Are you into the “pin”?
Experian has released its 2012 Digital Marketer: Benchmark and Trend Report and among the results, it’s found that Pinterest is now the No. 3 most popular social networking site, behind Facebook and Twitter.
If you’re unfamiliar with Pinterest, it’s a very visual networking program that lets you “pin” or choose images from around the web to put on your own virtual bulletin boards (called a pinboard). It’s a good way to organize thoughts on, for example, sofas you like, recipes you might try, bridesmaid dress options for your wedding, DIY projects you could do, etc. You can also save other content like documents or videos.
The great thing about Pinterest is that you can identify images on your own business pinboard that others can pin to their own boards. These images can link through to your business blog, a product for sale on your website, or other content that you provide. Shareaholic published a study in January indicating that Pinterest generates more referral traffic for businesses than YouTube, Reddit, Google+ and LinkedIn combined.
So, the great thing about Pinterest is that it helps people discover the things you sell and the products you make. It also helps convert browsers to buyers as they can click through the images they see to your website, where they can make a purchase.
Does that mean you should be using Pinterest for your business? Well, as with all your marketing endeavors, you should analyze whether this is something that would fit well into your marketing mix. Let’s look at who should be on Pinterest:
- Your business has a lot of female customers. Pinterest is still primarily female, though men are starting to use it in larger numbers. If you sell furniture, housewares, women’s clothing, shoes, accessories, etc. – you should strongly consider getting started with Pinterest.
- You want to be ahead of the curve. Pinterest has more than 12 million unique visitors a month and that number is growing exponentially. While a lot of users are on Pinterest, small businesses are just now getting involved and considering ways they can use the social network to help customers and grow sales. Starting now could give you an advantage over the many other small businesses who will jump on the bandwagon later.
- You have enough time and energy to devote to the new network. Simply opening an account is not going to be enough to help your business; you’ll have to look at what other companies are doing and what your customers like. You’ll also have to devote time to pinning content and visiting other boards. It may make sense to set up specific landing pages on your website that you link images to, so you can easily track interest in what you’re doing. And, you can comment on other people’s or business’s pins to give you even more exposure.
- You like to share. Pinterest is not a community where you’ll benefit by keeping things to yourself. Share your ideas and your creations liberally to attract attention. You’ll also want to cross-promote items you pin on other social networks, like Facebook and Twitter.
- You have content to share. One business owner I spoke with recently is considering having a board of ideas for her clients. They can go through her board and pin the things they like, then share their newly created board with her, so she has a good idea of their interests and preferences and can help them design a custom item that will meet their needs. You need to think visually about content that could be shared with your customers and potential customers. Some businesses may need to think more creatively than others about the kinds of content their potential clients might be interested in.
If you’d like help figuring out how to integrate Pinterest into your marketing mix, or you have questions about how your business should be doing social networking in general, call us at 541-752-9922! We have social media consulting packages to fit any small business’s needs.