In their own words “Pinterest is a visual bookmarking tool that helps you discover and save creative ideas”. In reality, it’s much more than that as Pinterest is also about inspiration and aspiration. How does that translate to business? For the right business, Pinterest can be a hugely effective marketing tool but how does it work?
If you’ve never used Pinterest, one of the easiest ways to describe it is as a cross between a virtual pin board and photo album. As you come across images or ideas that you like (or create) you can Pin them to your profile. Users create their own boards and Pin their image to their preferred board. With the Pin It button on your web browser you can Pin images and ideas from across the web as well as within Pinterest itself. When you’re in Pinterest it’s all about discovering Pins, boards, and profiles that you can follow and Repin. The social aspect is when you comment on or like a Pin, follow a board or a profile or repin a Pin and copy it from someone else’s board onto one of your own. With the new “Tried It” option you can also let others know you’ve tried something and what you thought of it.
With approximately 175 million active users using Pinterest every month, Pinterest is a significant member of the social media market. Unlike other social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, however, users visit the platform to discover and find rather than to communicate. It does have a social aspect but it’s secondary to the discovery aspect. For businesses, this means that successful engagement usually comes from Pins and Repins rather than comments. When products are Pinned there is also a much higher chance of it being used as research for a purchase – 87% of Pinners have purchased a product because of Pinterest and 93% have used the site to plan a future purchase. For businesses that’s a powerful reason to use Pinterest to engage with their customers.
Pinterest is very much a visual and image focused platform. Lifestyle images which are portrait oriented work best and fit the visual feel and layout of the platform. Photos have to be visually appealing for someone to want to Pin them so the quality is absolutely vital. Poor quality images or dull settings or lighting doesn’t encourage Pins so should be avoided. Pinterest is a real opportunity for you to showcase your products as a business so make sure the images reflect who you are.
All profiles have separate boards and these usually group preferred Pins under themes, ideas or topics. For users, you can go wild and set up a board you want, be it for home, business or the life you’d like to have. Many will use it for pulling together a future plan or idea whether that’s the ideal bedroom at home or even their dream wedding – 81% of engaged Pinners admit to planning on Pinterest before they were even engaged. For businesses, you should show a variety of boards to engage with and entice your audience. You should have boards for what you offer or your products but you should also have a mix of other related boards. So if you’re a wedding cake company you should also have boards on wedding trends, colours, and themes, flowers, dresses etc. A great example of this is Aspire Style, a fashion boutique based in the Midlands. Their boards are a combination of fashion, different styles, seasons, bloggers and products all of which appeal to their audience.
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