- Your boss said to you “What’s up with Pinterest? Should we have a profile on there too?”
- You’re in charge of your company’s social media and you set up a Pinterest profile for the business. Now that you’ve invested time in it, your boss wants to know what the return has been from those efforts.
To give you the answers you’re looking for, let’s first examine why people are on Pinterest in the first place. It’s been said that people use Pinterest to plan the future – they pin their future weddings, activities they want to do with their children, what they want to buy and wear, vacations they want to take, recipes they want to try, etc. Pinterest is a place for people to go where visual media dominates and they can save things that they want to look at later. There’s no drama like Facebook or Twitter and the emphasis is less on interacting with other users and more on having an individual experience.
It goes without saying for users, but I think it bears explaining for businesses, that using Pinterest is not at all about shopping. Yes, a user may find a really great piece of apparel from time to time or discover a great looking recipe or kids activity that’s in a book for purchase and then go and buy said item, but that type of action is definitely not the norm. Pinterest is more like a visual scrapbook where users can collect the items that speak to their personal identity in one way or another.
So if your business shouldn’t expect to see sales resulting from Pinterest (or hasn’t seen sales resulting from Pinterest), should you still invest time in having a Pinterest presence? I would argue, yes. Even though Pinterest will probably never be a sales machine, it doesn’t take much time at all to maintain and it provides all of the following benefits:
Like any other social media channel Pinterest allows your brand’s voice to come through. However, unlike other channels, the possibilities are endless in terms of how you express this. Let me explain… On Facebook it’s expected that a company will promote its own content as well as post other helpful resources for its audience. On Twitter businesses can get a little more creative and tweet some funny industry tidbits from time to time amongst rich content. On Pinterest though, a company can pin anything at all from infographics to employee lunch favorites to interesting local architecture. Anything goes on Pinterest because each board allows a user to express different facets of his/her personality, which means that a business can easily have boards that are very professional industry resources next to board that are entertaining and quirky and speak to their vision or employee culture. This isn’t viewed as odd. In fact, it’s encouraged! In this way, Pinterest is probably the truest image online of who a company is and what they represent.
Using Pinterest to promote your company’s content is absolute gold! The reason for this is because users spend far more time on Pinterest than they do on Facebook or Twitter, which means that they interact with more content during each visit. Content also doesn’t disappear quickly. The Pinterest search feature brings up new content, popular content, and recommended content, which means that unlike Facebook or Twitter where you content can die in a matter of seconds or minutes, your content can live a long life on Pinterest. In fact, companies that frequently post articles and infographics on Pinterest sometimes find that their most pinned content is actually many months old. In fact, a Buffer study actually revealed that some of their most popular content continued to gain traction and get visitors to their site more than a year after it had initially been posted! Now that’s some serious longevity!
Having a Pinterest page also seems to add the perception of credibility to a business. Even if visitors to a company’s website never actually visit the company’s Pinterest page just knowing that they have one gives the perception that they have a well-rounded social media presence. In this way your Pinterest page may be contributing to your brand image.
Kate Pierce is the owner of LionShark Digital Marketing LLC, a West Michigan internet marketing company. Her areas of expertise include Paid Search, Search Engine Optimization, Social Media, Web Consulting for small businesses, Copywriting and Local Online Marketing. She lives in the Grand Rapids area with her husband and enjoys cooking, watching sports and spending time outdoors. Like a true digital marketing expert (i.e. geek), she loves talking about marketing theory and SEM trends… so don’t say you weren’t warned!