Pinterest, with an estimated 70 million users, is evolving into a valuable social media platform for entrepreneurs. Worldwide, nearly a quarter of the sales generated on e-commerce sites through social media are coming from Pinterest.
A Pinterest executive says “hundreds of thousands” of businesses use the site, and most have fewer than 10 employees, Street Fight reported.
Pinterest isn’t a platform to reach women only. A third of the people now signing up for Pinterest are male, and a Pinterest spokesperson says more U.S. men are using Pinterest today than reading either Sports Illustrated or GQ.
Based on data from its 25,000 stores, Shopify says customers who visit the sites from Pinterest are 10 percent more likely to buy than visitors from other social media platforms, and their average order is twice as much as those coming through Facebook.
Tools and Tips. Pinterest is courting businesses too, offering new technology and advertising features such as “Promoted Pins,” which show up in users’ search results. A “News” section on Pinterest now allows users to see updates from the brands and other pinners and boards they follow. Another innovation, “Product Pins,” allows users to see current prices and availability of products, including notifications if the price falls.
Small businesses can use these strategies to find and engage customers through Pinterest:
Create eye-catching content. Of course Pinterest is a natural platform for businesses such as food and fashion, but it can work for other types of content too. You can pin charts, infographics, articles and more. Invite customers to pin photos of how they use your products. Include boards that feature related interests of you key customer demographics. For example, if your small business sells parts for automobiles, you might create a board of “Dream Cars” or “Fun Drives.”
Learn what’s working for you. Pinterest Analytics for business sites will show how many times your pints are showing up in feeds or search results, how many clicks are coming to your site from your pins, and how many times items are repinned. Use that data to refine your pinning strategy.
Turn visitors into pinners. With a “Pin It” button on your website, you encourage visitors to share your content on their Pinterest boards too, extending your social media reach. According to Pinterest, on average a pin is repinned by others 11 times. In addition to being available through Pinterest, the button is being integrated into other platforms, including Tumblr and WordPress.
If you still aren’t convinced that Pinterest is right for your small business, check out the Success Stories on the Pinterest business site, and search Pinterest for other small businesses in your field to see what they are pinning.