People have a need to collect the things that they like. They make bulletin boards, post photos on magnetic surfaces, keep an idea file, or create vision boards. Perhaps this is an explanation for the latest social media frenzy, Pinterest. With 10.4 million registered users (via AppData), who spend an average of 97.8 minutes on the site (via eMarketer), it’s worth considering as a digital marketing vehicle for your business.
Pinterest is a virtual universe of unique, topic-specific boards. Users pin favorite pictures with links to URLs to their boards, “repinning” those that interest them from other boards to theirs. This popular site gives people a place to collect the things they love. What’s more, a call-to-action pin descriptions sees an 80% increase in web engagement (via Pinerly).
While men only account for a small percentage of Pinterest users, similar digital marketing sites are popping up geared for those with a masculine bent. Gentlemint was created with men in mind and touts itself “a mint of manly things” with boards featuring tools, sports stats, military memorabilia, and lots of gadgets. Manteresting has no boards, but “workbenches” on which users “nail” their images.
The visual nature of these sites, coupled with the ease of use, is what makes them so incredibly popular. The trend toward making a bigger visual impact can also be seen in Facebook’s new timeline.
Alexis Madrigal, a senior editor at The Atlantic who covers technology, told Whitney Friedlander of the LA Times, “There’s suddenly what’s being referred to as the visual multiplier. It’s easier to share and pass around photos and videos than it is to pass around text. … When we’re talking about people who are processing information quickly, the idea that a photo is a thousand words might actually be provably true.”
Like all marketing decisions, it’s important to answer a few questions before you create a web presence on Pinterest.
- Who am I trying to reach?
If your answer is women, who hold the majority of Internet purchasing power for most American households, Pinterest can be effective, but don’t necessarily discount it for reaching men. If your customers – men and women – are likely to be “pinners”, the community is already in place, now go out and get their attention.
- What sort of time commitment am I willing to make to yet another social media channel?
Don’t jump in if you don’t intend to keep your posts current and engage your followers. Choose the social media networks that make the most sense for your business, and stay present and connected with audience.
- Is my product or service visual enough?
This is a trick question. Every business is visual enough. You just have to think outside the box. If you sell a service that at first glance doesn’t seem visual, think of your customers and prospects, and provide valuable lifestyle posts that focus on their interests. For example, if you sell organic baby food, your pins should not only show the product, but include kid friendly recipes, things to do on rainy days, and ways for parents to best utilize their quiet time.
If you decide to use Pinterest, Gentlemint, or something similar, there are a few important things to tip the success scales your way:
- Create visual content worth pinning (or minting…or nailing). Then ask for a repin.
- Your pins should reflect you personality and brand personality. Keep it real.
- Keep it fresh. Give followers a reason to come back.
- Connect with followers. Repin their content.
- Make it easy. Use a “Pin It” button or bookmarklet on your website.
- Attribute content pinned from other sites to the original source.
- If your pins are intended to lead to a purchase, link directly to an ecommerce page to make the sale quick and simple.
You may or may not choose to use this popular site to market your business. It’s not for everyone, but considering its popularity, it may be an effective way to connect with your customers through pictures and content. It can make a visual impact marketing your brand and driving traffic to your main site.
Do you use Pinterest or a similar site to promote your brand, products, or service? Do you use it as a consumer? What is your favorite Pinterest board?