, it is an online
bulletin board, where you can ‘pin’ images relating to your
interests, hobbies, or in a newsagent’s case, items you stock in
And how can it affect and improve your
Pinterest is a great place to showcase the products and services
your newsagency has to offer. Each pin can be linked to your
newsagency’s website or Facebook page—thus driving traffic toward
them. Pinterest is currently said to be the fastest growing social
network and drives more traffic to websites than LinkedIn, Google+
and YouTube combined.
“Pinterest is successful because it’s simple. It’s that old adage—a
picture really is worth a thousand words. We’re seeing many
e-commerce heavyweights use Pinterest to showcase products,
strengthen their brands, and direct people to their e-commerce sites,
it’s just that straightforward,” said Daniel Wilson, managing director of
For someone who is new to social media, Pinterest may seem a bit
complex and daunting. However, if you understand the following terms
associated with Pinterest, using it will be an absolute piece of cake.
Pin: The act of adding an image to Pinterest. This may be a link,
a picture from another website, or an original image. Users
have the option of including a caption when doing this. Users
are encouraged to link all photos and pictures to the original
source—in a newsagent’s case, to the newsagency’s website or
Facebook page, where the product is displayed or available for
Repin: When an image that has been pinned to Pinterest is
pinned again to a board by another user.
Board: Where the images you pin and repin are stored. You can
create several boards, for the different categories your pins fall
under—eg stationery, giftware, greeting cards, magazines etc.
Follower: Another Pinterest user who is following your account
and your posts—equivalent to a follower on Twitter, or a
Facebook user who has ‘liked’ your business page. Everything
you post and repin will appear on their ‘Following’ page—
equivalent to a Facebook newsfeed. The more followers you have,
the more visible you are on Pinterest, and the more your images
will be seen and repined.
Following: This refers to Pinterest users you are following. Their
images and repins will all appear on your ‘Following’ page. It
is important to keep track of what your followers, these mainly
being your customers, are pinning, as it would give you a good
insight into what their interests are, and what you should be
stocking in your store in order to make it more appealing for
How to set up an account
Setting up a Pinterest account is incredibly simple. All you
log in using your
Facebook or Twitter
account, or personal
email address, set a
password, fill in the
‘about’ section in a
way that appeals to
your customer base,
and start uploading
I can speak for the majority of consumers in their 20s and 30s
when I say that online shopping is fast becoming the preferred
method of shopping. This is mainly due to convenience—not only
can this be done in the convenience of one’s home, most online
shopping sites now have mobile apps, which can be used on the
go. The Pinterest app is currently one of the most downloaded
apps in the AppStore. It would be crazy not to explore this avenue
of marketing and promotions for your newsagency—particularly
with Back-to-School promotions and Christmas sales looming
just around the corner.
• Pinterest is about lifestyles, not products. When pinning your
products, make sure the images portray how they would suit
the lifestyle of your customers—simple pictures of products
will not go very far on Pinterest. The key to mastering Pinterest
is to realise that it’s less about promoting your products and
more about promoting how your products can be used, and
why you customers would purchase them. That means creating
boards to show off your beliefs and culture, not your inventory.
• Make sure you link every pin to your website, Facebook page or
Twitter profile—a pin with no link is a useless one where your
business is concerned.
I bought an incredible pair of shoes from ASOS, an online shopping website, a few weeks
ago. This was nothing out of the ordinary—I am a self-confessed online shopping addict.
What was different about this purchase, however, was that it was influenced by my
stumbling across a picture of the shoes during a long, slow bus ride home, while I was
scrolling through the latest craze to hit the world of social media—Pinterest.
By Nishithi Amaratunga
National Newsagent September 2012
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