How to use Pinterest for PR

By Christopher Tavolazzi, Editorial Assistant
People love Pinterest.
Pinterest combines life planning, self expression, and a visual escape into a cohesive online community. I love firing up my home page and scrolling through all the images, sometimes finding a picture of a cute seal right next to a hilarious captioned photo of the NFL replacement refs.
Pinterest’s self described mission is to connect everyone in the world through the things they’re interested in. Shareable content is king, and it seems to be working. 
An article in TechCrunch states that Pinterest is the fastest ever to break the 10 million user mark, doing so in two years. Traffic to the site increased 4000 percent in 2011 to 11.7 unique users, and now the site has almost 15 million users. That’s a lot of eyes.
So how can PR professionals capitalize on the fifth most popular social media site in the world?
First, get an account. Do it right now. I’ll wait.
Signed up? Good. Familiarize yourself with what the site and how it works.
The payoff: referral traffic.
As people share your content, you’ll get increasing free exposure from people interested in your product or organization. Obviously, this is great and pretty exciting, but how exactly do you do this?
Blogger Brian Solis says to think of content as “social objects” in his Sept. 24 blog. He advises us to produce content with optimized shareability and resonance, in an effort to get your audience’s attention. 
In a sea of pins, you want your image to stand out from the rest.
Aim to release content compelling enough to make this happen. Make sure your image immediately captures attention and interest. Try to release content on a schedule in order to keep your base interested. You want people to want to share your stuff, of course, and people re-pin what they like, what makes them laugh, and what makes them say “woah.”
Social media moves fast, with one viral video or cool image giving way to the next shiny thing within hours. 
Solis also draws a comparison to Back to the Future III, when Marty McFly is trying to get a train to reach 88 mph, but regular wood only gets the train moving so fast. Doc Brown engineers special logs that-when thrown in at certain intervals-allow the train to reach a higher speed. 
Use this scene as a model for your Pinterest campaign. Have something that whizzes through the social media scene getting re-pinned, shared, and tweeted like crazy. Then, when it dies out, release your next batch of content and watch the fire ignite all over again. 
Just make sure your log will catch with ease.

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