Pinterest. Ask someone about this and they’ll either look at you like you’re mashing random words together or tell you it’s the greatest thing to hit the social media scene.
The reason it’s such a huge success? The online bulletin board, launched in 2010, is a photo-based site that allows users to make visual bookmarks of products or sites they like and connect with other users who have similar interests.
When you combine the simple concept with an eye-catching visual display, it is no wonder that Pinterest ranks #5 in unique visitors on social media sites, with an astronomical 17 million in one day (source: Business Insider) and is seeing about one billion total page views each month (up 50 percent month over month, according to Business Insider)! That’s incredible, given that Pinterest saw 7.21 million unique visitors to the site in the entire month of December 2011 (an increase of 429 percent since September 2011, according to Compete.com).
Great, so Pinterest drives a LOT of traffic, and I now have another way to suck hours of my day. But how does this affect my business, you ask?
Although there are millions of users already pinning away on Pinterest, few businesses have yet to join the bandwagon. For those that have, they are seeing massive benefits—increased visibility, product awareness, and site traffic, to name a few. Here are six creative ways your business can benefit from Pinterest.
1. Feature your products and/or services
Pinterest is abounding with rapidly multiplying product recommendations and gift ideas. The board functionality easily allows you to sort and feature varying products or services– whether it’s the latest Louis Vuitton bag or the latest case study published highlighting your marketing consulting success stories, there’s a board for you. Once you’ve built up your followers, you’ll have an instant pool of eyes for all the great content you’ll be sharing!
What’s easier than selling products yourself? Why, having your customers do it for you! A huge majority of traffic generated from Pinterest drives to ecommerce sites. In fact, the latest Pinterest survey (conducted by PriceGrabber) notes that 21% of users surveyed have purchased something after finding it on Pinterest—beating out other social sharing sites like Facebook and Twitter. This is especially appealing to businesses with a product-based focus. With a dedicated gift idea filter and Pinner-recommendations, it’s no wonder this is a first stop for many shoppers!
3. Run contests
Everyone loves to have fun! And win things! Contests are a great way to increase awareness around your business or product and a fun way to interact and create relationships with both new and existing customers. The contest ideas are endless; get creative and think of something that relates to the work you do. Here are a couple of ideas for you to noodle on:
- A clothing company might throw a contest for customers to pin photos of their favorite outfits found at the store.
- A marketing firm may conduct a contest for users to pin blogs with tips or tricks around a certain subject.
- A software device company could hold a contest featuring customer submitted photos of how and where they use the product.
- Here’s an example of a current Pinterest contest photo:
4. Build relationships and highlight brand personality
Before you marry someone, you go on a couple dates first, right? Business isn’t any different. Help your customers get to know you and what makes you tick by pinning things that express your company’s personality and morals. Does your business have a focus on community engagement? Share your next volunteer activity on your volunteer board and encourage others to join in or create their own volunteer event. Got an office full of fun and lively workers? Post a picture of the latest sticky note-covered desk. Customers want to know what you are about—this is a great way to share that and build trust at the same time.
5. Use it like a social media focus group
Do you have a new product launching? Testing the waters for an added service? Utilize Pinterest to test initial interest and response on a topic or idea for product approval. Leverage the very targeted groups of pinners to get your product, service, or idea out to the right audience for the initial feedback that could help make your goods great!
6. Spread the word
Pinterest now beats YouTube, Reddit, Google+, LinkedIn, and MySpace combined for percentage of total referral traffic in January, almost knocking Twitter out of its #4 position (3.6 percent, to Twitter’s 3.61 percent of total referral traffic), according to a Shareaholic study.
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