Understanding Pinterest for Local Small Businesses

PinterestLoginScreenWhat is Pinterest?

Pinterest is a visual discovery tool that people use to collect ideas for their different projects and interests. People create and share collections (called “boards”) of visual bookmarks (called “Pins”) that they use to do things like plan trips and projects, organize events or save articles and recipes. – via Wikipedia

Key Pinterest Stats? (via www.expandedramblings.com)

  • 70 million users (80% women, 60% US based)
  • 35% of unique visitors are mobile-only
  • 75% of daily traffic comes through mobile apps
  • 1 in 5 internet using women are on Pinterest
  • 1 in 20 internet using men are on Pinterest
  • Site is valued at almost $4 billion
  • Average user spends 14 minutes per visit, and 98 minutes per month

Are businesses having success with Pinterest?

As a referral engine, Pinterest is the #2 social referral source on the web, trailing only Facebook. Pinterest accounts for 7% of social referrals, while Facebook accounts for 21%.

Another measure of Pinterest’s success is at the transaction level. Reports vary based on researcher, but two often cited stats are that shoppers referred from Pinterest spend $59 per transaction (compared to $55 from Facebook and $46 from Twitter), Another report asserts that Pinterest shoppers spend $140-180 per transaction, compared to Facebook Shopper’s $80 or Twitter Shopper’s $60.

A final measure of success is at the top of the funnel, not in referrals or sales, but in branding and awareness. As usual, concrete stats on awareness are tough to find, but Pinterest has a business page that gives a number of examples how big and small brands are having success.

How can I use it?

As a small business in a rural area, your first step should be to see if your current customers are using Pinterest. This is as simple as asking them. You should also consider checking to see if competitors or other similar local business are using the site. Pinterest doesn’t have great search functionality though, so it can be a bit cumbersome. I’d recommend visiting websites or social media feeds on Twitter/Facebook first, and looking for posts flowing in through Pinterest.

One local business I found was Tangleberries. It looks like they got started, with three unique and cleverly titled boards, but haven’t added much to them.

Once you’ve scouted what customers want, and what competitors are doing, you’ll be able to decide if Pinterest is right for you. If it is,  the links below will detail some of the things you should be doing.

Here are a few of my thoughts:

  • Pinterest is visual, so you have to work in images. Make sure you have a decent camera. You want the photos in your pins to be appealing. If you’re pinning images from other sites, make sure you use the best available picture.
  • Create boards that resonate with your audience. It doesn’t always have to be about your products either. You can find a way to cleverly tell the story of your business. Maybe create a board that shows how you’re active in the community?
  • Link your “pins” up with your other content distribution channels (Facebook, Twitter, Blog, Website, etc.). Doing this will help keep your stream full, and get people to find and follow you on Pinterest. Based on the stats above, if you can get people to spend some time with you, it’ll likely be worth it.

Even More Tips and Advice

There are a lot of articles on this, so I’ll just let you pick a few and read from the people that are real authorities on the topic:

25 Things That Make You Look Dumb on Pinterest – Constant Contact

Marketing Secrets For Success On Pinterest – Bit Rebels

3 Unique Ways to Use Pinterest for Business – Social Media Examiner

5 Unexpected Brands that are Kicking Social Media Butt on Pinterest – Search Engine Journal (Features Texas A & M)

How To Be Successful on Pinterest in 8 Steps – Blue Fountain Media



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