Pinterest LogoFirst of all, what on earth is Pinterest?

Think of it as an online scrapbook or pegboard where you would post various photos or sticky notes for others to see. A vision board is another example of what Pinterest could be. Unlike those examples, Pinterest is an ever-changing and ever-evolving board. It is a visual way for you to show what you do.

Why should construction companies use it?

You have one of the most nebulous industries out there—most people don’t really understand what you do. They know they didn’t like what it was and you created something different or that you created something from nothing. Either way, most customers know the final product. Pinterest allows you to show your customers that there is more to what you do than just the final product—the details matter.

Is Pinterest of value to my company even if I am not a residential contractor?

Yes! You have a similar challenge to the residential industry—people don’t understand what you do. Your colleagues understand, your clients may have somewhat of an understanding, but it’s the community that you are directly affecting. Sharing with them visually what you are doing will build your credibility and their confidence in the project. Think of it as helping them accept change—and we all know that accepting change can be hard to do.

Why can’t I just sign up?

Pinterest is still a by invitation only site. You need someone who already has a Pinterest account to invite you. Having said that, you probably already know someone who has a Pinterest account—post on Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn that you would like someone to send you an invite and you will receive one in no-time. Or you could just ask me 🙂

What is the purpose of Pinterest?

Simple . . . drive traffic to your website—think SEO and SMO (Search Engine Optimization and Social Media Optimization). Hint. Hint. You should already have a website and blog and this is a great way to share stories about the pictures.

What should I “pin”?

Completed projects are always good, but predictable. People already know the final product. I encourage you to think “off the board”. Like with any other social media tool, use the 80/20 (or less) rule when doing a direct sale. Social media should primarily be about building relationships, trust, and establishing yourself or your company as the resource. Here are a few ideas:

  • In-progress projects—why do you use this technique over that? Show photos of both to prove that your way is the better way.
  • Projects with a mishap—I know most people try to hide these, but I encourage you to show your mistakes (assuming that they won’t land you in court) and tell the story about what you learned from them. It makes you real, which people can relate to.
  • Your employees doing the work—yes the people that do the work in the field and behind the scenes in the office. This is incredibly important if you are trying to show that you are a diverse company.
  • Conferences / Tradeshows—if your company has a booth or display take and share pictures of it as well as your team interacting with the audience.

But most of the companies on Pinterest are consumer products, does that matter?

That is good for you! You will be defining what works on Pinterest for your industry! Which means as you have success with it, you can get extra publicity because you figured it out. Pinterest is about personal interest. Almost everyone I have worked with in construction has a personal passion for it, Pinterest gives you a way to communicate that to people who just don’t get it.