Pinterest is a social media platform that works like a collection of virtual pin-boards. Users can “pin” pictures of the things that interest them – everything from holiday photographs and cartoons to products and advertisements – creating a collage of images. A designer on the hunt for inspiration might pin photos from the latest fashion magazines; a technology enthusiast might share snaps of that new must-have gadget. Creative individuals are using Pinterest to set up a visual CV. Web-savvy businesses are getting in on the act too, pinning images of their products to catch the eye of possible customers – and not forgetting to share others’ photos as a way of generating both traffic and goodwill. Pinterest can be a great way to get your business in the public eye. Other users can “like” photos, add comments or re-pin favourite images on their own boards.
Pinterest is 2012′s break-out traffic, dramatically outperformed some other social networks. Although not yet on a par with giants like Facebook or Twitter, Pinterest is rapidly gaining ground – especially with female users. In January alone, Pinterest attracted more visitors than Google+, LinkedIn, and YouTube put together. That’s a lot of people who could potentially be heading your way if you get involved now. The sooner you adopt Pinterest as part of your social media strategy, the more your business will benefit from Pinterest’s growth.
A Pinterest presence could be great news for your search engine ranking. Any time you pin an image, you can link it back to your site. This doesn’t just drive up traffic from Pinterest users – it is SEO gold, giving you a constantly renewable source of solid, meaningful incoming links for your company’s website.
#3: Viral Marketing
Pinterest can harness the power of viral marketing. If you can generate images that really catches the public’s attention – something funny, wacky, or simply impressive and unusual – they can spread like wildfire, passed from user to user, with every post driving traffic back towards your company. Include a unique keyword in all of your picture descriptions – that way you can trace your images as they travel.
Pinterest gives you the perfect space to interact with your customers. You can create a board just for existing customers to post pictures of their latest purchases – invite them to model clothes and accessories they’ve bought from you, for example. Invite customer involvement by creating crowd-sourcing initiatives – for instance, you could present a range of options for a new line you want to develop and have users like or re-pin the images that they would prefer. This can be a source of useful feedback as well as traffic. Encourage fans of your products to share images by offering a prize for the most re-pins or likes.
#5: Visual Impact
Use Pinterest to develop your brand visually. For businesses that sell clothes or jewellery this is an obvious direction to go in but pictures can work for a less visually-oriented product or service too. If you sell tools or DIY supplies, for instance, you could feature images of completed projects using your goods – a smart item of furniture made with your power tools, or a room with a lavish new colour-scheme courtesy of your store’s paint and wallpaper supplies. If you offer a service such as landscaping, you could post snaps of your work. If your business is a grocery store, post pictures of tasty recipes or create exclusive coupons for Pinterest users to bring to your store. Another approach would be to showcase images that represent something important about your organisation’s core values. If green credentials are a key selling point, for instance, you could include images from nature; if your company prides itself on great customer service, a cartoon satirising unhelpful stores could win you traffic as well as laughs.
#6: Local Awareness
Since users can find Pinterest photos by keywords, you can attract local people to your bricks-and-mortar store by adding tags that help customers find you: city names, street names, local landmarks such as parks or well-known buildings. Take photographs of your area and pin them to your boards along with pictures of an imaginative window display – users looking for images of their local area will stumble across your store.
#7: Cross-Platform Sharing
You can generate still more hits from Pinterest using Pin it! This is a button that you can add to images, blog posts or other media that you’re sharing elsewhere. Pinterest users can click the Pin it! button to share posts via Pinterest. This kind of cross-platform sharing can translate into more hits for your main website or online store, as well as potentially giving your site an SEO boost.