Pinterest for Business

It’s no secret that Pinterest has become a big deal for individuals, as more and more people are falling victim to its siren song on a daily basis. An excellent source for makeup tips, DIY ideas, and crafting instruction, Pinterest is quickly becoming the next best thing in social media. While the largest portion of their demographic is female, with over 68% of their user base, it is also becoming quite a popular tool for businesses to use in their social media efforts. Since 2011, Pinterest has seen an increase of nearly 2700%, a tremendous increase in just four short years.

As a social media manager, I’m asked about Pinterest on a regular basis. Can it really work for a business? What advantages does Pinterest have over the other social media mediums to make it work? If it is primarily women using it, how can we use it to reach a wider demographic? While I can’t answer these questions with absolute certainty, I still recommend Pinterest’s use for clients with a largely visual product base. This is not to say that Pinterest is a sure thing, but many unique users have created a wider client base by utilizing the features of this social media channel.

I don’t have a social media crystal ball that will spell out exactly what is right for every business, so a lot of it is guesswork and attention to the details that emerge regarding a channel’s performance. Even though social media managers can make no guarantees, our decisions for your business aren’t pulled out of thin air. We study your business carefully and weigh your options. For some users, Pinterest isn’t going to work. Think about it, if you can’t showcase via photos what you’re doing, for instance in a service-based industry, Pinterest probably isn’t the best direction to take.

If you’re in a business, however, that sells products, Pinterest can work. Personally, I recommend Pinterest for service-based businesses that have a proven before and after set up, like a hair salon, a spa, or a weight loss clinic. I also recommend this medium for the business that has a fledgling website and wants to get their products seen. We’ve all seen the hot, new thing pop up on our Pinterest feed, whether it be a beach mat with a built-in cooler or a new type of toddler safety gate. This is where Pinterest can work for a product based business; it gets your products out there and gets them seen.

Social media success isn’t accomplished without some effort on both the part of the social media manager and the business themselves. Whether you’re handing over the reins completely, or you still want some semblance of control, using Pinterest for business will require diligence. The first part of using Pinterest for your business is finding people to follow that are members of your key demographic. Find a similar business that has a large follower base, and begin by following the same people. For example, if you’re an organic food company, use Whole Foods’ follower base to begin your own. For a business that only operates on a local level, starts following the audience of other local businesses.

The second step in a successful Pinterest for business marketing strategy is to make sure that you’re pumping out content at least twice a week. If you’re posting on a regular basis, there is a better chance that your products, or results for service industries, are being seen. Hair salons see clients on a daily basis, so we stress that taking photos of dramatic changes, nail design, or makeup applications is paramount for Pinterest marketing. A short post to accompany the photo, with the name of your business and the phone number will also be imperative because people aren’t going to come to you if they don’t know who you are.

Just like with a website, good photos are of the utmost importance. If your product is half out of the frame, or you’re only shooting a special makeup application in terrible lighting, people aren’t going to pay attention. However, a striking photo of your product will go a long way. We’ve all heard the adage that a picture is worth a thousand words. A good photo will make people pay attention, so make sure that you’re focusing on taking interesting and well-lit photos. No one is going to believe that your weight loss clinic is going to change their lives if all they see is a grainy photo.

The statistics are out there, touting Pinterest’s benefits as a marketing tool. The demographics research has shown that many of the users are educated women, and nearly 35% of them are in a higher tax bracket, with a median income of over $75K per year. A good social media relationship is a symbiotic one, so be sure to have faith in your management professional, or move on. Nothing can work without trust, and with a newer channel, it’s going to require a leap of faith that what your social media manager is saying is accurate.   The door to success on Pinterest is open, but many businesses are reluctant to step through it, as it is still somewhat unknown. A good social media manager will do the research to determine if Pinterest will work, but it will require some trust on the part of your business. Take the leap and reap the rewards.

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