Enter Pinterest, the image-bookmarking site and social network ideal for finding, collecting, and sharing photos.
Pinterest has exploded in popularity in the last 12 months, becoming the fastest growing independent site to hit 10 million users, according to comScore. In fact, this January, Pinterest drove more traffic than Google+, YouTube, and LinkedIn — combined.
Pinterest increases online visibility in a number of ways:
- People search Pinterest using keywords they are interested in. It might be “cottage homes in Raleigh NC” or “NYC condos” — when your Pinterest pin boards and photos are tagged with these words, they are displayed to your target audience.
- Because people can “repin” (share) your photo on their own Pinterest boards and can even display pins on Facebook, you have the ability to reach vast networks of people connected to your target audience that you may not have reached otherwise.
- Every time you “pin” a photo, or someone “repins” one of your photos, it creates a link back to your site. Search engines like Google consider the number and quality of inbound links to your site when ranking it in their search engines.
You may have heard of Pinterest, but like many business professionals, you may be scrambling to find a way to figure out how to use it to drive leads. Jennifer Chiongbian, a Manhattan real estate agent specializing in luxury condos, dove in, did some experimenting, and discovered some ways to turn this photo-sharing phenomenon into a real estate lead generation tool.
Chiongbian’s Top 3 Pinterest Tips
1. Use your own photos. This ensures that there are no copyright infringements while also showing off your fun, personal, creative side. “When photos are attractive, people are more likely to re-pin them on their boards. This means more dissemination of your content,” she says.
2. Post your blog and videos on Pinterest. When you add the “pin” button to your toolbar and click it while on a page, it will grab the photo from your blog post or a screenshot of your video. Then, when visitors click that photo, they are sent directly to your blog or YouTube video page for more info. “I post my videos and blog posts on Pinterest,” says Chiongbian. “People re-pin them because of their informative value. When people repin my posts and videos, this opens up another avenue to be disseminated upon.”
3. Host a variety of boards that are theme related, but not all pushing your properties or content. Jennifer has boards called “Whimsical Manhattan” featuring fun images from around town and “Manhattan Gourmet shops” that appeal to foodies in the area. People like to do business with people and she says that including some non-sales photo boards shows others that you are a “real person” and gives them insight about you.
“No one wants to be barraged with being sold. Big box companies can get away with this because the public already knows what they are selling, but when it comes to real estate, you are selling a service and part of that service is the potential client knowing about you.”
4. Use keywords in your Pinboards, photo names, and photo descriptions. Because the Pinterest search engine uses keywords from the pinboard title and photo information to display results, it’s important to include the keywords in these places. Those working to crack the Pinterest search algorithm also believe that adding keywords after hashtags (#) is also a way to increase visibility for search terms within Pinterest. Additionally, Google and other search engines are beginning to display Pinboards in the search results for the keywords used in their titles. “I look for keywords that have a high volume and low competition.”
Take a look at Jennifer’s Pinterest boards here for ideas and inspiration: http://pinterest.com/manhattanapts/.