It’s tempting to try and ignore Pinterest if you’re already involved in one or more social networking sites. After all, properly engaging on these networks can monopolize a good bit of time— something vital to business owners. However, Pinterest’s popularity (already over 3 million members*) makes it increasingly difficult to turn your back on this platform, and upon closer inspection it seems Pinterest has a unique way of creating social interactions between consumers and businesses.
What are People Doing on Pinterest?
Before strategizing ways to use Pinterest for social marketing, you must first understand what people are doing there— i.e. what’s the draw?
First off, it’s eye candy. Users can peruse the site while oohing and ahhing over the gorgeous pictures, and if something catches their eye, they can click on it to learn more. It’s basically the same principle as flipping through a magazine; it’s visually engaging, a way to escape, yet doesn’t require the effort of reading (unless you want to).
Secondly, it’s motivating. Many Pinterest followers are looking for creative ideas such as recipes, crafts, decorating tips, how-to guides, etc., and being able to see an assortment of images at once is a quick way to find things of interest (much simpler than searching through blogs and scrolling through a bunch of text). The pins (pictures) are all front and center for easy reminding and inspiration.
Why Should Businesses Participate?
Put simply, Pinterest provides a great opportunity for businesses to create brand awareness and attract visitors to their pages. Here’s the three major ways you can do this:
1. Pin colorful, attractive pictures to your page.
Remember, this platform is visual based, so ensure your pictures are all top quality and flattering for your products. Try to stick with the spirit of Pinterest by thinking outside the box and using imaginative or artistic photographs featuring your items (not boring images straight from your online catalogue). Also, don’t make the mistake of thinking only product-based businesses can use Pinterest. Those who are selling services can provide photos of prior work or devise other innovative ways to use images to reflect what they sell.
2. Add a link.
All pins are clickable and able to direct to a specific URL, so you can use these links to send people to your main website, directly to product information, or to some other location. The more your pictures are repinned (shared by others) the more opportunities you have for incoming traffic and conversions. You can also add prices to your pins and then setup your links so they take users directly to your eCommerce store where they can purchase the item.
3. Have Something to Offer
Besides just pinning your photos, provide other free stuff to entice people to follow your board. What you offer depends on your business, but popular ideas are: recipes, how-to guides, ideas, videos, helpful links, and general inspiration. Essentially, you want to make your board the place where customers can find everything they need related to your industry.
As much potential as Pinterest offers, don’t think that joining this network is your cue to ditch Facebook, Google+, or Twitter. It is simply another social marketing weapon to add to your arsenal. Although, managing another social site will take time, it will be time well spent as it allows your business to connect with a huge (and growing) audience in a visual environment that is totally different from the other networks.