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Pin-Up Your Market Efforts with Pinterest

by Peter Thomas Ricci

A content sharing service that allows members to “pin” images, videos and other objects to a virtual pin board, the social media site Pinterest is more than the latest hot fad. According to recent web analysis, it was one of the top 10 most visited social networking sites in 2011, it had 11.7 million users in January 2012 and it currently generates more clicks than Google+ and YouTube, the latter of which is the world’s second largest search engine.

This is all fun and grand, but what exactly is Pinterest? And what could it possibly mean for Realtors? Pinterest operates as a visual blog, an assortment of images and photographs that users upload to a unique profile. When a visitor explores a profile, they are treated to a cornucopia of images in a clean, grid format that reflect the interests and personality of the user.

With that in mind, Pinterest offers Realtors a considerable amount of opportunities to expand on their business. With how vital visuals are to the character of the site, it is incredibly simple to design pin boards around one theme, so as agents, consider, for instance, several different pin boards directed at your first-time homebuyer clients. One could feature decorating ideas for the house; another could delve into fast and simple DIY renovations; another still could recommend tools and appliances, and another could focus on landscaping and lawn maintenance.

Another great thing about Pinterest is its elasticity – there is no one topic or theme that users must design their pin boards around. Agents, then, can just as easily design pin boards on complementary topics to real estate, rather than filling pin board after pin board with housing-specific objects. For instance, an agent operating out of Chicago’s Loop could easily design a pin board featuring all of the spectacular restaurants, stores and landmarks populating Michigan Avenue. An agent selling property in Lincoln Park could create a pin board that spotlights many of the area’s finest boutiques and cafes. Or a suburban agent based in Glen Ellyn or Wheaton could show off the town’s many excellent schools and public parks.

Also, make sure you engage other Pinterest profiles; few things are more incriminating in social media than a static or “spammy” profile. “Repinning,” which is akin to Twitter’s “retweeting,” is the easiest way to accomplish that. When you “repin,” you add a user’s image to your own board and credit the original user who posted it. Such interaction and communication is, after all, the point of social media!

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