Pinterest now pulls more referral traffic than Google+, Twitter, and LinkedIn combined and is currently the fastest growing social media channel, boasting a growth rate of nearly 4000 percent since its inception in 2010. To badge it as just another social media site could be a large oversight if you’re looking to improve your social media engagement with customers and potential customers.
Reasons to be using Pinterest
Compared to other social media platforms Pinterest has a much longer site visitor time, with users averaging nearly an hour on the site in one sitting. When compared to Twitter and Facebook there is considerably less visit time due to the nature of each social media channel and users spend less than a third of the average Pinterest visit site time navigating news feeds and frequent content updates. What this means for potential customers to new business owner pages is increased likelihood of organic traffic flow through with ‘re-pins’ via URL linking either back to their profile page, or to their website.
Some of the features include the ability to sync with Facebook and Twitter accounts, in addition to being able to price items or pins with a dollar value so they can be automatically added to the Gift category, and drive sales.
Relevance for small business
To have a vision beyond selling product is to realise the importance of building a company profile in the online spectrum. Many of our business policies relate to the hospitality and retail industry. There are many start-up businesses such as restaurants, cafes, and health food stores which need an online social presence in order to help leverage their profile and customer base within those first crucial twelve months.
Published content on Pinterest needs to be interesting, shareable or ‘pinable’. The trick is to think of unique content beyond shop-front photography and pulling visual content from a number of sources such as recipes, infographics, logos, record covers, magazine covers, articles, and other products. The social media platform now also supports Vimeo and Vevo as well as YouTube for video content sharing – this can drive a large amount of organic traffic back to company video channels.
Be creative when creating boards and focus on building a story rather than a sales pitch. There is also emphasis on re-pinning rather than uploading a pin as this directs more traffic back to the original page source. Make sure you categorise your boards correctly and add a unique descriptive comment for each pin.
How a business could use Pinterest
Regard a Pinterest profile the same as you would a website homepage. Websites are constantly updated with fresh videos and photo content and are rarely kept static. Applying this notion to a Pinterest page means frequently rotating the cover images of each board so that it looks fresh and appealing, even if the pin items remain the same within the board itself.
By using the example of a new Milk Bar business, a small enterprise which is has flourished in Australia over the last ten years, have a think about how the social media service could leverage its online profile. If the owner has spent eighteen months renovating the premises this could be used as part of the company’s creative inspiration. Taking pictures of any original features of the building such as signage, bar stools, doors, old refrigerators, and fixtures could be great content for a ‘Vintage’ board. Will there be any patronage to the original products sold there once before, such as milk sold in bottles or boutique chocolate bars? Re-pin any images of these that may exist online that promote the lifestyle of the business, rather than just the product.
Example of how a hospitality business uses Pinterest:
- Milk Bar
- Milkshake Recipes
- Vintage Milk Bars from Australia
- Food blogs features
- Gluten Free Friendly ideas
- Vintage Furniture of the 40s
Search for competitors on Pinterest and see how they are leveraging their profile without ‘selling’ themselves. Take inspiration from how other companies use their boards and see how they use multiple styles of content to expand the story – and lifestyle – of their business. You want to establish dominance on these (social media) channels before your competitors to get the first advantage,
Similar to Google+ and Twitter there is an option to ‘pin’ interesting items as you find them and distribute amongst neighbouring social media platforms. For those business owners operating their own website there is now an attribution to add a pin button so that other Pinterest users can ‘like’ your visual content, much like a Facebook post, and grow organic traffic which points back to the company website
Over 60 percent of SMBs in Australia use the free services of social media to enhance their company profile, build a brand, and engage with new and existing customers. And although this is a steady figure we expect many more will start experimenting more with social media platform use, given the recent rise of new channels, over the next two years.