Facebook and Twitter are now an integral part of any social media strategy, but they’re not the only mediums that can provide you with a platform for your business. Sites like Pinterest are fast becoming great tools – especially when it comes to ecommerce. We’ve put together a quick guide to Pinterest and how you can use it for your business.
What is it?
Pinterest is best thought of as an online scrapbook – it’s a place to organise and share images you find interesting or inspiring. Once uploaded or shared on Pinterest, images become known as “Pins”, which the user can place on customised themed “Boards”. Boards can be created for any topic imaginable – from weddings to cars to memes to cat pictures.
Although Facebook and Twitter are both great for marketing, Pinterest has emerged as a hugely successful tool for ecommerce. In the last year, Pinterest provided the most shares in the ecommerce category with 41%, compared to Facebook’s 37% and Twitter’s 17%. 69 of the world’s top 100 brands now have Pinterest accounts, and Pinterest drives more traffic to websites and blogs than Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+ or YouTube.
Pinterest and ecommerce
While Pinterest is a great tool in any field, its setup makes it far better for ecommerce than sites like Twitter or Facebook. Firstly, Pinterest will automatically display a product price tab if a price is included in the bio – and research has shown that pins with a price tab generate around 32% more likes than those without one. Items with prices are also collected in the “Gifts” section of the site, meaning it’s really easy for your products to be found by those browsing to buy. Pinterest also allows a direct, click-through link to your page, so if you upload an image from your site, you’ll receive increased traffic.
Hashtags are also an important part of Pinterest marketing. Although Facebook recently introduced hashtags, these have been problematic – it can often be hard to find relevant information through them. On Pinterest, however, hashtags are an essential part of the search process, making your pins more accessible and therefore far more likely to be discovered, clicked on, and bought.
Ecommerce is, by nature, a very visual medium – people want to see products before they buy. Pinterest is perfect for this. As a platform built specifically with visual images in mind, it’s the perfect showcase.
It’s important to note, however, that Pinterest marketing isn’t going to work for every business. Although Pinterest is a great tool for B2C, B2B businesses are going to find it a little more challenging. Pinterest is primarily filled with images of clothes, jewellery and other retail products and so niche, technical items are unlikely to catch the imagination of users. If your products aren’t particularly visually appealing, they’re unlikely to be too successful.
It’s also a bad idea to fill your boards with nothing but your own products or services. Although there are no actual rules about it, Pinterest, like any social platform, is about fostering a sense of community and engagement, and should be used to showcase your company’s inspirations or to connect with like-minded people rather than for the hard sell. Pinterest is a hugely useful business tool, but it’s instrumental that you use it in a creative way.