July 21, 2014
10 Reasons Businesses Should Cash In On Pinterest
I know what you’re thinking. Why is somebody writing a post about Pinterest in July 2014? Surely emerging social networks such as Sulia, Thumb.it and Medium deserve more attention. But although Pinterest appeared in 2012, today it still remains low on people’s priorities.
It wouldn’t be a stretch to say that digital marketing can sometimes resemble plate-spinning, ensuring your SEO, SEM and Social campaigns remain aloft with the limited time and resources available. Undoubtedly, when a healthy ROI is all that matters, social media channels such as Pinterest suffer due to their debatable effectiveness. But E-commerce businesses are missing a trick.
Back in December 2012, our Senior Digital Marketing Consultant Paul Jackson was asked for his 2013 predictions for the future of Social, saying, “This is a bit out there, but Pinterest will plummet into obscurity.” Well, by the end of the year Pinterest was still attracting 85m new users every month, so it wasn’t exactly kaput. Alongside his impressive array of certificates and qualifications, maybe Mr. Jackson should pin this graph to his burgeoning office noticeboard.
Here are 10 great reasons why Pinterest is a must for online businesses. Plus expert tips to ensure you’re gaining traffic and increasing sales.
1. Brand Awareness
By championing photographs, Pinterest is an exceptional way to increase awareness and recognition for your brand. One success story is Green Wedding Shoes, a business which watched their referral visits grow exponentially after adding a ‘Pin It’ button to their site. One thing they learned was how important it is to maintain a constant tone when producing your pins and be as simplistic as possible. You’d be silly to overlook such a valuable tool for increasing customer appreciation for your brand.
- This is a selfie-free zone. Research has shown that pins without a human face are more likely to be shared. Also, go for standalone images rather than a collage.
2. Get ahead of the game
Marketers love rolling out the fact that people spend more time on Pinterest than any other type of social media. It’s the digital marketing version of a shock tactic. But from a UK perspective this is a little misleading. There are only 2m users in the UK, compared to 50m users in the US. That’s not to say if your audience is confined to the UK you should be put off. Instead see it as an excellent opportunity to stay ahead of your competition.
- Know your stuff. 71% of Pinterest users are female. The top categories for men aren’t sports or fast cars but photography, art, design, and home decor (Pinterest is way above all that gender stereotyping nonsense). If you do the research, you can tailor your Pinterest campaign to maximise its effectiveness.
3. Consumers become your salesmen
While both Twitter and Pinterest have similar sharing functions, Pinterest is streaks ahead in terms of being user-driven. Only 1.4% of tweets are retweets. This pales in comparison to the 80% of pins on Pinterest which are re-pins. Your Pinterest followers become your online salesmen, shouting about your brand and sharing your products around the web. Pinterest is a ready-made dream for SEO marketers since it easily allows users to share content.
- Research shows that including the most common verbs- use, look, want, need – will help propel your pins into the spotlight.
4. It doesn’t have to be time-consuming
No newsfeed. No times. No dates. Pinterest is extremely flexible. All businesses have quiet days and busy periods, social media posting suffering during the latter. Pinterest is more forgiving and spares you the unsightly disgrace of your most recent entry being posted ‘1 week ago’… a social catastrophe! While it’s best to keep on top of it, Pinterest will make it less obvious if you haven’t had the time to share anything for a while.
- If you’re pushed for time, use one hour every week to organise your Pinterest framework. Use Scheduler or ViralTag to automate shares to keep your boards ticking over.
5. You can target your customers
Pinterest’s most popular users often have between 50-100 boards. Their popularity stems from creating niche boards which are tailored to a person’s specific tastes. It follows the same principle of AdWords, where you can fine-tune each ad by creating ad groups. To be successful on Pinterest you need to follow the same approach and produce a variety of precise boards, giving each viewer the unique experience they crave.
- Make sure you add board categories, this way your pins will not only appear in the feeds of the people who follow you, but also in the same category that the board’s are connected to, thus reaching more people. Score.
6. Connect at every stage of the buyer’s cycle
Keeping a close connection with your customer, at every stage of the buyer’s cycle, is a sure way to secure business. Just like Google, Pinterest is a place customers go to do their research. Ensure you’re informative and interesting. By the time they’re ready to buy, you’ll be the first place they come to.
- Create a story. Show a time cycle of your product; from the design stage to the delivery stage. Elements of suspense will keep your customers coming back for more.
7. Pinterest is sales-actionable
People on Pinterest are in a different state of mind. They’re not socialising with their friends or followers, they’re actively looking for products and information to discover. In simple terms, on Pinterest, people are shopping. The structure of the site makes Pinterest your online catalogue. Research has demonstrated that customers spend more money, £47.53 to be exact, when they convert from a Pinterest referral than any other social referral. Facebook trails in second-place on £42.05. Take that Zuckerberg.
- Detail, detail, detail. Include as much product specification as you can using rich pins. Include the product’s price and where they can buy it.
8. You can measure it
Businesses that ignore social media usually do so because the success of a social media campaign is difficult to quantify. But you can track your activity. Using analytical programs such as Tailwind and Pinterst Web Analytics, you can find out which pins were most clicked, which were re-pinned the most, and what time of day was the most responsive.
- Although analysis by Bit Rebels shows that sharing between 2pm-4pm and 8pm-1am are the most productive times, competition is fierce so posting during quieter periods may result in a winner.
9. Another entry point to your site
Use Pinterest to drive more traffic to your site. Whether this is through having an awesome set of boards or by writing something in the comments section, Pinterest is another point of entry for many potential customers. Obviously this doesn’t guarantee sales, but anything to get more eyes on your items has got to be worth trying. Infographics and smaller images always command more click-throughs, simply because they’re unreadable from the Pinterest site.
- Put your URL in your Alt tags. This way anybody that does pin from your website with any official ‘Pin It’ button will now have your website mentioned in their pin’s description, creating a new back-link which will gradually increase your sites search engine rankings as your brand builds credibility.
10. This is the future of social
Okay, I may be getting ahead of myself. But unlike Twitter and Facebook, you don’t have to be logged-in to use Pinterest. As you’re innocently hovering over a high-definition photograph of a delicious looking brownie, a ‘Pin it’ button pops up. It is now easier to share your tastes and preferences with your online audience. Just as Google is (slowly) including social into its ranking algorithms, notably by giving preference to Google+ activity, Pinterest is another example of a social platform where you are provided with information based on your idiosyncrasies. With Promoted Pins still in development, how well Pinterest can be manipulated commercially is still up-in-the-air, but by getting your Pinterest-on now, you’ll be ready to capitalise.
- Ensure that your Pinterest page is set to show up on SERPs by switching OFF the section “Hide your Pinterest profile from search engines” in your account settings. In your pin/board descriptions and titles, be consistent and implement an identical keyword strategy that your business uses for SEO.