Yes… it’s true. There’s another social networking site you need to know about. Maybe you’ve noticed a new button joining those familiar social media icons on websites you shop but hadn’t bothered to check it out. Once dismissed as a place to showcase nail art, high fashion, arts and crafts and the like, Pinterest is quickly showing itself to be so much more.
In just three years the photo sharing website has earned an estimated 20 million users and traffic that’s doubled since mid 2012. Many users are young, female, well educated AND have disposable income. What’s more, this site some have never heard of generates more dollars per user than other, more well known social media darlings, and shoppers (on average) spend almost $170 per session. It’s quickly becoming a daily habit for many users (including this one).
Hard to ignore those numbers, isn’t it?
The whole idea of Pinterest centers around the visuals, divided onto themed boards created based on your own interests (some of mine are History, Funny, Space) where you can collect images. People can follow boards you’ve set up, and you can follow the pin boards of others; as well as like or comment on pins you see. There are no ads, it’s all about the visuals here.
Getting a business noticed in this space will call for a different (but surprisingly easy) approach… a visually focused approach where the picture IS the story. Even if you’re running a local business, one that isn’t suited to operating the world over (a realtor, a dentist/lawyer/doctor, a beauty salon, auto repair shop) you can benefit from setting up some boards on Pinterest. Having content here, displaying the Pinterest logo on your website or Facebook page, shows your local customers (and prospective ones) that you understand the internet, your market, and you have some genuine expertise in your area of specialty.
So, for example…
- A builder/plumber/electrician/interior designer/painter might pin before/after photos of work or tips on how to handle simple at home repairs, always keeping a visual focus.
- A florist/event planning business might pin completed bouquets or room setups, unusual flowers or gardens, party themes and favors on different boards.
- A realtor might create boards for packing tips, organizing or choosing color schemes for decorating.
- A travel agent could pin photos of places they’ve been or would like to go.
Images that speak to the market you serve, that show you know your business and your customer’s interests are what you’re after here. What’s neat about Pinterest is that you can create secret boards, so that you have a chance to pin images and see how it all works, before going public.
The images can be simple things like your storefront, your fleet of vehicles, displays, before/after photos, step-by-step photos… anything you want people to see that is visually fun to look at will do. As a side note, you’ll probably come to appreciate how challenging it can be to take a good photo… clear, lit properly, styled correctly, and have more respect for those who choose photography as a profession.
The words that appear under each image should be simple, conversational and brief because you’ve only got 500 words. Spelling and punctuation still count, so remember to proofread before you hit the Pin it button. You’ll also want to be sure your Pinterest profile is complete so that when others click on your business name below an image, they find you. Your profile displays all your boards, as well as featuring an image, short copy and links to your website, twitter feed and Facebook page.
One last thing, a recent study has found more than half of Pinterest users visit the site every day and that 27% have bought a product after seeing it on another pinboard. Got you thinking…