If you could travel back in time and start a Facebook page for your restaurant before the social giant became the largest networking site on the internet, wouldn’t you? Pinterest, a social network that has emerged recently and is gaining popularity quickly, is set to become one of the biggest sites on the web, and by getting aboard now your restaurant will reap some big benefits. The total number of restaurants and other small businesses currently utilizing Pinterest is much smaller than the huge pool of businesses on Facebook, so by getting your Pinterest profile set up now you can count on your business standing out and gaining a competitive advantage.
And beyond these competitive advantages you can expect to realize with a Pinterest account, the network is in general designed in a manner that will give your restaurant some unique social media promotion opportunities. There is already a large and growing community on Pinterest of food fanatics that your restaurant can tap in to, and with just a few basic strategies you can start seeing the marketing benefits of Pinterest today. Read on for tips on starting your Pinterest account and getting the most out of the food blogging potential of the emerging social network.
Setting Up Your Pinterest Account
While the basics of setting up your restaurant’s new Pinterest account are similar to other popular networks, and are simple enough with straightforward form completion and step by step instructions, there are some unique things about starting your Pinterest account that should be noted.
First, when you land on the “Join Pinterest” sign up page, you will see an option to log in with an existing Facebook account. While some users may prefer the convenience of this option, it is usually a good idea to sign up too all social network and other accounts with an email instead, to keep things organized and streamlined.
Second, note that Pinterest has specific settings/info for business pages, so be sure that you don’t fill out forms with your own information. Make sure to follow Pinterest’s built in instructions for creating a business specific page, and you will be in the clear. Note as well that Pinterest makes public your business info by default, so keep everything clean, professional, and check your spelling and grammar.
Optimizing Your Pinterest Account
Once you have followed Pinterest’s instructions for setting up an account for your business, and have kept in mind the special considerations above, it’s time to start thinking about how to use your account to promote your business. Specifically, you should focus on tapping into Pinterest’s food community, and utilizing the platform to showcase your restaurant’s offerings. Here are three easy steps to start getting the most out of Pinterest for your restaurant:
Learn About Boards and Pinning
Pinterest has a unique format, and you will have to learn a bit about how the platform works before getting the most out of it. Pinterest “Boards” are community bulletin boards, and live on your restaurant’s profile page like a cork board in front of your brick and mortar shop. You can create your own boards and organize them around different content themes (more on this soon). Then, you can “pin” content to those boards like hanging a flyer on a cork board, and everyone will see your work.
Start Brainstorming “Board” Ideas
One of the most important aspects of your restaurant’s Pinterest profile is the way your Boards are organized, and the topics of your different Boards. You should think a bit about what Boards you would like to use, and utilize the flexibility of Boards to showcase the personality and unique features of your restaurant. Remember that on the Boards you create, you will be “Pinning” content from around the web, so it is a good idea to make categories general enough to give yourself the chance to find content. Boards like “recipes,” “fun dishes,” and “specialty cocktails” can help you establish your food blog credibility. And think about original themed boards where you can post things like pictures of your own food.
Once you have set up some boards to organize your content, it’s time to find things to “pin” to your profile. Pinning is how you interact with other users on Pinterest; when you browse the profiles of other users and see content you like, you can “re-pin” it to one of your boards. And when you do re-pin things, other users will be notified, and your networks and interactions will grow. Search for popular food bloggers, and “re-pin” their content to gain traction with them and their followers. Just like pinning flyers to a cork board, pinning content to your Pinterest boards will show people what you are interested in, transform your restaurant into a hub, and build community
Rafi Cohen, a graduate of Baruch College & Brooklyn native is the Co-Founder @ Orders2me, an online ordering platform that gives restaurant owners all the features they need to grow their business in the digital age.
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