A Pinteresting Idea for Marketers – Featuring Kathryn Rose (from Business on Main, MSN.com_

by Kathryn Rose on

By Polly Schneider Traylor | Business on Main

A Pinteresting Idea for Marketers -- Business on Main -- © Matthias Tunger/Digital Vision

If your business can relate to customers with enticing visuals, then Pinterest — the social media darling of the year — is for you. Here’s why.

In early 2012, Sue Zimmerman, founder and owner of a boutique in Cape Cod, Massachusetts, started a Pinterest page to help promote her business, SueB.do. Today, referrals from the relatively new social media network represent 75 percent of the retailer’s online sales. Her physical store still dominates annualsales thanks to the busy summer season, but she’s committed to maintaining her presence on Pinterest.

“I am a visual thinker and have products that are pretty to look at, so Pinterest is a great opportunity to link back to my blog and website,” she says. Like other Pinterest enthusiasts, she enjoys the site because the boards (categories of images, or “pins”) are permanent, unlike a tweet or Facebook update that’s here today, gone tomorrow. That permanence, she says, can help create a strong brand image and relationship with customers and followers.

Do you really need another social network? First, consider that Pinterest isn’t just the new kid on the block, but a novel social network because of its focus on images and “pinning,” which is a snappy way to share content without having to actually write something.

6 reasons to start pinning today

1. It’s on fire!
Pinterest is a booming social media space where your customers might be hanging out — particularly if you sell consumer or lifestyle-oriented products and services.

“In 2011, Pinterest wasn’t on the radar, and now it has a 12 percent market penetration,” remarks Laurie McCabe, co-founder of the SMB Group, which recently surveyed 665 small and medium businesses on their social practices. Forty-five percent of companies surveyed said that Pinterest creates better interactions with customers and prospects, the second-highest method after LinkedIn and industry forums. Pinterest is also the second-highest method for lead generation and sales (36 percent) and competitive intelligence (31 percent) over Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

2. Get started in minutes

It takes a few minutes to open a free Pinterest account and start pinning, repinning and creating boards — without any instructions. A business could feasibly spend five or 10 minutes a day maintaining its boards by adding new pins and repinning or commenting on the pins of colleagues and friends. To make it even easier to pin an image, you can download the Pin It button to your browser or use the Android, iPhone or iPad app to snap images and pin them on the go. Pins link back to the item’s source page, including your e-commerce site.

“Of all the networks, this is one of the easiest to use because it’s just images,” says Kathryn Rose, a social media strategist and trainer for everyone from startups to multimillion-dollar corporations. For many, Pinterest is a refreshing break from social media tedium, suggests Jason Miles, vice president of advancement at Northwest University in Kirkland, Washington, and co-author of the soon-to-be-released book “Pinterest Power.” “People are fatigued by Facebook, and many still don’t understand Twitter.”

Read more at Business on Main from MSN.com

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