3 Ways Businesses Can Benefit From Using Pinterest
Earlier this year, everyone was talking about Pinterest. Now that some of the initial buzz and traffic news has died down, we wanted to take a look at some of the ways the “pinboarding” site may be able to benefit businesses.
For those of you who haven’t heard: Pinterest is a rapidly growing online pinboard site where members collect photos or videos (called pins) that link to a) their own content, or b) other content around the web that inspires them. Karen Leland’s Small Business America article states “Pinterest drives more referral traffic than YouTube, Google+ and LinkedIn — combined.” Members organize these pins onto public boards which can be categorized and followed by other friends and users. Learn more at Pinterest or check out Mashable’s Pinterest: A Beginner’s Guide to the Hot New Social Network.
DISCLAIMER: Pinterest is being deemed by some as amazing for business and the new “it” site and as a passing fad by others. Truth is, it might not be for everyone or fit all businesses. However, it is easy to try out, and you may find a benefit so take a look around and see if it might work for you.
How businesses can benefit
1. Build your Brand
Pinterest can help both existing and potential customers understand your businesses point of view. It provides an opportunity to share what’s important to you and what inspires you. It also allows you to convey some sides of your business that customers don’t usually get to see, such as a humorous side. We recommend that if you are trying to build your brand on Pinterest, you should:
- Focus on the lifestyle of the brand and not just the products or services. Whole Foods does a great job of this. Their Pinterest account includes plenty of products and recipes that you might expect but also has boards dedicated to crafts, favorite books, architecture they love and a board dedicated to their charity work. This provides a more well-rounded view of the brand that helps customers build connections between themselves and that business.
- Find ways to engage pinners. One example is when bridal website Style Me Pretty asked a question in their pin description. They were honest about why they were asking and got lots of responses from engaged users.
2. Drive Traffic
If your business model depends on site advertising revenue, it is obviously critical to encourage users to not just “like” or “repin” your Pinterest content, but to actually click-through and visit your actual site. To move in this direction, businesses should create content that is visual (pin-able) that encourages users to click-through (e.g. Top 10 lists, etc). Without an adequate incentive, the user’s interaction may end after looking, liking, and repinning your content. Food blogs are especially good at bringing Pinterest traffic directly to their sites. These blogs rely on advertising and also have a great reason to encourage click-through. If a user sees a recipe (for example Skinny Taste’s Crock Pot Italian Turkey Meatballs), they will repin, but they will also click through to actually look at the recipe and get more information. Make sure your users’ interactions don’t stop at repinning!
3. Advertise Services/Products
If you have services and products to advertise, consider blending your promotional goals with your branding goals. Pinterest sites should never be purely promotional. Trophy Cupcakes‘ (Seattle, WA) slogan is “Cupcakes and Party” since they claim to make delicious, party-perfect cupcakes that make everyone want to party. Their boards are themed for different types of parties, but always include their specialty cupcakes as well. Take their Easter board as an example: it provides lots of party inspiration but also includes two of their custom cupcakes.
- Description is key – make sure services are highlighted and people understand this isn’t just something you like, but something you offer.
- By adding a price in your description it will automatically be filtered into the gift stream as well (see pinterest.com/gifts)
Learn More About How Businesses Can Use Pinterest
We think one of the best way to learn more is to just take a look around and see for yourself! Investigate types of content and categories people are making available and search some of your business’ keywords or competitors. Then if you decide to jump in, start simple and see how it works for you. We’ve also included the following list of our favorite articles discussing Pinterest.
- Examples of Companies on Pinterest
- Useful tips on tracking content
- Tips for Small Businesses
- UK proves Pinterest can attract men and wealthy users
- 6 Charts That Reveal The Truth About Pinterest’s Crazy Growth
- How to Make Images Stand Out on Pinterest
- Pinnable Business