Why Brands Should Show An Interest...in Pinterest

Many businesses may not see the point to Pinterest. Many think it’s only for arts, crafts and cooking or for product based businesses but they’re wrong. Pinterest is the fastest site ever to break through the 10 million unique visitors mark and continues to grow quickly. You don't grow that fast by targeting arts and crafts.

The main attraction of the photo-sharing site is its ease of use: You don't have to be a social media enthusiast to sign up and start pinning to your hearts content. I whiled away nearly two hours setting up our Coup Media boards - and loved every minute of it!

Another thing that’s particularly impressive is just how social Pinterest is. I know that sounds strange, but it is much more social than any of the other platforms currently on the market. The day I received my invitation and signed up I had 30+ repins and 7 likes after just one hour, and all this without any followers!

For personal use it's up there with the best that social media has to offer, but does that make it right for your business? I attended a webinar last week hosted by Melanie Duncan. Melanie is the Founder of the Entrepreneuress Academy, an online training site that teaches thousands of women across the world how to start and grow online businesses. She uses Pinterest to promote her business and advocates the power that it holds in online marketing circles.

The opening gambit from this webinar revolved squarely around one very important facet of social engagement - referrals. One of the most astonishing facts that Melanie shared with the group was the fact that Pinterest is now driving more referral traffic to websites than YouTube, Google+ and LinkedIn combined! If you still think that Pinterest isn't for your business then maybe you need to think again.

There was however one clear winner when it comes to an effective Pinterest marketing strategy and Melanie made it distinctly clear where the power of pinning lies - video.

Melanie Duncan

There is no comparison between the level of engagement created through video versus text. In fact, 86% of people online prefer to watch video rather than read text. If you're a small business (or even a big one!) the opportunity of creating a tangible relationship with your customer through video is unmissable.

Many people can initially distrust websites and often fear for their online security, video can counteract this by showcasing your brand’s personality. Why not shoot a creative and immersive video of your employees working and enjoying themselves, maybe even interview a few of them, customers want to know more about the people and the stories behind the business.

Pinterest can also be an effective marketing tool if you’re a service-based business. Instead of demonstrating products it gives service providers an excellent platform from which they can persuade potential clients to sample their information and expertise. Use video to show that you're a leader in your industry by sharing relevant and engaging information. Teach a strategy or even create an infographic to demonstrate what your business does.

Tip of The Day - Infographics are usually tall pins and due to this can have up to six times the screen real estate of a regular pin. Who wouldn't want to take advantage of that?

Pinterest is also much more viral than other platforms and over 80% of pins are repins. Twitter on the other hand has a tweet to retweet conversion rate of just 5%. Just think of the possibilities if you take the time to create original content. Your business effectively has an 11 million strong virtual army, who's sole purpose is to give exposure to your wonderful product.

That is not to say that Pinterest will be the correct path for every business to take - far from it, but trust me, if you have a real passion for visual curation then there is every chance that you can turn your Pinterest profile into a viable traffic-generating platform for your business.

More importantly Pinterest is the perfect place to have fun with your brand content, show off your personality and really connect with your target audience. That is the key to significant brand exposure and sizeable sales growth.

We'd love to hear about your Pinterest success stories, let us know if it's right for you or whether you use something more appropriate for your business. Tell us on our Facebook Page or right here in a comment...

Happy Pinning!

Paul Shepherd

I've worked in digital communications for around 15 years, and specialised in social media for the past three. Passionate about new technologies, media, and the impact it has on businesses bottom line, I try to bring that passion to every campaign for every brand we work with.