Pinterest. Odds are you’ve heard the name recently (most likely from your wife or technology addicted daughter), but you’re not quite sure what it is. “A digital pinboard? With pictures? Well that is just great, but why should I care?”. Well, I’ll tell you exactly why you should care about Pinterest and what it could mean for your business.
What is it?
Pinterest is a social network that allows users to visually share their interests by pinning images and links on a digital pinboard. Pins consists of images or videos that link to a source location. Users create a Pinboard which consist of multiple pins, usually of the same theme. Users can upload pins directly, or pin things the find on the internet using Pinterest bookmarklet, Pin-It button, or URL.
Let’s simplify it a bit. The main focus of Pinterest is the sharing of quality photos. Users can re-pin a photo they like on their own boards and broadcast that to their followers. Basically, it is a social network for visual collectors.
How does it benefit my business?
Pinerest can be beneficial to your business in many ways. It is all about how you use it. The possibilities Pinterest can provide are promising, especially for small businesses, entrepreneurs, and shops.
Any business that relies on website traffic to increase sales should consider investing some time into Pinterest. Early research indicates that Pinterest may be more effective at driving traffic than other social media sites. According to Shareaholic, Pinterest drives more referral traffic than Google Plus, LinkedIn and YouTube combined and also managed to beat out Twitter. 90% of Pinterest’s user base are women between the ages of 25 to 34. While men may be jumping on the Pinterest bandwagon soon enough, right now the ladies are leading the way. This presents a very clear demographic of who is spending time on Pinterest, and who your content should be targeting. Just by scanning the numbers, if your customers are on Pinterest you should be too.
You can think of Pinterest as a marketplace that lets your customers advertise for you. Posting a photo of a product allows users to like, comment, and re-pin that photo onto their own boards for their followers to see. This drives more visitors to your website where you can sell them the product directly.
Pinterest, like all social media, may not be right for you. If you work with any form of e-commerce than Pinterest is right up your alley. It gives you a platform to display and advertise your products in a way that lets users interact and share them. It is also great for discounts and sales. If your business doesn’t translate well into images or videos, Pinterest could still work for you, but you’ll have to get more creative. As with all social media Pinterest should focus on engaging followers and building relationships with them.
Walk Me Through It
Lets break it down into a real world example. Let’s say you work at Toms and you’re in charge of marketing their new line of wedding shoes. You take an awesome, sharable, interesting picture and pin it to the Tom’s Wedding board. When a user clicks the photo it links them to the Tom’s Wedding catalog on the Toms website. Users who come across the photo can re-pin it on their own boards like “My Style” or “Wedding Ideas” for their followers to see.
Because users follow boards that they’re interested in, a photo is automatically exposed to an audience that cares about that specific content. Photos of wedding dresses won’t end up on a tech-nerd’s Pinterest board. So, the photo of your product is reaching an users who would actually be interested in buying the promoted product. By simple posting an interesting photo of wedding shoes, Tom’s has advertised their new wedding line directly to their target audience.
Why does it matter?
Pinterest will give you unparalleled access into the mind of your consumer. By visiting fans pages you can easily identify buyer personas and create a more detailed map of your consumers. This insight is valuable in creating marketing campaigns, advertisements and future products.
Pinterest is pioneering a new an innovative way for companies to sell and advertise their products by focusing on products visual appeal through well done photography.
It is not just about promoting products that you think a user might want, but also why they would want the products and how they function in their daily lives.
Who is doing it right?
Etsy – Sitting comfortably with 102,000+ followers, Etsy has it figured out. Sticking to the theme of the website, Etsy’s pinboards consist mostly of homemade goods, vintage clothing and DIY projects. Other boards promote how their products can spice up your daily life. This is not only showing what users what they need, but also why they need it and what it can do for them.
Example: Users look through Etsy’s ‘Cool Spaces’ board to find ideas for decorating a new apartment. An image of an innovative bookshelf shows the price and links directly to the store when clicked. Simple!
- If your business doesn’t naturally photograph well (like us bloggers for example) there are still ways to take advantage of Pinterest. Every site has some form of visual assets that they can utilize into interesting pins – you just have to get creative! Try using Infographics, charts or other data visualizations to get a point across, or create a stimulating title card or poster for blog posts. Still stumped? Think outside the box. Snap some photos of the office environment, people you work with and customers.
- Hire a photographer. The real success with Pinterest lies with having the most interesting and appealing photographs. Nothing can hold you back more than sloppy photography. Strive to create something eye-catching – it will help your content spread faster.
- Create pin-boards that don’t focus on advertising your specific products, but related to what you do in your day-to-day business. Show what you represent, what you enjoy, and who you are. Add some life into your Pinterest – let it take on a personality. Remember, social media should be about engaging fans first and selling your products second.
- Pinterest eloquently displays the price of a product if you note it in the description.