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October 29, 2012

Happy pinning

If you’re not using Pinterest, then it’s probably time you hop on board. Literally. Now the third-largest social networking site, Pinterest works as an online pinboard where users — mostly women — can view and share photos by “pinning” them to their own boards. Since the visual appeal is what separates Pinterest from social media sites like Twitter and Facebook, it’s not hard to imagine how the horticulture industry can benefit from its use. Here are some reasons why Pinterest is worth joining.


Find inspiration
Those on Pinterest are using it to plan weddings, find recipes, decorate their homes and more. You can do the same. Maybe you have a retail area and you’re looking to find new ways to spruce it up. Or maybe you want to help a customer create a cool container garden. Or maybe you’re looking for a unique color palette to pair varieties with. Pinterest can help with that. Having an account will allow you to find pins and boards you’re interested in that can lead to some creative ideas. The website “Get My Pest Out” has some suggestions on boards to follow for gardening: bit.ly/UtkUEQ.


Connect with customers

Just as you may be finding inspiration, you can also be sharing it, specifically with your customers. Try creating boards like, “Landscaping,” “Fairy gardens,” “Indoor houseplants,” or even “Recipes using fresh veggies.” Think of what your customers are interested in and look for ways to help them out, including ideas that do not link to your product, such as interior design. In fact, Pinterest originally had an etiquette rule about avoiding self-promotion on its site (on.wsj.com/QopAuH). While that rule no longer exists, thinking about what best interests your customer is still a good idea. In an article published by Fast Company, the author gives the example of Pretzel Crisps, which has developed boards and pins that its followers enjoy, even if it doesn’t always relate to their snacks. The company knows its audience and how to connect with them (bit.ly/RIR9eN).


Boost web traffic
In the Inc. article, “9 Tips: Boost Your Business With Pinterest,” Hana Abaza, co-founder and CEO of Wedding Republic, found a 75 percent increase in traffic to her website, mostly due to Pinterest. Abaza pins photos from her website so when users click on a pin (after the pin page is opened) it takes them to her website.