Pinterest has become one of the newest trends to hit the social media world. With that said, I want to share my perspective on Pinterest and it's advantages.
Though Pinterest is the social "new kid on the block", it has already shown that it means business with more than 11 million people visiting the site each week.
How it Works:
For those of you who may not be familiar with Pinterest, it is an online social "pin board", where people post pictures of things they like and comments are added by others. Think of a virtual scrapbook that you would share with your friends.
There are categories that your ‘pins’ can be organized into. For example, these categories can be anything from architecture, wedding, technology, etc. People can post favourite recipes, designs, books, fashion trends, accessories, posters … the list is endless.
If you missed it, check out my radio segment on Pinterest.
Then Pinterest centres around images, and these images are linked to sites. As well, products can be searched for by price range, and people can re-pin items that they saw and liked, which will then show up on their board of interests.
Once you have a grasp on how use Pinterest, there are a variety of ways that it can be used for your business. Here are six ways that come to mind.
1. Identify Evangelists
With Pinterest you can identify who your evangelists and early adopters are by using it to monitor trends, gather customer statistics, and understand what items people search for the most.
Then you can strengthen relationships with those brand evangelists by reaching out to thank them, as well as offer special incentives, discounts, and promotions to foster loyalty.
2. Drive Traffic
Pinterest just so happens to be fantastic way to drive traffic. An image can be placed on the pinboard, linking out to your site.
If we look at the link highlighted in the image on the right, thetechlabs.com is mentioned and is clickable. People can see these images and ‘spread the word’ by re-pinning your product or service, or by tweeting, sharing, leaving comments, or visiting your site.
3. Leverage Communities
You can use Pinterest to promote your business by placing a "Pin it" link on your company websites or blog, leveraging your existing community to drive traffic and increase awareness through sharing, and potentially generate sales for your business.
Since Pinterest is primarily a visual media where ‘a picture can say a thousand words", make sure to post strong photos of your products or services so that your community are compelled to share them.
4. Consumer Insight
You can gain consumer insight by manually monitoring shares, re-pins, tweets, traffic and comment feedback, to see which products or services are well received and which ones are not.
Those insights can then be used to identify how to improve those products or services. Some of the metrics above would have to be tracked by Google Analytics, as Pinterest does not have an analytics dashboard....yet. Nonetheless, this can help you answer market research questions more efficiently.
5. Market Validation:
Similar but not the same as consumer insight, Pinterest can help startups and businesses gain insight on how target markets may feel about a product concept or service BEFORE developing it.
For example, if you are a new startup, you can create a mockup design of a product or SAAS, linking that image to a "coming soon" launch page, and then review the data to see if your startup idea is valid.
6. Drive Sales:
Pinterest can also help you market to a particular demographic. On the site, there is a pricing category, so a product can be marketed to a certain income bracket.
Also, since most Pinterest users are under 35, a certain age demographic can be targeted as well. Be sure to include the prices for your items so Pinterest users can shop by price.
Can you think of any other ways Pinterest can be used for business? How are you currently using Pinterest?