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, which has helped it become one of the fastest growing social media platforms to date. In March 2012 Tech Crunch quoted that the number of users, of the social media platform, 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.
It’s easy to proclaim something is dead when new technology comes out that appears to replace it. The first music video to play on MTV was, appropriately, “Video Killed the Radio Star” by the Buggles. It loudly proclaimed the eminent death of music on the radio due to the rise of music on television. Now, over 30 years later, there are no music videos on MTV and radio stations are still playing songs.
So, the announcements about the death of business cards shouldn’t prompt you to burn all your cards, or even stop ordering new ones. Sure, for some business cards may be pass