Pinterest, the website where users could pin their favorite pictures, is now slowly going commercial. This elegant website was originally created for users to keep electronic scrapbooks. However, it is now following in the footsteps of Twitter and Facebook and is allowing businesses to create company pages. Pinterest has stated that this update has nothing to do with monetizing the website but to improve user experience and to help companies reach a bigger audience.
Pinterest Business Pages
Company and individual pages on Pinterest are still very similar but there are new tools and resources available exclusively for business pages. While creating an account for a business page, companies only have to enter the name of the business unlike individual accounts where both first and last names are needed. Like Twitter, Pinterest also verifies business pages by using a piece of hidden code. Only after this code is recognized, business pages receive the Pinterest verification badge but this process is still not as strong as the verification process Twitter uses. Users can also convert their personal accounts, which they created to promote their companies, to business pages.
There are quite a few widgets and tools available for business pages. Pinterest widgets have also been newly introduced for both individual and company pages. Companies can now add embed widgets, Pin It and Follow buttons on their websites to make it easier for web content to be shared on Pinterest. Although companies are not obligated to add these buttons on their websites, it is pretty obvious that these Pinterest specific buttons will help the shareability of web content immensely. To help companies learn more about these pages and its features and guidelines; a new microsite has been launched with case studies of other companies, guidelines, best practices, ethics and rules to promote proper use of this newly launched business page feature.
Unlike Facebook and Twitter that have strictly enforced business page guidelines, Pinterest’s main aim is to discourage spammy behavior. The “Logos, trademarks and marketing guideline” page defines how companies are allowed to use Pinterest to market their brands and the guidelines causing the most buzz are the Promotions and Marketing ones. Instead of penalizing companies, it has described a few Dos and Don’ts that it encourages business pages to follow to keep with the ideals of Pinterest.
Most importantly, the site has asked companies to discourage indiscriminate repining and liking of pins. Companies often conduct promotions, sweepstakes and competitions where users must like, share, pin and repin as much as possible to win. This gives unfair advantage to these business pages and users are not repining content because the content is good.
Spammy and annoying comments are also being discouraged and companies are advised not to encourage such behavior from their followers. Instead of hosting campaigns and promotions too frequently, companies are encouraged to pin interesting, beautiful and relevant pictures regularly that will automatically generate more engagement from other users on Pinterest. Social media experts have said that these guidelines are beneficial to any company as it helps them build their credibility, brand awareness and customer loyalty.
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