Should You Use Pinterest to Promote Your Business?

As a very visual person, I always wanted to create collage boards of different goals, quotes, and style ideas. Unfortunately, I was always too distracted by school and other projects to ever complete one. So, imagine my delight when Pinterest first popped onto the scene (or you can read my excitement about the site back in 2011). For the past two years, I’ve used Pinterest for personal use and to “pin” articles for my work.

Businesses have scrambled to use the still-burgeoning site to promote their businesses and products. Some have succeeded. Some have failed. Why has it worked for some and not for others?

Should you use Pinterest for promotion?

As with all promotion, you first have to evaluate the consumer audience utilizing Pinterest. Right now it’s a heavily female-centric, middle-income user base:

  • 87% of Pinterest users are female.
  • The most popular age range is 35-44 (29%) followed by ages 25-34 (27%).
  • The average income of  users is between $25,000-49,999 (37%) followed by $50,000-74,999 (33%).

With that in mind, you have to evaluate whether or not Pinterest is the right tactic for your business. Is that user base one of your target audiences? Would that target audience be interested in your product?

A lot of businesses (whose products are aimed at this audience) have seen success in promotion of websites and products–particularly internet-based small businesses and online shopping sources that might otherwise fall under the radar.

What makes a “pin” popular?

Granted, some pins and posts go viral without warning. Sometimes what you think may become popular doesn’t, and vice versa. However, there are still some things to keep in mind that might help in your pinning strategy:

From Mashable: “According to business intelligence firm RJ Metrics, 17.2% of all pinboards are categorized under Home, followed by Arts and Crafts (12.4%), Style/Fashion (11.7%), Food (10.5%) and Inspiration/Education (9.0%). Of those, food is the fastest-growing category. It’s also the category that gets the most repins, generating on average more than 50% repins than the second most reshared category, Style and Fashion.”

This means that you are most likely to have your content shared if it relates to home goods, arts and crafts, style and fashion, food, or inspiration.

Once you familiarize yourself with the site, you can start to see what people are interested in sharing. Put yourself (as best you can) in the place of the pinner and imagine if you would re-pin that product or not. If the answer is yes, here are some other tips when it comes to posting:

  • Pin content from your site whenever possible- “pins” link back to the site you pinned them from, and this will help drive traffic.
  • Pin interesting articles and “how-to’s” in addition to products, and in the caption make sure to emphasize its use.
  • Find creative ways to “place” your product into a mix (i.e. an outfit or on a list of useful products)-this shows that the pin is not all self-promotion.
  • Pin news articles and earned media whenever possible–it might not drive traffic directly to your site but shows a third-party endorsement.
  • Make sure that the photo is visually appealing and “pops.”
  • Creative captions go a long way!

There’s also organic promotion, which you can utilize by including a “Pin It” button next to each product, article or page. Keep in mind that Pinterest will automatically capture whatever headline posted for that page/product and include that in the generic caption for the “pin,” unless the user creates their own caption.

Any Pinterest success stories to share?

One Comment

  1. […] week, I wrote about whether or not businesses should use Pinterest to promote their products or brand. Let’s say you’ve decided Pinterest is worth the effort. How does this really […]


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