Do you spend time making sure your brand is sociable online? If you do, maybe you should find out about Pinterest. Pinterest is driving more traffic to company websites and blogs than YouTube, Google+ and LinkedIn combined. It became the fastest website ever to hit 10 million unique users.
How Pinterest works
Pinterest is an online scrapbooking platform or photo-sharing website. With more than 70 million users it has rapidly become a valuable sharing tool for businesses big and small. The online bulletin board is a space where businesses can share and organise favourite images to help drive sales or connect with potential new customers.
Pinterest users can upload, save, sort and manage images, known as “pins”. It’s not just imagery – you can pin other media content, such as video (hosted by YouTube) all of which has the potential to go viral. People can like your pins or “repin” (copy) them to their own boards, or comment and share them on Facebook and Twitter (these pins could include your Facebook or Twitter business pages).
Pinterest is business friendly
Pinterest allows you to create pages to promote your offer online. 500,000 businesses use it as a “virtual shop window”. Your brand boards can be full of all the things that (P)interest you or your customers. Users can follow all your boards (overall company brand) or just one board (one specific product).
Brand loyal users seem to be spending less time on a business’ website, choosing instead to browse on its pin board. Pinterest works 24/7 and pinning at different times throughout the day and night will help your pins be seen by new local and global audiences. So if you’re not a night owl, you can schedule some of your pins to reach pinners in another time zone. This will contribute to your SEO (search engine optimisation) and increase the reach of your brand.
Pinterest is generating huge traffic for brands across retail, travel, charities and many more sectors straight back to their websites. Brand studies show Pinterest is converting more browsers into buyers than any other social media source. Any brand (big or small) can showcase products with prices, thereby driving traffic to their website.
Direct retail therapy
The retail sector has taken full advantage of Pinterest to channel their advertising and style trending. Fashion retailer Next, for example, has shared 2,500 images since 2012. Business pages can include prices of products, ratings of movies and ingredients for recipes.
The key is to channel potential sales interest from Pinterest back to your website. Sony’s Pinterest boards have driven an 800% increase in traffic from Pinterest to the Sony store website. A further study revealed Pinterest has contributed a 66% uplift in website traffic referrals towards potential sales.
Pinterest has a reputation for content that’s heavily biased towards women. That’s no surprise when 80% of users are female (the exact demographics vary between the UK and US). Women seem to connect to the experience of sharing their pins more readily than men.
Brands have the opportunity to visually inspire – not just what they want to wear, but where to eat, go on holiday, what to read… encouraging fans to share their tastes and interests in a cohesive, like-minded brand community.
Brands are fast discovering that sharing and adding pins to their own products can be an effective way to drive users to their ecommerce sites. Integrating Pinterest in dedicated emails has led to a 70% increase in the average open rate for Sony, and an average 18% higher click-through rate. Handbags.com has sent emails to specific, seasonally themed Pinterest boards. The emails are anchored by an integrated ‘Pin it’ button to take the users directly to the Handbags.com Pinterest page; perfect synergy.
Competitions are a clever way to link emails with Pinterest too. Consider creating an incentive to ‘win your pins’ to encourage users to access your business Pinterest page and pin and re-pin as many of your products. Pinners can win a gift card or cash prize, you win new followers – a win/win.
Quick wins to get ahead
In summary, evidence suggests that anything that tells a story about a business works. Pinterest can tell a story extremely well. Consider branding – including your logo on an image – it’s a subtle touch to build brand equity. If you spend about an hour a day on social media engaging your community, think about assigning a chunk of that time to Pinterest. It will develop a broader, richer brand relationship with your existing and potential new customers. Any business that relies on driving a high-volume of website traffic to increase sales, should consider joining Pinterest. Happy Pinning!