What is Pinterest?
According to Pinterest, it’s “A few (million) of your favourite things.” And if you haven’t heard of this immensely popular social networking website yet, then sit up straight – because Pinterest is yet another way that social media is making it easy for businesses to reach out and engage with their audiences, with brand awareness and increased website traffic being the result of this cost-effective and easily-managed social platform. Well, it always sounds easier than it really is, but in essence it’s not difficult to manage an account on Pinterest for your business or brand. And if you do know about Pinterest, but you doubt the use it has for your business, don’t be so fast to judge.
Pinterest in one sentence:
“Users can upload, save, sort and manage images, known as pins, and other media content (e.g. videos) through collections known as pinboards.”
Let’s start with some common misconceptions about this phenomenally fast-growing social network. Pinterest is not just for women. It’s not just about pretty pictures of cupcakes, cute pets, shoes and wedding dresses – even if those are also popular categories people (not just women) follow. You’ll be amazed at the type of categories you can find on Pinterest that is not related to DIY- hairdo’s, brownie recipes or Your eCards-humour (well who doesn’t like a dose of that now and again?). There are categories dedicated to technology, sports, cars, education, science, outdoors, architecture, fitness, quotations and many more, all of which can be employed in some way to benefit your business – if you use Pinterest resourcefully and with insight.
To Pin or not to Pin?
If you’re a business owner or starting up a new company, you might have heard Pinterest’s praises being sung and told to start pinning ASAP. Or does the name ring a bell, but you haven’t given it a second thought – after all, what does an online visual pinboard have to do with your business? Two words: website traffic. And then another word: leads. A recent study revealed that the average user spends around 89 minutes a month interacting with Pinterest. But it must also be said that some businesses just aren’t suited to using Pinterest for marketing. That might be because when you run an insurance firm, or a mechanical workshop, it’s rather difficult to find a reason to post aesthetic images to build up a following on Pinterest. And who has the time? It would make much more sense to use your valuable time in other lines of marketing, wouldn’t it?
BUT. Here’s another way to think about it:
Let’s say you do have a mechanical workshop and you are not inclined to spend too much on traditional marketing, thus you’re more focused on extending your reach online. By now you are also aware that social media does affect website ranking. So how will you use Pinterest if you’re a mechanic and you spend most of your time with your hands under the bonnet? Well, how easy would it be to take the time each week to pin a photo of a stunning car on your board and list your account under cars? As easy as getting grease on your jeans (just remember to give credit to your sources and that it’s better to pin your own images.) Then extend this interaction to all your social platforms and link them to your website. Post the image on your Facebook page and invite people to comment on it. It’s all about getting your business’s name out there and getting your rankings up. Now don’t expect things to happen in a flash. Truth be told, if you want to get the best out of Pinterest, you do have to invest time into building up pinboards and getting creative. It is a visual platform in the end and you’ll have to think carefully about whether you have the time and the energy to make your profile stand out.
Pinterest – the pin-nacle of market research?
Now maybe you still don’t see the point of pinning, but a very useful aspect of Pinterest is how it lends itself to market research and tapping into the consumers’ minds. As the 3rd largest social network, it is accumulating a vast amount of consumer information and insights. You can use it for product research, and to stay current with consumer trends and interests. It is also a great place to gain inspiration for your own content. So even if you really don’t have time to pin – you’ll still get value out of Pinterest with regard to market research.