How small-business start-ups can use Pinterest to build online success

It’s competitive out there in the world of small business, and in this digital era it’s crucial to not only maintain an online presence, but to be aware of evolving online trends and understand them. The importance of social media in helping you to establish yourself in your chosen markets and achieve success online cannot be underestimated. It is important to have a clear idea of who your desired target market is, understand their social-media habits and know their preferred platforms.

Armed with this knowledge, you can find new and inventive ways to use these platforms – not only to market your business but also to better connect with your desired target market. Pinterest is just one of the many social-media options available to facilitate that connection.

So what is Pinterest and why should I be using it?

Pinterest is a useful social platform where users search for topics of interest to them, e.g. baking, and they’re shown a variety of ‘boards’ related to that subject. Users can contribute to these boards by posting (or ‘pinning’) articles or photos to boards, and connect with other users who share these interests.

Pinterest is a useful social platform where users search for topics and they’re shown a variety of ‘boards’ related to that subject.

Posts to Pinterest act like website bookmarks in that all items you pin to a board link back to the sites they came from.

Now you can begin to see how this would be useful to a small business with an online presence. If you post images, articles, quotes, recipes etc related to your products and services (using the baking example again), then when a person searches for anything to do with baking, your information and images will be presented to them. It allows interested searchers who like your contribution(s) to ultimately find and hopefully engage with your business through your own website. Additionally, interested users can share your information with others, building brand awareness and knowledge among their friends and family.

Sounds good! How do I make the most of it?

Let’s use an example of a small Melbourne patisserie, with only six staff and all products made on-site. One of the best ways the owner or manager can build a presence on Pinterest is by adding the ‘Pin It’ button to their business’s website. This gives visitors the ability to pin images of their favourite pastries, interesting recipes, blog articles etc from your website onto their Pinterest board(s) and share them with friends or other users who share the same interest in baking.

Businesses that use the Pin It button often see returns in the form of referral traffic. As visitors to your website pin and share your content on Pinterest, you gain a wider level of exposure for your brand and increased views of your images. The more your brand is seen by users, the more likely people are to visit your site or want to learn more about your products and services.

Using a site like Pinterest enables small businesses to not only reap the rewards of increased visitation and customer interest through social media, but it also means that site visitors promote the small business for them without the business needing to promote their business themselves.

The more detail you put into the content you allow to be pinned on Pinterest, the more value it can likely add to your business.

Currently there are five types of pins that can be used. Here are the three that are most relevant to small businesses:

  • Place – Include details like addresses and contact information of the small business
  • Recipe – Include as much detail as you can about your recipe. Some small business may not wish to divulge all their business recipe secrets however it can prove effective to expand a small patisserie or other food businesses referral traffic
  • Article – Could be a detailed article about your business or an article about your industry, perhaps, but the more detail you add the better. Could also be client testimonials, quotes or others.

For more information on how to create more effective Pins click here.

Pinterest as an analytical tool

If you want information that details how your business is performing in the social-media sphere, and whether your social-media strategy is effective, Pinterest can provide you with that important data (at least from a Pinterest standpoint anyway). You can uncover a wealth of information, including how many people are:

  • pinning from your website
  • seeing your pins
  • clicking on your content

You can even pick timeframes to see how your numbers trend over time. You can also find out which Pins get shared the most, who interacts with them, and what else people add alongside them. You can even link Pinterest to your website and get analytics data.

This data can help you to identify additional business opportunities or, at the very least, allow you to see the value of Pinterest to your small business.

To sum up

There are many ways in which Pinterest can enhance your small business’s online success and there are many small-business owners who have taken advantage and gained great success.

Matthew Todd