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Don’t Yet “Get” Facebook or Twitter? Then Keep Your Business Off Pinterest

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Earlier this month, I gave two seminars on “How Pinterest Can Be Your Business’ Secret Social Media Weapon.” During my talks, I offered marketers and business owners a variety of Pinterest how-tos and marketing tips.

As I mentioned to the seminar attendees, making a success of Pinterest is more than figuring out how to masterfully repin and create boards. It’s about getting the vibe of Pinterest — which, as it stands, is about learning, interacting, monitoring trends, getting feedback, and focusing more on your followers’ lifestyle and less about your product.

Do you think you’re ready to use Pinterest for your business? The first step to determine this is to make an honest assessment of what you’re already doing on your existing social media plaforms.

If you

  • view Facebook primarily as a means to “push information” or “spread the word” about your business
  • send the same messages simultaneously to Facebook and Twitter
  • rarely reply to messages or replies to your posts

and you don’t

  • ask your fans and followers for feedback
  • know what your fans do for fun
  • give followers any sense of what YOU do for fun
  • monitor and analyze trends in your Twitter stream

… then don’t bother with Pinterest. The pinning community is decidedly anti-”pushing messages” and against overt promotions. Heck, even Pinterest on its Pinning 101 page says that at present, “making money isn’t our top priority right now.” So if they’re hesitant to sell, sell, sell, you should be too.

With this in mind, take the next few months to work on these essential social skills on Facebook and Twitter. Get it to a point where you see increased interaction with your fans and followers.

During this time, you can set up an account on Pinterest to lock in your username. Use the “Popular” tab on top to see what images resonate most with fans. Get RSS feeds of your pinning competitors to see what they’re doing to tap into their followers’ lifestyle.

And learn what brands outside your market are doing well on Pinterest. My article on how select book publishers on Pinterest have tapped into the social nature of this platform should give you some preliminary ideas.

You probably don’t want to just “do Pinterest.” In all probability, you want to do it right. So take your time, get comfortable with the “social” of social media and use it to your advantage once you decide to have your business start pinning.

Below are the slides to the “Secret Weapon” ┬ápresentation I gave at Workbar Boston. Read on and keep those questions coming!

Photo credit: Flickr/scottiet812

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