The Pinterest Phenomenon
For the last year or two, this social media phenomenon has been the buzz word on every marketer’s lips. It is already massive in the US and looks like set to take the UK and Europe by storm as well. So as a small business what does Pinterest mean for you? Should you be including it in your social media portfolio?
Impressive Pinterest Statistics
There is no doubt that Pinterest has seen meteoric growth since it launched in 2009. Here are a few statistics to give you a feel for the sort of growth it has experienced in the US – a trend we are likely to see replicated in the UK:
- Pinterest had over 10 million users after only 9 months – the fastest growth ever for a standalone site
- Pinterest has currently has over 70 million users and 45 percent of new users that registered in June 2013 were from outside the US
- Pinterest is now the third most popular social network
- Pinterest has 85 million unique visitors each month
- In the US Pinterest shoppers are spending significantly more per checkout, averaging between $140–$180 per order compared with consistent $80 and $60 orders for Facebook and Twitter shoppers, respectively
- In the UK Pinterest saw a 786% increase in traffic from 901,761 visits in September 2011 to 7,985,316 in September 2012.
So what is Pinterest all about?
“Pinterest helps people collect and organize the things they love” Pinterest
The easiest way to think about Pinterest is as a sort of social media pin board or scrapbook. People share their interests by ‘pinning’ them to ‘boards’. It is a social media platform with a strong emphasis on the visual and people connect to each other through feeds and by following boards that has content they find interesting.
Pinterest explains the ‘Pin Cycle’ as follows:
For example, lets say an unusual piece of jewellery on a website catches the eye of someone on Pinterest. The pinner pins the image onto their ‘unique accessories’ board
A follower of the pinner likes the pin and repins the jewellery onto their ‘stylish jewellery’ board.
Someone browsing their feed or searching for ‘stylish jewellery’ or ‘unique accessories’ will find the pin for the unusual piece of jewellery
As more people discover and repin, the more people click-through to the source of the pin – the original website
Benefits for small businesses
As we mentioned at the start of this post, statistics indicate that Pinterest is growing and is likely to be here to stay as a social media platform, so there is value to getting on-board. If you are concerned about time and resources, then perhaps a good starting point is to think about how easily you business lends itself to Pinterest.
If you are in retail – particularly B2C you’ll probably find Pinterest is an easy step to make without too much effort. B2B can work well but it may require a little more creative thinking at the start. For example, if you are already generating content in the form of say a blog or video then these can work really well. In fact here at ShopIntegrator our first board was our Small Business Blog as it was an easy first step into Pinterest for us.
If you are able to commit some time to Pinterest then it offers an additional opportunity to engage with and learn about your customers. It also provides a good way to help build your brand and develop your brand’s personality.
A few useful tips for getting started
1. Get a feel for Pinterest
Before you dive in setting up your own presence, spend a bit of time getting a feel for how Pinterest works. What are other businesses doing? This way you’ll get an idea for what works and what makes a pin popular (how many times a pin has been re-pinned is a good measure of popularity). Check out your competitors and those businesses in a similar market that are popular and have a good following. Pinterest also has some interesting case studies that are worth looking at for some inspiration.
2. Think about your target market
You should be thinking about your target market when you start creating your presence. What are your customers likely to be interested in? If you sell kitchenware for example, you’d expect your audience to be interested in cooking and food so your pins could include recipes, seasonal produce and new food trends. Make yourself a bit of an expert in the areas associated with your industry or market. Look at your customers own pinboards – what are they pinning and who are they following. This will give you an insight into what it is your target market is likely to value and find interesting.
3. Create and organise boards
Once you have got a feel for who it is you are pinning and creating boards for, you can get started on generating ideas. There are all sorts of popular boards that you can create in addition to product boards. Here are some popular boards that could help get you started: client showcase boards (showcase your customers latest products), fan boards (customers can pin images to a board that show your brand off in real life environments) employee recommendation boards (get your employees to set up their own boards perhaps with employee recommendations or top tips) how to boards (give your customers ideas and tips for using and getting the most out of your products), blog boards, seasonal boards and contest boards. Pinterest is a great way to get creative.
4. Follow other boards and repin
Like any social media Pinterest is all about interacting and engaging with the community – your customers. So, to make the most out of your presence be active – follow other people’s boards, repin, like and comment on pins that relate to your business area.
5. Promote your Pinterest presence
Promote your Pinterest presence on your website and emails by adding the Pinterest button. Don’t forget you can also use your other social media to help promote your boards.
Useful resources from Pinterest
The great thing about getting started with Pinterest is that it is all pretty straightforward to set up and use – we’ve put some useful support links from Pinterest below that will help you make the most of your Pinterest presence:
Pinterest Set up: http://uk.business.pinterest.com/setup/
Guides: Pinterest guide for Business http://business.pinterest.com/best-practices/
Useful Tools: Pinterest analytics, Pin It Button, rich text pins http://uk.business.pinterest.com/rich-pins/
Pinterest Business Blog: http://businessblog.pinterest.com/
Happy pinning!Image: Single pin image courtesy of Master isolated images, freedigitalphotos.net
We would love to hear your own experiences and thoughts on this post, so please do leave a comment