Pinterest is a fast-growing, ever-evolving, important social media marketing channel for businesses. This is especially true if your target market is mostly female (We’ll discuss these specifics a little later). To help you better understand this social image-sharing site, we’ve assembled a quick guide to Pinterest. For the newcomers, we’ve added some background information and a quick guide to how Pinterest works. Next, we provide a glimpse into why your business should be using Pinterest. Finally, we go over a few tidbits and tips to help your business make the most of this social media channel. So if you’re ready to start growing your business and bottom line with Pinterest, let’s get started.
Get to Know Pinterest – The Basics
When it comes to giving you an introduction to Pinterest there is no one more qualified than the folks at Pinterest. Their FAQ states, “Pinterest is a virtual pinboard. Pinterest allows you to organise and share all the beautiful things you find on the Web. You can browse pinboards created by other people to discover new things and get inspiration from people who share your interests.”
Let’s break that definition down a bit further. The two fundamental parts of Pinterest are Pins and Boards. An image added to Pinterest with a “Pin It” button or by uploading it with a mobile device or computer is called a Pin. A group or set of related Pins is called a Board.
There are a variety of basic user actions allowed on Pinterest. Two of those are, of course, adding a Pin and creating a Board. Users can also browse, follow, repin, like and comment on Pins which makes this image-sharing site more social.
Now that you have a fundamental understanding of Pinterest, we’ll move forward and look at why your business should start using this relatively new social marketing channel.
Why Pinterest is Relevant to Brands: The Numbers Don’t Lie
If you read through this section and are not ready to start using Pinterest to grow your business, well, you’re just not paying attention. What makes Pinterest a viable tool in your social media tool belt at the most basic level, are the users of this social channel. These folks are extremely passionate about Pinterest and also extremely passionate about the brands they follow on Pinterest. This passion creates a group of evangelists who share and spread the love of your brand positively and enthusiastically.
Who are these users of this social, image-sharing site? According to an article we recently read on SocialMediaToday.com, “Pinterest is dominated by adult females… with half of the users having children. Women between the ages of 25 and 54 make up four out of every five Pinteresters, with seven out of ten having a household income between $25,000 and $75,000.” There are males (at this writing the number was about 13%) using Pinterest but right now the audience skews to the adult female target demographic.
The growth of the users is also an important number to pay attention to when deciding on whether or not this will be a viable marketing channel for businesses. According to the same article mentioned in the previous paragraph, visits were “doubling every week” growing Pinterest’s user-base at a rapid rate. When we looked at a graph from Compete.com charting “unique visitors” to Pinterest, the last year saw those numbers grow from 366,480 in March 2011 to 18,182,602 in March 2012.
This rapid growth and passionate user-base should raise your interest in Pinterest. But here’s another little item that should have you ready to set up your company’s account today. That item is referral traffic. The same SocialMediaToday.com article references a study by Shareaholic which shows that Pinterest “drives more referral traffic than LinkedIn, Google+, and YouTube combined” and the “level of traffic is equal to that derived from the Google search engine.” That is quite impressive indeed!
Tips for Using Pinterest for Your Business
How can your business use this social channel to grow its bottom line? That’s the burning question. Here are a few tips to help you get started.
- Ensure your website is pin-worthy by creating, visually-appealing images.
- Encourage your customers and visitors to pin your images with a “Pin It” button.
- Ask your customers to follow you on Pinterest by using a “Follow” button.
- Engage with your customers’ Pins to connect with your audience.
- Crowdsource by involving your customers in contests, promotions, etc.
- Gain consumer insights and feedback by monitoring comments, likes and repins.
- Create enough content in your boards to make them worth following.
- Use your boards to tell your Brand’s story.
- Share content that is valuable, relevant and not too promotional.
- Connect your account to other social media channels like Facebook and Twitter.
- Optimize your Pins with keywords and hashtags.
- Link back to your website(s).
- Network with other businesses and associations related to your industry.
Those tips really are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to using Pinterest to grow your business. Because Pinterest is still evolving, the ways businesses and consumers use this image-sharing site is also evolving daily. And as your company moves forward with Pinterest, make sure you are monitoring the results and focusing on actions which produce the best results.
In Pinterest, you should monitor both your recent activity and your followers’ recent activity to get an overview of your campaign(s). You should also track your images through Pinterest and use Google’s Image Search to see how your images are being used across the web. Brand your images with company information to combat against those who use your images without permission.
Pinterest is still in its infancy. But as you can see from the numbers mentioned above and the passion its users bring to the table, now is the time to get your business involved with this image-sharing social media channel. We hope the information provided above will give you the guidance and inspiration to get started today.