Launched in 2010, Pinterest was only an online hub for passionate people about beautiful designs, visual photographs and videos. Today, the website is stepping up as one of the essential marketing tools for online business promotions. Based on its high-tech image processing system, Pinterest.com has begun to play an important role in generating traffic for blogs and websites.
Pinterest doubles up as a social bookmarking site and an online bulletin board where people “pin” what they want to share. Every image in the bulletin boards are linked with its URL. When a user clicks on the image, the “pin” page appears, clicking image again will take the user from the image originating page.
Getting Started With Pinterest
Pinterest cannot be accessed by a simple sign-up process. This website is designed with a special sign-up process, based on invitation-only module. Users can sign up on Pinterest in two ways – first, an interested user can leave the main email id for Pinterest people to invite the user; or, secondly, existing Pinterest users can invite someone through email invitations.
Once the invitation is received and accepted, the user can create a personal account. After creating an account on Pinterest, the user will be presented with a template screen on which the user can design/create bulletin boards. The bulletin board enables the user to add or upload pins.
Top Tools and Apps
From a marketing point of view, Pinterest can be used for business promotions. Since the whole concept of Pinterest is image oriented, marketers have a chance to promote their products and services through creative outputs.
Just like other social media networks, Pinterest also provides various interesting tools and applications to customize the user’s experience. Following are some of the often used Pinterest tools and applications:
- Pin Clout:
If you are familiar with Facebook Insights, Pin Clout is nothing new to understand. This tool monitors current trends and tips in tracking the user’s growth on the network. It provides an easy sign up process and sends a confirmation email to the user. Once confirmed, it will help the user to increase influence over the website.
- Wise Stamp:
Wise Stamp encourages user to add “Follow Me” on Pinterest. This application customizes emails by adding “Follow Me on Pinterest” button at the bottom of emails. Whenever the Pinterest user sends emails to others, the “Follow Me” button will be visible to the email receivers. By clicking on the “Follow Me” button, an email receiver can become a follower of the sender’s Pinterest bulletin Pin boards.
PinPuff provides Pinfluence score to users. Monetary value of user’s Pins can be easily obtained via the PinPuff application.
Providing webpage screenshots of target WebPages on your Pin boards is the ultimate source to increase traffic. Snapito application facilitates the attachment of web page screenshots on your Pin boards.
Pinerly provides a convenient way of managing marketing campaigns on Pinterest by scheduling campaign programs according to user demand. It also helps in controlling user’s Pinterest followers list.
- Pin a Quote:
In case Web Pages are without images, ‘Pin a Quote’ provides the facility to pin the webpage with a quote or text to highlight products or services. Pin a Quote shares this highlighted text on the Pin boards.
These are the important tools and applications in Pinterest to facilitate users for promoting their business online. Besides, if the user wants to look at the pinning record of a website, the user can simply type the URL [http://pinterest.com/source/YourWebsite]. Entering this URL will help the user to know how many users are pinning the user’s website on their pinning boards.
Enabling Business Promotion with Pinterest
Google Data analysis of Pinterest recently found that Pinterest is acquiring around 73 million visitors worldwide. Below is a screenshot of Pinterest traffic details from Trak.in.
Pinterest Traffic Details
Pinterest allows businesses, individuals and brands to share and promote a range of items worldwide. Following are some effective approaches for successful business promotion via Pinterest:
- Functionalities Of Niche Categories:
Pinterest provides functionalities of creating relevant categories as well as sub categories of your brands according to your choice. This will help you in customizing your Pinterest profile and to set a priority mark on Pinterest search page.
For example, if you have a website selling handmade items, you can create many Pin boards with the name ‘Gift Ideas,’ ‘Handmade Gifts’ and many more.
- Social Networking Integration:
Registration with Facebook or Twitter is mandatory for registration on Pinterest. If you are planning Pinterest business promotion, you can achieve it by creating common webpage name on Pinterest as you have on Twitter or Facebook. This will help in integrating your business promotion on Pinterest effectively.
- Interaction With Existing Followers:
Followers are the essential units of business promotion online. Interaction with your followers to inform that ‘why you are on Pinterest?’ is a must. This can be achieved by sharing photo slideshows or other visual based updates on your Pinterest profile page. Your followers should not only be linked with your business promotion page, they should be able to interact with it also.
- Use Smart Descriptions:
As Pinterest is image-based, its search options are bound with super sensitive keywords. Thus, the description of your targeted product or service should be catchy, but short. Images, which you pin from any webpage, automatically include their embedded link without caption. This space can also be smartly used for placing your business updates including the reason for pinning that image.
- Include Pricing Information:
It’s obvious that the user friendly interface of Pinterest helps users in easy browsing and easy selection of products. From the same standpoint, Pinterest allows a special section to its users for adding prices of their products along with images. This special section enables only those images in search pages which have their price tags. Thus, it is a better way to directly promote your business products along with their prices.
- Engage Users With Re-pinning:
Direct marketing needs high experience level if people are not familiar with your products and services. Pinterest allows re-pinning and tagging target audience by their username to promote your business products a number of times.
- Encourage Audience With Contests And Awards:
You can generate Pin boards for your product fans and can organize various contests to promote your business products on Pinterest. Your Pin boards can be used to direct your audience towards your products and services by just attracting them with various gifts and offers. You can also distribute free samples of products and services for limited period of time to cover your estimated business promotion.
Planning a business promotion with Pinterest is the latest and the most demanding trend. Pinterest will soon launch video pinning facility to pin videos directly from YouTube. This can further enhance Pinterest marketing.
Pinterest.com – To Use or Not to Use
My goal was to help you decide whether you should use Pinterest or not!
If you have read the above context, you will observe that Pinterest.com not only focuses on entertaining its users, but also provides various stunning business promotion opportunities with its ‘easy to use’ nature. The ‘business promotion opportunities’ section of this blog easily describes where and how to adopt Pinterest in your business and in other entertaining activities.
Now, let’s come to some of the drawbacks and check points for why and where you should not adopt Pinterest in your business activities.
- Pinterest doesn’t provide business-oriented functionalities for some places. In your business promotion activity, if your products and services are not particularly visible, their images might not tie directly to the brand.
- If you simply display your products without adequate descriptive content, it will be difficult to attract people to your product webpage.
- Grabbing account password is not a big deal for hackers. Pinterest is not strong enough to provide security with its Pin board. Cyber criminals have now started pinning images of Starbuck’s gift cards and free wallets. When a victim clicks on these images, the scams begin. Some cyber criminals redirect victims to their CPA websites.
- As Pinterest is based on invitation-only sign up approach, marketers cannot connect their business promotions with Pinterest until they get individual invitations either from Pinterest or from someone who already has a Pinterest account.
- Mandatory Facebook or Twitter connection for registration on Pinterest is not a good deal because not every business is active on these social networks.
Despite the drawbacks, no problems have been encountered by marketers in their business promotions via Pinterest till date. Marketing experts now consider the platform as the most profitable social media tool because of the heavy traffic it receives, which leads to better conversion rates for businesses.
Finally, in my opinion, you should surely examine Pinterest personally for a few days before planning your product marketing strategy over it.
Are you already using Pinterest? Do share your experiences below.