Pinterest is one of the fastest growing social media sites on the Internet yet only a small fraction of small business owners have actually used the service. Why? Well in part, it is due to the misperception that Pinterest is only a photo sharing site. Nothing could be farther from the truth. In fact, Pinterest is serious business especially for retailers or others offering unique products or services. Social media consulting firms are typically conservative when it comes to making a strong recommendation for a newly emerging social media site but with Pinterest, the need for speed is apparent. Growing by leaps and bounds, Pinterest is taking the social media sphere by storm and with good reason; showing an astounding 2,700 percent increase in total unique viewers since May of 2011, Pinterest is experiencing exponential growth. Keep reading to learn why Pinterest is gaining so much ground and what it can do for your small business.
Pinterest has actually been around for awhile so why the sudden surge of interest? In part, the unique set of user statistics and demographics associated with the site.
Above Average Incomes – Just under 30 percent of Pinterest users report an impressive annual household income above $100,000…a clear advantage to small business owners attempting to reach a slightly more affluent middle-class market. Big business has clearly taken notice of this trend with major brand names such as Nordstrom, West Elm and Whole Foods making an early entry into advertising on Pinterest.
Above Average Duration – Pinterest users spend an average of nearly 16 minutes on the site; an impressive duration when compared to Facebook’s 12 minutes and Twitters 3 minutes. Duration is important because it demonstrates a higher level of interest and interaction.
Above Average Number of Women – While gender may not seem all that important, research shows females are responsible for the majority of buying decisions in a household…even for predominantly “male” products. Women are the primary decision-makers for nearly all household products including furniture, food, grooming, clothing, medical related issues, real estate and vehicles. Pinterest seems to have captured the elusive nature of marketing to women with over 68 percent of users represented by women. Roughly 50% of users have children making this an especially attractive mode of marketing for those that deal with kid’s toys, clothing or products.
Above Average Referrals – Pinterest is a referral mecca with more referral traffic than Goolge+, LinkedIn and YouTube…combined! Even more exciting, Pinterest referrals are likely to include Facebook friends especially as it becomes easier than ever to share items of interest.
Great, so the above statistics demonstrate Pinterest is a promising social media site but what IS it? To be fair, it’s a good question. Pinterest is different than other social media sites due to the strong visual nature. In essence, Pinterest is a virtual pinboard that allows users to organize and share items of interest.
In addition to creating collections, Pinterest allows users to follow specific brands, people or other organizations of interest. Currently, Pinterest membership is by invitation only however, obtaining an invitation is little more than a formality to ensure a valid email address is provided. Once registered, users are able to “like” items as well as “pin” photo’s to a more permanent destination.
Why Users Like Pinterest
Is there something inherently different about Pinterest that makes it more appealing? Yes – according to users, Pinterest is filled with beauty, fun and great connections. It’s often compared to “window shopping” and allows users to create comparative lists, obtain feedback from friends and family, brainstorm new ideas and comparison shop without the hassle of having to fight traffic. In a nutshell, it’s everything women want…and more! Remember, women are often the key to turning a social campaign into a viral selling storm since they share more often and are the critical decision-makers over most household spending in the United States.
By now it should be apparently, if your small business sells a product…especially one with even minimal visual appeal, Pinterest is the place to be. It’s not only one of the most “in demand” requests among social media marketing consultants but small business owners are flocking to Pinterest in droves. However, it’s important to maximize your social media experience. Here to help are a few pointers and tips to get started:
- Linked Pinterest to Facebook – Make sure all your social media marketing campaigns complement one another for maximum impact.
- Strategically Link – Google indexes Pinterest photographs and content so early adoption will increase SEO visibility as the site continues to grow in importance.
- Use Keywords – Every Pinterest photograph allows a full description. Use keywords to increase visibility, impact and appeal.
- Add Pin-It to Blogs, Website, Store and Other Areas – Chances are you already have a Facebook and Twitter button so it shouldn’t be a big surprise that users are searching for Pinterest points while shopping.
- Include Contact Information – Don’t forget to actually link back to your primary website, catalog or other content when uploading Pinterest photographs. Even a small sample shows a significant number of small business users failing to include easy links back to their order forms! Don’t allow this oversight to happen to you. Make sure each and every photograph has back links directing viewers to an order form or sign-up page.