Though Pinterest launched back in 2010, it has always seemed to be less popular than other social platforms. As of this year, it is the 14th most popular platform globally, besting Twitter by 35 million monthly active users, though it still lags behind Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat. But does that mean it’s not a viable platform for small business marketing? Not at all.
While Pinterest may not be suited for all small businesses, it is still wildly useful for anything creative, allowing users to share bulletin boards of interesting designs, recipes, themes, and various inspirations for almost any endeavor. Many call it a visual discovery engine, allowing users to find inspiration for whatever they may need. One thing to note is that over 75% of Pinterest users are female, and over 60% range from 18-49 years old. Keeping that in mind, let’s look at how Pinterest can benefit small business marketing.
How to use Pinterest for Business
First of all, businesses can create an actual business account on Pinterest, much like Facebook and Instagram. Not only does that allow a business to brand accordingly, but the platform offers insights and analytics to effectively program marketing. Next, because it’s a platform for inspiration, it can really play on the needs of the users to promote products that fulfill those needs based on inspirational posts. By posting quality inspirational content, the likelihood of reaching a large base is quite high.
As with any social platform, content is king and strategy is a priority to winning the game. With a solid posting strategy of quality content, the rest is really in the follow-up. Interacting with those who pin the content, continuing with fresh content and allowing for creatives to interact, can really boost the reach of the channel. Understanding that most users on Pinterest are open to inspiration can lead to conversions solely on becoming of interest to those users.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Pinterest
There will always be advantages and disadvantages when it comes to marketing on social media, so here’s what we feel are the points to ponder:
- Pinterest is a search engine: What this means is that users can actively search for products, needs, and ideas. A pin’s relevance is based more on a particular user’s interest than collective shares.
- Pin Life: The lifespan of a Pinterest post (pin) is over 3 months, compared to that of posts on Instagram and Facebook, which is two days to less than two hours, respectively. We spend so much time creating the content, that it only seems fair for it to have a life longer than two days!
- Time Investment: It takes less time to post and respond on Pinterest than it does on Facebook and Instagram. It’s all about creativity and inspiration, and less about the interaction.
- Pinterest shows up in Google search results: If you’ve ever searched for a design idea or creative inspiration on Google, it’s likely that among the search results you saw an entry for Pinterest. For a small business, this means that there is another major avenue for users to discover your pins outside of the platform.
- Targeting: Local targeting is difficult, and if the small business is not capable of shipping outside of the local territory, then it will not be as helpful as other platforms.
- Time Specificity: though a pin can have a lifespan of over three months, this also means that a pin posted today may not be seen for a while. There’s not much control of when or how a post will show up in front of its audience, though if it’s season-specific, it will come back around the following season without additional work.
Lastly, Pinterest’s biggest downfall is also its biggest upsell: imagery is the content, not text. When we say “content is king”, it’s all dependent on the platform. For Pinterest, it’s the imagery, so be sure to use quality, non-copyrighted images for your content.
Ideas for Pinterest Pins
What are “Ideas” for Pinterest Pins? Pinterest realized they had to keep up with the Jones, i.e. Instagram, so they created their own version of Stories called Idea Pins. This is basically a multimedia post that incorporates video or a series of images, showing as full-screen content to feature a new product, trends, tutorials, and other ideas to engage with followers. One extra item of note is that these Idea Pins last longer than Instagram Stories, remaining on user profiles instead of disappearing after 24 hours.
A simple search will walk you through how to create an Idea Pin, so we’ll let those who have already created this content do that work for us. But be aware that Idea Pins is not about linking out to your website – it’s about promoting your Pinterest profile, store and content. Tag away, but keep links off of Ideas.
Advertising on Pinterest
One thing that makes Pinterest stand out among the other social platforms, is that users are often searching for products, meaning that it can be much more influential to potential buyers than Facebook or Instagram. If your product falls into the home decor, beauty, fashion or food industries, then advertising on Pinterest might be the right fit for your small business! It should also be noted that Pinterest is still growing – each year user numbers increase by over 35%. With such an invested user base already searching for products to discover, it only makes good business sense for a small business to have a presence on Pinterest and to take advantage of this potential revenue stream!
Advantages of Hiring a Marketing Agency to Run Your Pinterest Account
When it comes to running your own social media platforms or hiring a marketing agency, it really boils down to personnel and budget constraints. Many small businesses feel that hiring an outside agency is just too expensive, so they use someone in-house that has some social media experience. However, that can end up backfiring. If the in-house employee has a vast understanding and is well trained in current social media platforms and trends, it might be a great choice. Typically, that isn’t the case and in the end, more money is spent to achieve a lesser end result than a marketing agency would have obtained.
As your tech partner, Blink;Tech understands the thin budgetary lines small businesses must walk each day, and it’s our mission to work with our clients in order to find the most efficient and cost-productive path. Sometimes that means blending processes and using a hybrid scheme where the in-house employee works hand-in-hand with us as more of a mentor. However it needs to be, Blink;Tech is there to help. Contact us today to see if Pinterest can help your small business!