Pinterest has launched business pages on their site. What are the implications for all the people asking, ‘What does this actually mean for my business?’ Should you rush out and set up a business page for your company?
There are a few considerations to be worked through before you put your company onto Pinterest. The first is resources: do you have time to do this and look after another social channel? If you have customers on Pinterest then it would make sense to have an official company page to service those customers, but if most of your business is done on Twitter then it makes sense to spend time there. Have a look through your analytics to see where your customers are coming from and divide the time appropriately.
You can use the search function in Google Analytics to see what proportion of traffic is coming from the site. Make sure you take a large date range of six months plus. Even if you haven’t made any posts on Pinterest, you might be receiving traffic from it. You can find this page in Google analytics Traffic Sources > Referrals.
Keep in mind that Pinterest is image-based, so if your business is very unphotogenic (I’m thinking under-writers and share traders here) then you might have to spend time and resources creating images to post onto Pinterest.
You should also be aware that people can share and modify your images, which could mean people using them to link back to different websites other than your own. This could be a hard concept for business owners to comprehend and should be thought through before building a presence on the site. If you have a catalogue of images that you’re thinking of uploading, be wary that they might be used in a different way than you intended.
Searchers can share your pins either via a tweet button, email button or by an embed code that is generated for each image on Pinterest. From an SEO perspective the embed code is a great way of getting your content shared across the globe. The tweet button is good for traffic to your pins and will make sharing the content easier from Pinterest.
Just be aware that all your good images can be shared and modified in ways that you might not have considered.
Pinterest has a different feel to Facebook, and companies appear differently on Pinterest; they engage in a different way. As some research has suggested, it could be that people feel more comfortable with companies on Pinterest that they do on Facebook. If your company has tried to engage with customers on Facebook and had a bad experience then maybe it’s worth trying Pinterest as an alternative.
Pinterest for Business: Case Studies
Pinterest has some case studies of companies successfully using the site to drive sales and traffic. One of them is Etsy. Below is a screen grab of their page on Pinterest.
Etsy sell unique objects via their website that are submitted by artists and crafts people across the world. They have used Pinterest to recreate their community-based market place to great effect. They give boards over to ‘guest pinners’ who find objects from across the web to pin. There are no cold, hard figures of what kind of business they are producing from Pinterest but they are obviously getting benefits from their endeavours. The thing to remember is they have a huge resource of both photography and man hours that they can use to keep their feed unique and up-to-date.
Pinterest works for businesses. It just depends what kind of company you are and what type of business you do. It’s going to be a while before an accountancy firm says that their big referrals come from Pinterest, but that shouldn’t stop them from making their content available on Pinterest. There are two ways to look at doing business on Pinterest. One way is to have an active presence on Pinterest and participate in the community; another is to make sure that all your current content can be shared on Pinterest via social sharing buttons.
Monitor your pins and see where they go. By using Pinalytics you can see what impact your posts are having, this will give you some insights into what kind people are seeing your pins and how you can modify your content to enhance your exposure. Pinalytics can give you metrics like ‘repins’ likes within Pinterest but it also show metrics from other social media like Facebook and Twitter.
Like all social channels, Pinterest is evolving, and the business pages are one stage of the journey that Pinterest is making. It would be great to hear from anyone who is using Pinterest in an innovative way to promote their business. Please feel free to make contact through the comments box below.