In the past several months, use of the new social media platform ‘Pinterest’ has increased exponentially, especially among young, professional age men and women. While the appeal may not seem obvious to those of us who did not grow up with social media, many small businesses are getting greater reach and building deeper relationships with new prospects and clients.
Here are eight reasons to use Pinterest to market your business and online Web presence now.
1. Consumers searching less, discovering more
There has been a dramatic shift in Internet behavior from pointedly searching for products, services or information to a more free-form method of discovering new things. Discovery allows people browsing the Internet to find not only information, but inspiration. Pinterest is riding the wave of this new phenomenon, stepping in before you perform the Web search on Google. Often, it is even before you have thought of paying for a particular product or service. As such, it is a great way to get exposure for your business by creating quality image-heavy content that people can re-pin on their Pinterest boards. In addition, frequent keyword term searches in Google now result in pinterest page URLs by other companies when optimized for SEO correctly.
2. Little interaction needed to build brand awareness
One of the most pressing concerns for any department managing an online brand is the question of “Do we have the resources (money and labor) to do this right?” Luckily, your involvement with Pinterest can be minimal, and there is extremely low overhead. With a few minutes of regular pinning, categorizing, and tagging a day, there’s little else to worry about. No need to manage commenting or spend a lot of time following and friending others; you simply promote your content in your own time.
3. Connect with your audience visually
Pinterest is almost exclusively a visual medium. It attracts a different type of crowd, as well as behavior, than your standard Weblog. To many people, images and videos have a greater appeal than words, but most information on the Web is rarely delivered through this medium. Think of how many people make their livings as bloggers and podcasters. You can tap into a whole new segment of buyers by building a community around your pinned images. Browsers who are inspired by your account spread the word, giving you more free referrals.
4. Helps connect with people too shy to have their own blog
Many people are simply too shy to have a blog, or don’t care for the work involved of constantly creating content. With Pinterest anyone can have their own online Web presence made up of interesting and inspiring images. People don’t have to actually create their own content, but can express themselves using other found content online. Additionally, this spares you the time and effort of constantly creating fresh content. You can still increase your traffic simply by building relationships with people through unoriginal, re-pinned content.
5. Amplifies original content.
Pinterest is usually best compared to Tumblr, a similar concept, but applied to all forms of Internet content rather than primarily images. The average Tumblr post gets picked up and rerun somewhere else on the Internet nine times. Using Tumblr, it reaches far more people than if it had solely remained on the original content site. It is still too soon to have any definitive metrics from Pinterest, but one would assume the effect will be the same. As your content is re-pinned regularly, your audience grows exponentially.
6. A Re-Pin is the new ReTweet
It is entirely possible to build a community without creating any original content simply by sharing other people’s pins. This is extremely similar to the way Twitter power users were able to build an impressive following by simply retweeting and Tumblr bloggers who have simply reblogged other people’s content.
7. Allows you to find niches
Pinterest allows people to express themselves through a blend of their many disparate interests. This allows you to not only find out about new and different market segments, but see the relationship between differing markets and differing segments. You can further divide your content and offerings into particular segments within your market. For example, a garden store might have a pin board for different gardening tools, flowers, vegetables, and other reader-generated needs in the market.
8. Builds authority.
Even if your business doesn’t necessarily lend itself to Pinterest’s model, you can still use the tool to share experiences and expertise on a particular region, industry or relationship. Again you can build different boards to target particular segments and showcase your knowledge areas. For example, a Web strategist might have boards such as “Social Networking Tools,” “Top Pros in the Web Analytics Business,” etc.