A picture is worth a 1,000 words and that, in a nutshell, is the point of Pinterest.  The latest craze in social media is a virtual pinboard that allows users to “pin” things from all over the internet onto their own board which in turn displays it for others to see.  It essentially re-creates the bulletin board in the kitchen where recipes from magazines, the postcard you got from your nephew and the phone number of your hairdresser are tacked up.  But with Pinterest, you can grab things from anywhere and everyone can see it.  Its incredible growth, 4000% in the first half of this year according to compete.com, has sky-rocketed it from “cool site” to” must have tool” for both marketing and branding of all kinds of businesses.

When it comes to leveraging the best things about this platform, there are few businesses better suited to benefit from the Pinterest Pinboard craze than restaurants.  Here are 6 tips for generating buzz for your restaurant using Pinterest.

1.     Image is Everything

While this is true about the image of your restaurant, this is really about the images you make available for pinning on your website or that you pin yourself.  The more mouthwatering, the more eye-catching, the more interesting your images are, the more likely they will be repinned.

2.     Don’t Just Focus on the Food

Post pictures of your restaurant, of your customers, and of your staff. This is a great way to introduce potential customers to your ambience and décor, to really give them a feel for your restaurant.  It is also a great way to introduce your staff and give customers a way to get to know them.

3.     Be Revealing

Share some of your recipes.  According to an infographic published by Instawares.com, recipes get 42% more click-throughs than other pins.  Make your patrons feel like they are part of the family by letting them in on some inside details.

4.     Make it About More than Marketing

Pinterest is like sharing your favorite things with all your friends.  But just like when sharing with friends, Pinterest should not be all about you and what is new and fun and different about you.  Share the wealth, highlight other local businesses, talk about long-time customers, and promote community events.

5.     The Easier the Better

Pinterest generates 3 times as many referrals as YouTube, but it has to be easy for people to pin things from your site.  You can facilitate the process by adding “pin it” buttons, like the Facebook “share” button to your site.  People won’t spend time searching around for your pin button but if they see something they like and there is a button right there just begging them to pin it, they are much more likely to do it.

6.     Timing is Everything

In order to make sure your pins get seen, you need to participate when Pinterest is most active.  That means 2-4PM and 8PM-1AM.  Pinning and liking and repinning during these time slots will increase your visibility and make it more likely that you will get the level of engagement needed to inspire new customers to walk through your door.


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