Social bookmarking has been around since 2003, with Delicious and Digg being two of the most famous services to popularize the sharing of website bookmarks. Pinterest, launched in 2010, took this a step further with the ability to share visual bookmarks. As with other services, you are still bookmarking a site, or article, that you found interesting, but instead of this only being text based, an image from the article or website becomes the focal point of the post.
The design of the Pinterest website emphasizes the visual, with the images of all shares featuring prominently, and any text is always placed below the images. Buttons to like, share or add to your own bookmarks are conveniently hidden, only appearing as you hover over each bookmark. The site is still quite focused on fashion, design, DIY and crafts, but you will find themes and collections on almost any subject imaginable. Target audience: women.
There are several terms and phrases that have become popular thanks to Pinterest, each linked to specific action on the site:
- Each bookmark or share is known as a “pin”
- If you share someone else’s pin, or someone shares one of yours, it is known as a “repin”
- You create “pinboards” to group all your pins together by topic
Most sites now include a button allowing you to share directly to Pinterest, but you can also upload images directly. Pinterest also offers a Chrome extension, and a “bookmarklet” for other browsers, which allows you to easily share items from any website. Naturally, it integrates well with Twitter and Facebook, so you can easily share any pins you make, or find interesting, with all your followers on other social sites.
For businesses, and especially in terms of brand marketing, Pinterest has become as essential as Facebook and Twitter. As with the two older social networks, you don’t only need to understand the network and its audience, you also have to understand how to use it to your benefit.
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Image credit: Norebbo