WASHINGTON, August 5,2013 — On its website, Pinterest describes itself as “a tool for collecting and organizing the things that inspire you.” Its name is actually a pun that references its unique social networking approach based on a pin board or scrapbook photo-sharing model that lets users create image collections based on personal interests, themes, and events.
Making a quiet beta debut in the spring of 2010, Pinterest attracted a wider public following a year later when its new iPhone app became available. By 2012 the site was picking up strong momentum and continues to achieve positive growth in 2013.
Once primarily regarded as a site by and for women, Pinterest is now being adopted by a much wider and more diverse demographic that has also begun to include businesses. Just like individuals, businesses can use Pinterest to create a large collage of visuals on a business wall and share these with others, providing them with a new avenue for promoting their products.
However, many potential business users remain wary as to whether this will be beneficial for the growth of their company or not. Since Pinterest is a social media website organized around pictures, businesses need to find creative methods on how to attract attention to their products. Here are three ideas for doing just that.
Open Employee Boards
Businesses involved with personalization and style as part of their market “branding” efforts should invest the time and effort needed to get each employee a “board” on their company’s Pinterest page.
Many businesses lack the creativity and time to promote themselves regularly, and, realistically, a likely majority of their customers are not necessarily interested in the business visuals many companies put out. Customers do, however, want to see what a company’s employees have to offer.
For example, if a tattoo parlor were to open a Pinterest page, displaying its work that would be a must. But what if the web visuals they select to promote their work are not really what the individual artists in their shop want to be publicly known for exclusively?
By allowing employee Pinterest boards, such a business could enable its artists to display what they believe to be their own best work, promoting not only their own unique skill sets but promoting their place of business as well. Furthermore, tattoo artists often take pictures of a majority of the work they have done, which would allow for a much more in-depth company portfolio on the Pinterest.
By encouraging employee boards, many businesses can have a wider array of more interesting pictures to display, actively encouraging additional customers to pass through the turnstiles. Hair shops, tattoo parlors and nail salons are just a few of the businesses that can greatly benefit from employee boards.
Make Pinterest Available to Customers
Pinterest also allows customers to interact with a business if the business makes this option available.
Allowing several “spokespeople,” who are also loyal customers, run their own board on the company’s Pinterest can be in many ways that company’s best advertisement, creating what’s known in sales as independent or “third party” endorsements which can be far more effective than a standard sales pitch.
Marketing strategy 101: When a business allows actual customers to speak about and recommend their products, other people begin to open their ears and listen. Naturally, a business wants its customers to buy its products and says as much over and over again in its commercial pitches. Instinctively recognizing this fact, the public frequently tunes out or ignores a business when it makes those glowing product claims. However, when an actual consumer is the one praising the virtues of a company or product, that makes a potential customer much more likely to purchase the product.
Retailers could benefit greatly from customer boards since this allows customers to show how they wear their clothes, use a specific product, or offer original or alternative methods for employing a given product.
Promote and Intrigue Customers
While allowing employees and customers to interact on the Pinterest, a business must ensure it is making the Pinterest content as interesting and engaging as possible. Simply posting a picture and signing off will not attract more business. That requires a more developed and focused marketing strategy.
One way to make a business Pinterest more engaging to the public is to launch contests. Businesses large and small realize they can gain wider public exposure by holding “Pin it to Win it” contests that require customers to pin pictures of business products to their wall. Naturally, those customers will need to be doing something creative with the product in hand for their picture to be a contender.
Follow the link to an example of a Pinterest contest held by Safer Brand using the Pin it to Win it theme. Whoever comes up with the most creative picture will win a prize. Businesses are using Pinterest and integrating Instagram along with it to market to a larger audience.
How-to picture articles can lead to wonderful ideas as well. Businesses can show their customers how to better utilize their products, illustrating interesting methods and tactics they might not otherwise have thought of.
No matter what a business wants to do with it, Pinterest makes for a great social media site that, when used correctly, can generate a lot of buzz. Businesses need to be more aware of how social media will gain them exposure and persuade customers to purchase products and services. The creative use of Pinterest can be a genuinely unique way to do just that.
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