Pinterest is a virtual pinboard (or bulletin board) that lets users collect and display (or “pin”) theme-based collections, such as photos, videos, hobby information, products, recipes, etc. for other members to see and share. It has skyrocketed in popularity since launching in September 2011.

Like other social media sites, Pinterest lets you build a community of followers who can like your pins, share them on their own pinboard or choose to be alerted each time you pin something new to a collection. Here are some ideas for building a Pinterest community that could help generate leads.

Pin properties for sale: Pinterest lets you group your pins by topic (called boards). For example, you might have a recipe board, a meet the team board, etc. Think of boards as folders and inside them are your pins. Consider creating boards that group the interests, concerns and hobbies of your clients and the community you serve. Pinterest lets you see who is sharing, liking and commenting on your pins, which points you toward possible leads.

Update your followers about neighborhood news and events: Ask yourself: What do your potential clients want to know about the neighborhood? Schools? Restaurants? Businesses? Create boards that highlight these features. Also consider creating boards that help promote upcoming events, such as neighborhood garage sales or fundraising car washes.

If any of the content you want to share to Pinterest is already on your website, simply link the image from your website instead of uploading it to Pinterest. This will help in your Search Engine Optimization (SEO) efforts and attract visitors to your website. Use your keywords in your pin descriptions. Keywords are words and phrases that help search engines match a page to a Web search query that a person might make in a search for information. Also, it’s best to pin images that you own to avoid any copyright infringement.

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