If you haven’t already, here’s five reasons why your business should start taking notice of Pinterest. And slowcoaches, don’t you dare think it… Pinterest is not just a cool way for girls to collect pretty images of cupcakes, shoes and all things frilly. I’m not just talking to those selling shoes and dresses here. Ok, ok there are A LOT of shoes and dresses on Pinterest. And don’t think I am unaware of the gender dynamic with around 70%-80% of the total 70+ million Pinterest users being made up of recipe and design loving, crafty ladies. My point is, for many business which could be using this social avenue for branding and marketing purposes, Pinterest remains a profound and girly mystery.
However, if you have read anything about Pinterest lately, you’ll know that it isn’t budging – not an inch! You’ll also know that Pinterest is only getting bigger and more important in the business sphere. So perhaps it is time for a little demystifying for those businesses feeling rather reluctant and a little pin-shy.
How it works
Pinterest is an image based social network platform where users can create and manage their own theme-based image collections. It allows users to save images (known as pins) and categorise them on their own personal pin boards. Users can also follow other users’ boards which they like or are inspired by. Aside from cupcakes and fashion, other popular image categories include travel, cars, food, film, humour, home design, sports and art. Users can search pins and boards by keyword or category and accounts can be linked to Facebook and Twitter allowing images to be shared to and from these platforms.
And because I’m not pretending Pinterest isn’t an amazing space for women, here is an example of my own unashamedly feminine pins below.
It all starts with a pin
Users can upload a pin or save other user’s pins to one of their own boards using the “Pin It” button. Content can also be found on websites outside of Pinterest and uploaded to an individual’s board via the “Pin It” bookmarklet which can be downloaded to the bookmark bar on a web browser. Any pin on Pinterest can be repinned, and all pins link back to their original source.
Once discovered Pinterest urges exploration and can become quite (ok very) addictive. This new addiction takes hold without warning and before you know it you’re sharing.. well everything! If you are a pin-shy business new to all of this you might want to take a look see, perhaps you have been discovered already. Here’s how to check – simply open up a new browser and paste this in -
www.pinterest.source/attacat.co.uk (replacing attacat with your own website of course.)
Reason 1: Reach a broader audience
After its launched in 2010, Pinterest has been described as one of the fastest growing websites ever with approximately 200,000 downloads per day of its iPhone app and more than 4 million daily visitors. In March of this year Pinterest gained almost 50 million users, roughly double its traffic a year earlier, not bad. All of these eyes (spending on average 14 minutes per day) makes Pinterest a fantastic branding tool that can help generate additional traffic and brand awareness. In fact, Pinterest generates more referral traffic than YouTube, Google, LinkedIn and Reddit combined. A recent study by Piquora also showed the superior relevancy of “pinned” content. The study found that the average tweet remains useful for a matter of minutes but the average pin can remain clickworthy for months. Now who could argue with some free brand exposure and more traffic to your website?
Reason 2: Allow your fans to do your marketing for you
Regardless of what your business sells or offers, images are a provocative way to showcase your brand and generate interest and engagement. Pinterest gives brands a great platform to do just this and when your content engages people, they will share (repin) it, helping your brands content spread. In fact 80% of pins are re-pinned which means that your brand has a pretty good chance of reaching additional would-be customers, ones you might not have been able to reach otherwise. “Pins” have been described as the new language of fan engagement and getting users to use this language to speak about your business could mean pinners doing your marketing for you. Millions of people look to Pinterest to connect with users who share common interests, so having a loyal base of fans on Pinterest who openly adore your products can provide new customers with all the social proof and reassurance they need.
Reason 3: Humanise your business
Pinterest’s popularity has often been put down to its simplicity. It is a positive place where users can share their lifestyle aspirations and dreams. Images are an excellent way of communicating with others and you don’t even need to speak the same language. It is an old cliche that a picture speaks a thousand words, but what better way to demonstrate the passion behind your business. I’ve often heard of Pinterest as a convincing way to humanise a business and doing this is now more important than ever as people care where and who their products are coming from. By sharing photos of what inspires the people and dreams behind a business, a user can appreciate the business on a more personal level. Expressing a business in this way facilitates the careful establishment of that all-important two-way customer relationship.
Reason 4: Tap into what your audience cares about
If you’re in business, you’ll know you can never lose sight of what your customers want and if you do, there will be someone else ready to give them exactly that. However, in reality, knowing and keeping up to date with what your customers want is a really fine art mastered by few. Using Pinterest is in many ways a consumer’s way of telling the world what they would like to buy. Pinterest is like the online equivalent of dog-earring or cutting out images of fancied products in a magazine. The difference is Pinterest is always accessible and is completely personalised with each board telling a hand-written story about what that person cares about. Pins hold such potential for customer insight, they can open up a door to your very own, constantly up-to date world of customer research.
As you may have gathered, Reasons 1-4 equate to your last and most important reason to pin.
Reason 5: Sales, sales sales
Every day, millions of people use Pinterest to explore their interests and users don’t just like to pin, they like to spend. Pinterest is centered around the social discovery of objects, not friends. Therefore Pinterest naturally lends itself to e-commerce because, well it seems obvious, this is a channel where consumers go to find things they want to have. Pinterest is evolving. It is now transforming into a true e-commerce opponent in the social stakes. “Rich Pins,” a featured introduced in May, now allows users to post detailed information about an item, such as the originating image site or product purchase information. “Promoted Pins” are paid placements which appear within Pinterest’s search results and category feeds. These pins are designed to promote items that match user’s interests and gives brands a chance to make a user’s virtual wish list a reality by advertising in the right places.
Unsurprising then that Pinterest grabs around 41% of e-commerce traffic (remember it is still growing) and then compare that to Facebook at 37%. The average social shopper (that is, a shopper who discovers an item on a social platform and continues to the original website to buy it) spends an average of £40 to £50 when coming from Facebook, but spends more like £90 to £110 when coming from Pinterest. Another interesting fact is that 41% of pinner’s engage in reverse show-rooming. This describes pinner’s who discover a product on Pinterest but end up purchasing those products in a physical shop.
What are you waiting for? Get Pinning!
With all this in mind, having your brand/products present on Pinterest in the run up to the Christmas e-commerce madness is looking like a really good idea. Not only is Pinterest the ideal place for users to make their own Christmas gift list, it is also a clever way for them to choose the perfect gift for someone else. Why, they only have to take a peek at a loved-one’s pin board! It’s probably safe to say that not every pin will result in a sale and images without any thought or strategy are unlikely to work. Building and maintaining an authentic brand presence on Pinterest requires time and patience in content curation - but reasons 1-5 should have twisted your arm a little to see Pinterest as valuable to building awareness and customer relationships for your brand. Whether or not the Pinterest gender dynamic shifts at all, there is just so much obvious potential for e-commerce and advertising. So Pinterest may not for be right for every business but as Pinterest grows, and it will, this presence can only help in generating results down the road.
Join Pinterest as a Business here.
Download Pinterets’ “How to Guide” here.
Learn how to make your website pinner-friendly here.
See, I told you there was more to Pinterest than cute photos of cupcakes, fashion and cats! …Although, that doesn’t mean you have to pretend that you don’t enjoy the cute photos of cupcakes, fashion and cats.