Tuesday, March 14, 2017

"Pinterest Is A Great Business Tool For Us To Be Using"

As we look for ways to be more visible and to have more people notice us, we have websites and engage in various types of marketing. Many of us have social media profiles also. For some it is little more than just a basic listing. For others, it is more robust.

A site that all of us should be using for our aging in place businesses is Pinterest. This site has gone through some growing pains and is a little bit of a sleeper - except for those who are familiar with it and understand what it can do.

Pinterest has two major attributes that make it ideal for our purposes. First, it is a visual site. It relies on the posting of images - photos, art, info-graphics, statistics, clever sayings, and other things which can be displayed graphically. The power of the visual cannot be overstated. There are some people that we work with who are visually impaired, but that should not be a deterrent in deciding to embrace and use the platform. 

The second is the search engine power of Pinterest. It ranks right up there in the top 5 in the world. Want to see how to do something in a step-by-step picture illustration or how something can look? Search for it on Pinterest and see what returns. For remodeling, decorating, furnishings, landscaping, aging in place, universal design, kitchen, bath, flooring, lighting ideas, and more, it's got them.

We should be using Pinterest so our potential clients can find us, as well as existing and potential strategic partners and referring professionals. Create a profile, pick a few boards to start curating, and have a presence.

There are three ways to be active on Pinterest, and the second two are more in line with our purposes. First, someone can have a profile and post nothing, but like, follow, or comment on the posts of others. That is certainly a way to use the site, but it doesn't help position our businesses or draw any attention to us.

The second is to post original material. Create info-graphics, statistics in graphic form, charts, graphs, or upload original photography. The nice thing about this is that it is stamped with where it comes form so it will direct someone back to the website or place of origin. It does take some time to do this, but the results are good. If there are before and after photos that the client doesn't mind being posted (anonymously, of course, with no attribution as to location), or general photos that are representative of completed projects, these are great to post.

The third way is to be a curator - like someone making a scrapbook. First, create some boards like "universal design flooring," "home safety tips," or "home renovations in (name of your area)." Initially, the boards can be "secret" or private as photos are being collected and posted. They can remain secret as a way of communicating photos, plans, and ideas with staff, strategic partners, and clients with whom the specific link or links are shared (a little like Dropbox).

Then begin posting photos that we run across and adding to our boards. Before long, others will notice and even begin reposting items that have been shared. Create more boards and keep going. There is no upper limit on how many boards can be displayed, no quota on what needs to be posted, no minimum participation in terms of how often, and no points or badges to earn. Just take advantage of this site to build our businesses and let the consumers find what we do.

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Steve HoffackerCAPS, CEAC, SHSS, is a licensed Certified Aging-In-Place Specialist-instructor and best-selling author of universal design books. To learn about this and other programs for aging-in-place or universal design, visit stevehoffacker.com or call 561-685-5555. Also check out the "Aging & Accessibility" groups on Facebook and LinkedIn.