Of all the social media platforms available, Pinterest is often the most neglected by business users. There are of course a number of valid reasons why businesses choose to focus their efforts elsewhere. After all, there is only so much time, money and manpower to go around. But involving Pinterest in your business strategy can pay serious dividends. Ignore it – and you could be missing out on valuable opportunities to reach potential new customers.
What exactly is Pinterest?
Put simply, Pinterest is a visual discovery engine for finding ideas. These often include (but aren’t limited to) recipes, fashion, home and style inspiration. A user’s home feed is the heart of Pinterest. It’s where they find ideas (known as Pins), with recommendations based on their interests. They also see what the people they follow on Pinterest are saving.
With around 250 million monthly users, Pinterest is smaller than more established social media platforms such as Facebook. But size isn’t everything. What makes Pinterest so interesting, from a business point of view, is what it’s used for. Pinterest is where people actively seek inspiration – including new products to buy. Users want to see posts from brands in their feeds. That’s what makes Pinterest such a significant influencer of purchase decisions.
Why Pinterest for business?
Just like other social media platforms, Pinterest can be used personally or for business. However, it offers the latter a number of key benefits. These include increased brand awareness and sales, new business leads, and additional website/blog traffic. In fact, personalising your Pinterest business page is a great way to showcase your company or brand’s personality. Of course, being active and engaging also boosts your exposure to both current and potential customers.
If you’re planning on using Pinterest for business, make sure you create a dedicated business account. These offer specialist features such as useful analytics tools and the ability to use Pinterest advertising. Then, when you start to use Pinterest more frequently, your Pins become more popular as they get pinned to different boards. The more your Pins are shared, the more exposure you enjoy – which helps to grow your audience and customer base.
Another big advantage of Pinterest is its potential for increasing website traffic. Where Pinterest for business is concerned, the link is more important than the image itself. That’s because every single Pin includes a fast, direct link to your original source website. In addition to traffic, Pinterest can also increase search rankings. That’s because, just like Google, Pinterest works with keywords. Get the keywords right and your search rankings soar (both on Google and on Pinterest itself).
Why isn’t Pinterest for business more popular?
There are a number of common misconceptions about Pinterest, aside from lack of time and resources. A lot of companies believe that the audience is too narrow. “Only women are on Pinterest” is one popular (though incorrect belief). Around 80% of users are female, although some studies suggest that 40% of new users are men. Keen to reach that key millennial customer? Adults aged 18 to 34 are a huge Pinterest demographic.
Others believe that their target audience doesn’t use the platform. While food and weddings remain perennially popular Pins, there’s much more to the medium than breakfasts and bridal bouquets. Travel, health and wellness, hobbies, celebrations, interiors and beauty all feature in Pinterest’s own top predicted trends for 2019.
Get rich quick
Not all Pinterest Pins are created equal. And a Rich Pin has nothing to do with having lots of money! Rich Pins incorporate a format that allows you to show extra information directly on the Pin. They are free to all users. Rich Pins include valuable extra details, and update important information from the websites they originate from. There are four different types of Rich Pin: app, product, article and recipe. From a corporate point of view, product Pins are often the most relevant. They display the most up-to-date price, availability and product information directly on the Pin.
If you’re a business with a product or service to promote, Pinterest can be a useful advertising medium. Pinterest began selling advertising, via Promoted Pins, in 2016. Heavy hitters such as John Lewis, Nestlé and Tesco were among the first companies to experiment with them. Promoted Pins are regular Pins that advertisers pay for, so that their target audience sees them in relevant search results and feeds. In other words, they make it easier for companies/brands to reach users in that all-important “consideration mind-set”.
Shop the Look Pins
For obvious reasons, Buyable Pins have been another key tool for business Pinterest accounts. Known now as ‘Shop the Look’, they allow customers to find and purchase products directly for your Pin.
Knowledge is power
A key advantage of Pinterest for business is that it helps to keep companies informed. Pinterest makes it easy to see what’s trending right now. So Pinterest is perfect if you need to know what’s hot – and not – to position your product offer. Furthermore, companies who follow the users who follow them gain invaluable insight about what these customers want. In short, Pinterest is a fast, easy way to discover what your audience does and doesn’t love.
A handy Pinterest ‘cheat sheet’
Pin: Any image or video that you save to Pinterest. Remember, for business users, the link back to the source is more important than the image itself.
Pinners: People who use Pinterest.
Boards: Pinners organise their Pins into different boards. Be aware that Pinners can choose to follow your company account, or just the boards that interest them.
Feed: This works in the same way as feeds on other social networks such as Twitter or Facebook. It’s essentially a collection of content and links from boards and accounts that a Pinner has followed.