[This guest post was written by Mary Ylisela, writer and social media marketing manager.]
Pinterest was launched in March 2010 to a select group of 5,000 initial users. Since then, this online scrapbook or pinboard site has grown in membership to over 12 million users.
With all the social media venues out there, it’s understandable that a small business owner might wonder why a Pinterest account is necessary.
For those who are uncertain about the necessity of adding one more venue to their social media marketing campaign, here are some reasons why a small business of any size should have an account on Pinterest.
1. Engage Visually Inclined Customers.
Many consumers are visually inclined and respond better to print advertisements, pictures, and images. Since pictures are the predominant part of a pin, you’ll engage these kinds of customers more easily.
2. Showcase Expertise and Creativity.
Pinterest provides small business owners with ample opportunity to demonstrate expertise by showcasing their products and services. Likewise, business owners can pin tutorials to help current and would-be customers learn something new. Consumers are more likely to follow a business’s Pinterest account if they can obtain useful information.
3. Drive Traffic to Business Website or Blog.
Product pages or blog posts pinned from the business owner’s website will have embedded links in the pictures. Whenever a Pinterest follower clicks on the image, they’ll be led back to the business’s blog page or website.
4. Learn from Peers.
It’s likely that similar businesses are also using Pinterest to spread the word about their businesses. Use the “search” function on the Pinterest home page to find pins or boards with similar themes to have the opportunity to see what other businesses are pinning.
5. Convert More Consumers to Buyers.
Pinterest cuts down on the steps a consumer must take between learning about a new product or service and purchasing it. As a result, this venue can help a small business convert more shoppers to buyers.
6. Tap into Consumers’ Interests.
By following other Pinterest users, business owners can tap into the interests and preferences of their consumer base. This can prove to be useful when fine-tuning a product line or social media marketing campaign.
7. Integrate with Other Venues.
Establishing connectivity between social media venues is imperative to building a following and gaining exposure. Set Pinterest preferences so newly pinned items will show up on the business Facebook page, and check the “Twitter” box before pinning to double the exposure received for one pin.
8. Build a Following.
Building a following and increasing one’s customer base on Pinterest is simple and fun. Consistency is key, and business owners should plan to use Pinterest at least three times per week.
It’s easy to get started with Pinterest, and new small business users are likely to find this social media venue to be one of the easiest to use. New users will want to brush up on Pinterest etiquette, which includes reciprocal pinning, following people that follow the business, and avoiding spam or pins with broken links.
The use of Pinterest as part of a social media marketing campaign is something that can and should be incorporated by small business owners everywhere, whether they’re just starting out or have been in business for a long time, like Steve Wynn. The best way to get started is by joining Pinterest and taking a look to see what other users are doing.
Mary Ylisela is a writer and social media marketing manager for small business clients and solopreneurs.