The virtual pin board site Pinterest is the fastest growing social networking site today. If you aren’t familiar with the site here is the basic concept: You share your favorite images from the internet or from your computer called “pins” and organize them by themes or categories on a “board”. For example, you can create a board called “Dream Vacations” and include images (pins) of destinations you would like to visit someday. Once you have created boards with pins, other members of the site can comment, “like” or repin your images. People can also follow you or the specific boards you have created to follow other images you post in the future.
While the content for Pinterest is made up entirely of images, there are opportunities for advisors to take advantage of this site for their own marketing purposes. Here are six ideas on how you can use this popular social networking site to market your own business:
- Create a Book List. Create boards around book list themes such as “Top 10 Personal Finance Books for Gen Xers” and pin images of the book covers you recommend.
- Highlight Community Involvement. Create boards that feature photos of your firm’s community involvement such as volunteerism, athletic events, award ceremonies and sponsorships.
- Link to Videos. If you regularly create educational videos, create boards based on video themes and “pin” videos from YouTube. For example, create a board on “Top 10 Retirement Planning Tips” and pin ten videos, each with a different tip, to the board.
- Charts, Diagrams & Statistics. Find interesting charts, diagrams and statistics to illustrate a financial concept. Sketches from Carl Richards’ www.behaviorgap.com are great examples of the types of images to share.
- Quotes. Create a board with financial quotes that are represented through images (think motivational posters) to showcase your personal financial planning or investment philosophies.
- Lists. Consumer magazines regularly put out lists such as “Best College Values.” Create boards based on themes such as these and pin images that illustrate the topic of the list.
Pinterest is still in its infancy, so it is unclear how financial advisors will ultimately use the site to successfully market their businesses. Hopefully this list will give you some ideas of where to start, so you can create your own Pinterest strategy that works for you.
One Final Note
Before you start using Pinterest, remember to consult your attorney as well as your compliance department. While there are always compliance concerns surrounding any social media site, there are specific copyright questions around Pinterest. Using images owned by individuals or companies on Pinterest for commercial purposes is a grey area that may constitute a violation of copyright laws. Unless you own the image, always cite the source of the image and provide a link back to the original website. Check with compliance and your attorney before you start using Pinterest… it’s better to be safe than sorry.