Using Pinterest to Grow Your Small Business

PinterestA few months ago, barely anyone even heard about Pinterest.  Today, however, a very different picture has been painted.  With a staggering growth of 261.6% in the last 3 months, Pinterest has been taking the social media nation by storm!

Having already reached 2.2 million daily active users and gaining the coveted rank of being the 59th most visited website in the world (16th most visited in the US), there are already rumors of Pinterest being considered as an acquisition target of social media industry leaders, Facebook and Twitter.  Think the growth is about to wane?  Actually, it’s the opposite… now that the site is getting to be known, it’s growth is about to explode at an exponential rate that hasn’t yet been witnessed to date!

What is Pinterest?

Pinterest is a virtual pin board integrated with the power of social media.  Visualize an office pinboard scattered with miscellaneous information (business cards, online menus, etc.) but available for the entire world to view.

Why use Pinterest?

Pinterest users are highly engaged, clocking in a staggering average visit of 89 minutes per user!  It’s the first social media channel to engage a significantly higher audience of females versus males (the primary decision makers of most major purchases such as home, fashion, kids and recreational activities).

Pinterest is already generating more referral traffic than Twitter and catching up quickly to Facebook.

How can Pinterest benefit my small business?

  • Prequalified leads
    Because users browse and search based upon their interests, they are highly likely to be interested in the products and services that they are actively pinning into their boards.
  • Friends and colleagues share common interests
    Because users categorize their interests by pinning them into boards, it becomes quick, easy and fun for their friends and colleagues to navigate their boards, thus creating additional valuable opportunities to showcase the products and services of your small business to their extended networks.  Since friends and colleagues often share and discuss common interests, this takes word of mouth to a whole new level!
  • Better ranks in search engine results
    Pinterest is currently ranked highly by search engines therefore any referral links within pins help significantly with search engine optimization efforts.

How do I get started?

Create an account

    • Fill out your profile, especially the “About” box.  Let people know who you are and what you do
    • Connect to your social media channels so that the boards and pins that you create and share are also shared on your other social networks

Create boards and pins

    • Create boards for each group of products or services
    • Within each board, upload a photo for each of the products or services.  Important: ensure your photos are visually appealing and best represent your products or services.  Quality is vital.
    • Take the time to describe each product or service, using the keywords that you anticipate users would use when searching for it.  Don’t forget to add a link to the actual product or service on your website.  This will create traffic by providing a convenient link to those who are interested in more information.

Engage with your audience

These are the most important tasks, if you’re going to skip these, don’t even bother performing any of these recommendations, you will just be wasting your time.  Yes, there is actual work in social media and sadly results don’t happen overnight.  Those who aren’t willing to invest the time, or just get ‘too busy’, will have lost the opportunity to reap the benefits of the viral power of Pinterest.

    • Invite your family, friends, customers, suppliers and anyone else that are likely to be interested or willing to pin and share your products or services to their colleagues
    • Create a scheduled task to search for products and services that are similar to yours (minimum 2-3 hours a week, every week, don’t quit after a few weeks).  Pin, like and follow other users who share similar content.  By doing this, you increase your odds of increasing the number of times your boards are followed and pinned exponentially! (did I mention don’t quit after a few weeks?)

So there you have it.  Now that you’ve got a game plan, it’s time to get started!  This will be one of the tools in your social media arsenal that will propel the growth of your business in 2012.  I hope you enjoyed my article and found it useful, if you have any feedback or questions please feel free to post them below in the form of a comment.

Brent Mondoux
CEO, N-VisionIT Interactive
brent@betterwebsites.ca

Ottawa web design

 

References:
http://www.alexa.com/siteinfo/pinterest.com
http://www.vabsite.com/2012/02/pinterest-users-usage-trends-statistics.html
http://ansonalex.com/infographics/social-media-usage-statistics-2012-infographic/#infographic

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