As a Social Media Specialist, people have been asking me lately about Pinterest – what it is and whether it is worth investing in from a business perspective so I thought I would weigh in with a blog post on this topic.
When Pinterest first came to my attention, I took a cursory look at it and dismissed it as a time suck. But I then took a closer look, began playing with it and even started my own vision board. I began to pin items and pretty soon, I started to realize what a wonderful social media tool this is and the opportunity it gives business owners in many industries.
Pinterest, for those of you who have not heard about it, is a virtual pinboard with about 12 million active users every month. You can create a profile on there and begin to create these pinboards or bulletin boards for yourself and pin items (images) of interest that you find online. You can create multiple boards on multiple topics. 3 things to know:
1. You must request to join. You cannot automatically set up a profile. However, when you get the invite, the actual profile is not too difficult to set up. You will need a Facebook or Twitter account to complete the process.
2. You may not snag images that are copyrighted or otherwise restricted and pin them or syndicate them.
3. While you can ‘Facebook Like’ an item, you may only share it on your personal page not your Facebook business page – something I hope they will change.
So what, you may ask can you do with this from a business perspective?
The first thing to know is that Pinterest is mostly popular with women between the ages of 25-40 so if this is your target market, take a closer look at this site. The categories that are of the most interest on Pinterest?
- Arts and Crafts / DIY
- Home Decor
- Style and Fashion
which, might explain why women are drawn to it with food being the fastest growing category on Pinterest. So I did an experiment with one of my clients who is in the food business. I created a profile for them, started a food board and began pinning images that linked to their blog posts – the ones that contained recipes. Within minutes many of those images generated about 20 repins meaning people saw the images and repinned them to their own board. In each of these cases, those images linked them back to the client’s website. Pinterest was the referring agent in close to 100 hits on their website last month alone.
The beauty of Pinterest is that you can snag some code from their site and place it on your own website next to images that you might be e-tailing. When people visit your site, they can pin these images on their own boards, increase awareness of your products and help drive traffic back to your e-commerce pages. Even better, is the fact that these become like little testimonials of your products. It’s a little like window shopping but it’s a way to get great exposure – and people love pictures. Images and video trump text every time.
So if you are in any of these industries I mentioned above, it might be time to take a closer look at Pinterest and see how you might be able to leverage it for your own business. Of course, if you need help or more information, you only need to ask!
I’d love your feedback! Are you using Pinterest? How are you using it? What have been your experiences? Don’t forget to leave a link back to your own blog using the commentluv feature here on my site.
If you live in York Region, watch Rogers Daytime this Thursday, May 10th 10:00 a.m., when I will be discussing social media with Jeff and Elaine. I will be joined by one of my clients, Robin Smith who will talk about her social media successes. Also, if you are in the Toronto area, I will be live on the air with Gail Vaz-Oxlade – the late shift – June 25th on In-Depth Radio, News Talk 1010. Many of you will know her from Slice TV shows ‘Till Debt Do Us Part‘ and ‘Princess‘. Karen Armstrong, another of my clients will have the first segment where she too, will discuss her success with SM. Let me know what you think!
Until next time,