I thought I came late to the Pinterest party (about four weeks ago!), especially when I read all the much publicised statistics, but when I mention it to people I meet through the course of the day, I feel very much like an early adopter. Before I know it I find myself doing a quick and impassioned sell, impressing upon them how it could work well for their particular business and urging them to go forth and pin immediately.
This blog is for the many people out there who aren’t yet pinning and who have met people like me who seem to have found a new religion. What’s all the fuss about and why should you be joining in? For all you seasoned pinners please either stop reading now as I’ll be preaching to the converted or feel free to add lots of advice in the comments!
The basic premise of Pinterest is that if you find a picture of something that you like and you want to keep it for future reference, you pin it to a virtual board. You can browse other people’s boards for things that take your fancy, re-pinning anything you want as you go along and they can do the same with yours. Just like Twitter you can follow people or boards that interest you and likewise be followed.
|A snapshot of my Pinterest boards|
But Pinterest isn’t just for recipes, knitting patterns and holiday ideas – although it is great for any hobby or interest. Pinterest is being used by businesses big and small, local and global as an integral part of their marketing strategy and here’s why:
- Pinterest drives traffic to your website. If someone pins an image from your website to one of their boards, they are also pinning the URL to it, so when someone else clicks on the image they are taken straight to the source – your web page! This is perhaps the single biggest benefit of Pinterest and why it is driving more sales than Facebook.
- Pinterest allows you to establish yourself as the “go to” place for your product or service. Create boards that give your clients information, ideas, tips that relate to your sector. For example, I have boards for photography tips, and picture display ideas alongside a board with top tips for new parents – first aid, cute costumes, father’s day ideas. I want to show potential clients that I am an expert in photography and that I understand what it’s like to be a parent of young children. I have so many ideas for boards of this nature that I have to rein myself in a bit! What to wear for a photo shoot, how to pose, make up tips, hairstyles, trends for prom dresses etc etc! I have started creating mood boards prior to photo shoots and inviting clients to pin their ideas on there too.
- Pinterest reinforces your brand values and its personality and indeed your’s. Your boards do not have to be directly linked to your business. I have boards that reflect my hobbies and interests, allowing people to see the real me (or at least the side I want them to see!). Pinterest is, after all, another form of social media and we know that people like to buy from people they like or have something in common with. Companies often pin “behind the scenes” pictures to welcome clients into their world and draw them in – a kind of virtual access all areas. But, it’s wise to add a word of caution if you are using Pinterest for business – don’t pin anything that could be damaging to your image – certain images from the office party would be a definite no no!
- Pinterest is another way to showcase and sell your product or service. You can pin images of your products and their price and even pin testimonials from satisfied clients, but don’t use Pinterest purely to sell, just as you wouldn’t walk into a party and bore people rigid with a hard sell of your fabulous wares! You will lose followers and turn people off. It’s important to strike the right balance.
- Pinterest is a gold mine of information – on your competitors, your customers, the market place, social media. You can even find out everything you need to know about Pinterest on Pinterest! You can start to get really clever and imagine who your target client is and see what he or she is creating boards on. If I look for baby clothes images you can guarantee I will find women who are expecting and I can see what their aspirations are, what products and issues interest them. This helps me to refine my marketing strategy and target my activities.
Wow! And this is just the tip of the iceberg really! It’s just going to get bigger and more exciting as far as I can see, in terms of opportunities for businesses. My advice if you’re new to Pinterest – go and take a look at my Pinterest boards as a starting point Pinterest especially the board about Pinterest itself. Set yourself up an account and start pinning! I’m still a newbie and don’t claim to know it all so you should read up on it a bit too – a friend recommended Beth Hayden’s book “Pinfluence” and I became an overnight Pinterest addict!
Watch out for my next blog on how to optimise your images for Pinterest.
By Jane Burkinshaw. Share this post by clicking on one of the Share buttons on the right hand side. I’d love to hear your comments too!