Can Pinterest become a Small Businesses new Best Friend?

Guest poster Ed Beardsell talks to us about his thoughts on Pinterest

English: Red Pinterest logo

Image via Wikipedia

What is Pinterest?

The latest rising star on the social networking scene is the site Pinterest. While it doesn’t yet touch on anywhere near the number of users that can be found on sites such as Facebook or Twitter, an increasing number of businesses are starting to consider what benefits it could provide for them. Pinterest is basically an online pinboard where users share images of items they find beautiful, stylish or interesting. People utilise it in various different and exciting ways whether it be planning how to decorate their home, save recipe inspirations, plan weddings, or share products. Images can either be uploaded from websites or from users’ computers and they can also re-pin images they find and appreciate enough to highlight it for the community whilst browsing the Pinterest site. The site has been growing rapidly and was reportedly the social site which reached ten million users more quickly than any other site in history and, here’s where it gets interesting; the majority of its users are women.

How can Pinterest help my Business?

Whilst it is still a relatively small site, Pinterest is averaging over three million unique visitors per month all of whom could potentially be looking at your business’s products. The site may be especially beneficial for businesses focused around creative or design services, or those businesses that appeal specifically to women, as it gives you a great opportunity to present your products to this specific segment of the market.

While Pinterest currently does not support online sales, you can add prices to your items and redirect browsers to your online shop. In fact, some early reports hint that Pinterest is better at generating traffic to your website than Facebook. If you do add a price to any of your products, then the image will automatically be listed in the gifts section of the website, as well as on your board, for browsers who are interested in shopping. By including links from your board back to your business’s website you will also of course be boosting the number of inbound link to your website as well as social interaction, a increasingly powerful metric taken in to account by search engines.

How to Use Pinterest Succesfully

To have a successful Pinterest account requires more than just posting images of what products you have for sale. Including a space where you can interact with users or provide additional content can increase your popularity on the site. For example, if you sell interior design products you could include a section on design inspirations that you have found, or you can create a space allowing customers to pin pictures of themselves with their favourite product of yours.

Another popular way of boosting interest in your products is running contests which encourage users to repin images of your products. This increases the overall total exposure that your products gather and can have the added bonus of collecting feedback from your customers about your collection. An additional way you can try to engage with your customers is to include images from your shop or office which can help customers feel the brand is much more personal helping to build a sense of brand loyalty and community.

Will Pinterest Last?

Pinterest has already been snapped up for use by some major brands including Kodak, Gap, The Wall Street Journal and Betty Crocker amongst others suggesting that Pinterest is going to be providing a platform even big business to monetise their pinning efforts in the foreseeable future. This popularity has also been galvanised by software developments allowing users to display their pins on their Facebook wall once again boosting the reach of such interaction.

Pinterest may not be and ideal tool for every business to try and utilise but for a sizeable number it holds the potential for brands to increase awareness as well as sales whether directly or indirectly. However as with the vast majority of social media sites, if a business wants to benefit from utilising it as a platform to talk and engage with its potential customers it must spend time cultivating its presence in this community through interacting and creating relevant and unique content.

Bio –
Hi I’m Ed, and I work in the exciting, fast paced and ever-changing world of business equipment and services. I’ll be trying my best to keep you abreast give you a wide smorgasbord of handy hints, tips and advice to get the squeeze the best out of your business.

Like this post? Don’t forget to check out the 30 Day Pinterest Challenge, and kickstart your Pinterest use in just 30 days!

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