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We had a great show with host Penny Sansevieri discussing the social media phenomenon Pinterest with SEO Expert Susan Gilbert.

About our guest: Search Engine Marketing Expert Susan Gilbert has been an entrepreneur since 1987. She has evolved years of traditional business experience into several cutting edge projects, which includes her Web 2.0 Internet Business. As co-author of “The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Starting and Running a Coffee Bar,” she understands book promotion and has also been a regularly quoted resource in USA Today, Entrepreneur, Inc Magazine and many more.

Author and publisher of “The Land of I Can,” Susan has demonstrated her “hands on” success in both traditional and online publishing. Well known for turning her dog Spencer into a superstar thanks to his ebook, How to Take Your Small Dog EVERYWHERE, and building his expert status as Ambassador of Small Dog Travel, she combines savvy marketing and search engine understanding with her entrepreneurial experiences to create buzz marketing online promotions for both authors and publishers. Learn more at http://www.susangilbert.com/.

What is Pinterest?

Pinterest is a social media site that has exploded in members and visits over the past few months, reaching 11.7 million users. This made Pinterest the fastest social network to break the barrier of 10 million users.

The site is very visual, and as its name suggests, Pinterest encourages users to create boards and pin items of interest to those boards. Pinterest users also can “like” and repin posts from other boards. Approximately 80 percent of the pins are repins. Susan thinks of Pinterest as a shopping network, and it’s true that the visual nature of the boards makes it easy to show off products.

Red Pinterest logo

Red Pinterest logo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In fact, Pinterest may be the easiest of the social networks to use, and its visually appealing style makes it less intimidating to learn and use than other social networks.

How to use Pinterest successfully

If your goal is to market on Pinterest your first step is to know your market. Engage your customers, educate them and add value.

However, don’t market 100 percent of the time. Have fun and let your personality come through.

From an SEO standpoint, every pin on Pinterest is a backlink. Use your keywords in some of your descriptions, captions and board titles. Then track the activity, analyze your traffic and see what works. Focus on the boards where people are pinning your stuff. Encourage customers to create a board where they can show how they use your product.

Case studies

For strong examples of marketing on Pinterest, Susan highlighted a couple of corporate sites: Chobani and Society Social.

Chobanihttp://pinterest.com/chobani/ – is a brand of yogurt. Its description on Pinterest is short and sweet: “Nothing but good pins from America’s #1 yogurt.” The company uses its name in some of its boards, such as Chobani Creations, Chobani Fit and Chobani Kitchen. Of its 20 boards, only a few have the Chobani name – the brand makes its Pinterest presence fun with boards on travel, nutrition, and other food-related topics.

Society Socialhttp://pinterest.com/societysocial/ – makes bar accessories. Its Pinterest page uses its keywords – including bar and Social Society – but also has boards on decor, vintage vogue, celebrations and more.

Both of these Pinterest sites show that these companies know their audience, and they make their Pinterest pages attractive and relevant to their market.

Authors have plenty of options for how to use Pinterest. Writer Brenda Reed has even started a blog to explain why she chose some of the pins on her boards: http://mypinterestblog.wordpress.com/. This is a great way for Brenda to showcase her writing and let people know about her book.

The AME Pinterest critique

Penny asked Susan to critique her Pinterest page at http://pinterest.com/bookgalpenny/.

Susan advised Penny to consider how she wanted to promote herself and/or Author Marketing Experts. If one goal is to promote AME then the page needs boards that use the company’s name. Also, review board titles to be sure they reflect keywords; for example, book marketing videos are available on this Pinterest page but not listed as such. That board should be renamed to use the keywords “book marketing.” A board with the title Book Marketing Videos also makes it clear what is being offered to the audience.

In addition, add boards that make the site more relevant to the audience. This can include a tutorial board, an events board, a new programs board and a company board.

Pinterest’s future

There are rumors Facebook will buy Pinterest. Certainly anything is possible but Susan also noted that Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter have a great synergy and profit from each other.

Pinterest’s popularity is also evident in the growth of Pinterest forums. There is at least one Pinterest dashboard management tool as well: Pinerly. Pinerly – http://www.pinerly.com/i/3sY9h – is currently invitation-only and the demand is high.

One thing seems sure – Pinterest is here to stay and will become a “must” just like Facebook and Twitter. That means if you aren’t on Pinterest yet, it’s time to get started!

Download the full show at:

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/thepublishinginsiders/2012/03/20/all-things-pinterest

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Upcoming Episode:

We’ll be back April 17, 4 p.m. Pacific, with special guest Amy Collins. Be sure to join us! http://www.blogtalkradio.com/thepublishinginsiders

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