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3 Ways To Use Pinterest For Networking

Posted May 24, 2013 by Lisa Granshaw in Networking Buzz
pinterest-2-579x421-cIf you don’t have a Pinterest account, you might want to think about getting one. According to a 2012 Experian Marketing Services report, Pinterest is the third largest social network after Facebook and Twitter. Considering the networking potential of the other two, it stands to reason that the virtual pinboard site can provide networking benefits for your career as well.

While I was a late convert to Pinterest, I’ve started to see the potential the site has as a place for connecting with other professionals especially in the lifestyle industries. I became convinced of Pinterest’s potential when I helped run the TODAY Show’s account last year. It’s a very visual platform and lifestyle content like food, fashion, and technology do very well in that type of environment.

A profile on Pinterest may not get you a job but it will give you a visual way to share your personal brand, show your interests, and connect. Here are three ways Career Girls can get the most out of Pinterest.

1. Create multiple boards

To get started, create a few different types of boards on your profile. Be creative with the types of boards and their names. These boards will be the face of your brand on Pinterest. Use them to feature original content as well as content from others.

Also, don’t be afraid to let your personality shine through your board names and pins. Try sharing pins you think are funny or pin some behind-the-scenes images of your work. If you’re a freelancer who works at home, why not create a board where you pin an item that’s on your desk each day and encourage others to do the same? Then you can re-pin those that do the same and connect with them through this sharing. Letting a little of your personality show will help you connect with others on the site.

Try new things and see how your followers respond. If something isn’t working you can always delete it and move on. Use the fact that you can create as many boards as you want to its potential. The more boards and topics, the more people you can interact with to build your network.

2. Be active

When you join Pinterest start following brands, companies, and people you are interested in potentially connecting with. Once pins start filling up your homepage, repin those pins onto your boards. You can also repin pins of those you don’t follow to spread your name, but be sure it’s definitely something you want associated with your board. When you repin make sure the link goes to a legitimate site so you don’t end up pinning a pin with an unsafe link.

While repinning is an easy way to engage with other users, also utilize your other options such as commenting and liking pins. This will increase your engagement with brands and hopefully drive traffic back to your profile. Commenting is a great way to start a conversation with the brand and their followers, and liking a pin may get you more notice than just reflexively repining.

3. A repin vs. an original pin

A mix of both pinning others content and pinning your own original content is the way to go on Pinterest and it’s important to remember this balance. It can become very easy to just repin others content but by pinning your own original images you can drive content to your portfolio, blog, and other professional websites. Also don’t be afraid to pin an original pin more than once. If you have multiple photos on a blog post you wrote, then pin all those photos to your board and play around with the description so they each say something new. These original pins will hopefully help you connect with your followers outside of Pinterest and show them your brand beyond your profile page, expanding your network. Of course also be sure to repin content, which may make people more likely to repin your own.

Pinterest is still fairly new and growing, but since I recently began using it I’ve noticed it has the potential to be another great addition to your networking toolkit. According to CNet, Pinterest has already added a Web Analytics tool which allows users to see how well their pages are preforming on the site and have promised new business tools in the future. With more opportunities for using Pinterest for business on the horizon, it pays to start making your presence felt now on the website and start connecting with others to expand your network. So, join me in exploring the world of Pinterest as a networking tool!

About the Author

Lisa Granshaw

Lisa Granshaw is a freelance writer and career consultant based in New York City. Her company, Media Career Consulting LLC, offers a variety of consulting services to young professionals interested in a career in the media and communications industry. She began her career as a NBC Page, worked as a production assistant at Nightly News with Brian Williams, and was a producer and writer for the TODAY Show's website. Her work has appeared on The Daily Dot, TODAY.com, Parents.com, Vetstreet, Blastr, and more.