Just when you think you have a handle on one social media, another one comes along.
There has been a lot of focus in the press on Pinterest in the last few months,helping it become one of the fastest growing social media platforms to date. In facr accoring to Tech Crunch the number of users, has grown 145 per cent since the beginning of 2012. This growth is greater than both Facebook and Twitter at the same point in their history.
And it's not just the number of users that is impressive, it's Pintrest's influence. Tech Crunch quotes that in February 2012 Pinterest had 10.4 million users and was responsible for 3.6 per cent of all referral traffic. When comparing this to Twitter, who over the last six years has accumulated 200 million users, and is responsible for just 0.1 per cent more of all referral traffic (3.61 per cent), you can understand why Pintrest is getting so much attention.
What is Pinterest?
How Pinterest differs from the other social media platforms is that it focuses on images rather than content. Think of it like a mood board. You ‘pin’ images that inspire you, that interest you, that you think will provoke a reaction. Like the format of the other platforms once you have pinned an image, your circle of friends can view it and repin it if they like it.
That all sounds great for users with time to spare but what does it mean for your small business?
Benefits of Pinterest for Small Business
- A New Shop Window
If you are a retail store with fun and different products that are going to catch someone’s eye, this platform is perfect for you. The image provides a perfect glimpse to the types of products you supply and entices them to read more. You no longer have to think of a catchy line to make people click on a link and then see the product; you can let your product market your business for you.
- Competitor Analysis
It’s easy to keep an eye on your competitors and what is working for them. If an article or product is repined multiple times, you have an insight into what works for that business, and assess how you may combat that.
- Interact and Engage with Customers
As with the other social media platforms, once you find users that are pinning and promoting content or products you can interact and engage with them. If they comment or ask a question on your pin, then you can answer and create a relationship with them.
- Website Traffic
One of the main benefits of Pinterest is the potential for growing your website’s traffic. With each pin linking back to your website, visitors are sent straight to your business. With the right pins, you can take advantage of the massive traffic opportunity.
Pinterest isn’t for everyone. If your website content is not visual then your appeal on the site is limited. Although it doesn’t mean that Pinterest is just for selling products. Attaching a provocative image to your blog post and pinning it, can create a reaction, a conversation, engagment, just as much as a glossy photo of some chocolate brownies. Pinning videos is also a good idea to catch attention as the majority of posts are images.
If what you have to promote looks good in picture form or on video, then Pinterest should be added to your marketing mix. If not, concentrate on Twitter and Facebook.
Key Points to Remember When Pinning
Here are some tips for getting the most out of Pinterest:
- Take high-quality images of your products.
- If you haven’t a good quality camera; use a mobile app like Hipstamatic or Instagram and get creative.
- Link to the image so that your website link is included with the pin
- Have a special offer? Include the price in the title and Pinterest will create a special banner across your image with the offer.
- Follow others who pin related images
- Connect your Pinterest account to your Facebook account to increase exposure
Pinterest is easy to use and is a powerful tool. However, like any social media, for it to be successful, it requires regular input and therefore, time and effort dedicated to it. So before you dive in, take time to assess whether it’s right for your small business.