by Diane S. Thieke
Pinterest has just released new tools for businesses, as well as a number of resources that can help you use the social network to market more effectively.
One of the most exciting changes is that organizations can now sign up for a business account. Before last week, Pinterest didn’t have business-friendly tools. In what many see as a shift to monetize its success, it has split its business into two – one for people and one for businesses – and launched Pinterest for Business.
This is great news for organizations that want to promote their products and brands to increase sales. What’s unique about Pinterest is that it allows users to choose the actual items that they’d like to have: a certain blouse, a specific lamp, that exact pair of shoes. Plus, women make up the majority – it’s said to be 80% - of users. So, it’s no wonder that more money is spent via Pinterest than either Facebook or Twitter. According to RichRelevance, the average retail order via Pinterest is $169 versus $95 on Facebook.
Check out Money Girl's Pinterest page for savvy boards to help manage your finances.
Pinterest is ideal for mixing and matching items from around the web, and women are using this feature to keep track of things they’d like to buy, visit or use, and to get feedback from friends before they purchase. Once your friends approve, buying the item is simply one click away.
Here are 5 businesses that should be using Pinterest as part of their digital marketing strategy:
• Salons and Spas. From nail colors to hair styles, Pinterest is a perfect way to display the offerings of a salon or spa. OPI uses Pinterest to display what can be done with its color palette by posting boards of nail art. Salons could complement the hairstyle books in their waiting rooms with boards of styles for short, medium, and long hair. Boards also offer a way to bring the spa menu to life.
• Interior Designers. Though it’s a real estate company, Zillow has used its Pinterest account to pull together dozens of home decorating ideas. There are boards for bathrooms, kitchens, outdoor living, and even celebrity “cribs.” Interior designers could showcase their own works and favorite products.
• Car Dealers. Women influence the majority of car purchases, according to some estimates. But car dealers haven’t yet figured out how to use Pinterest to attract women to their virtual showrooms. They’re still marketing to men. Rather than create boards for vintage models or pin logos of the car makers, car dealerships should consider the criteria by which women evaluate cars: safety, comfort, convenience. Pin photos of the extra air bags, and the various colors available for each make and model (both exterior and interior). The goal is to create boards that provide information actually used in decision-making.
• Hotels and Resorts. Women also plan most of their family’s travel, so Pinterest presents an enormous opportunity for hotels, B&Bs, and resorts. When planning a trip, women want to see the hotel room before they book. They want to understand the surrounding area and what it offers. Create boards for the property, amenities, activities, nearby restaurants, and more.
• Weddings. This has been one of the most talked about uses of Pinterest, but it impacts the marketing of a very large industry. Florists, caterers, rental companies, dress shops – virtually anyone involved in the wedding industry – should be marketing on Pinterest.
At this point, Pinterest is far from being completely business friendly. Its search feature is still fairly rudimentary, for example, and it’s not yet allowing advertising. These things will improve with time, however.
Pinterest for Business is a step in the right direction. To help you get started check out their case studies and best practices.
Diane S. Thieke is the president and founder of Simply Talk Media, a digital media marketing consultancy. With more than 25 years in digital media and technology, she helps clients build stronger relationships with their customers and communities, using both social and traditional channels. Follow her on Twitter at @thiekeds or visit her blog at www.simplytalkmedia.com/blog.