Laurie Shook

Pinterest: Should You Use It to Grow Your Business?

Pinterest grow business
Image Credit – Happy Zoe/

Does your business need to be on Pinterest? With too many social platforms and too little time, business owners must ruthlessly prioritize where they spend their time and money. But don’t overlook Pinterest. With over 2 billion searches a month, some find it to be the Holy Grail of social to eCommerce conversions.

How Pinterest Can Help Your Business Succeed

What is Pinterest?

Pinterest is a visually-oriented social media platform, designed to appeal to people who like to share or discover items of interest (pins) related to a common theme. It’s more related to personal inspiration and planning than communication.

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Photo: Happy to Wander Travel Blog

For example, someone planning a trip might search for related scenic, food and hotel pins, and save them to a board to organize their travel plans. Planning a wedding, party or birth of a child are some of the big lifestyle events popular with Pinterest users. The boards are usually public, so other users comment and save pins they like on their own boards. In a sense, it is a visual bookmarking site.

About half of Pinterest users are in the US, and 79% are women. Most pinners are under age 40.

Pinterest Drives Traffic

Pinterest has more than 150 million users, and drives more than 5% of all website referral traffic, second only to Facebook. Pinners rank high in purchase intent since they use their boards to plan future events like travel, meals or weddings. Research by Millward Brown indicates 93% of pinners have used Pinterest to plan a future purchase. And at $58.95, the average Pinterest referral purchase is higher than Facebook.

Oh, and here’s a fun fact. The half-life of a Pinterest pin is 1,600 times that of a Facebook post. That means you’ll keep getting engagement for months after you share your pins. That’s because of Pinterest’s superior search capabilities and the fact that information is organized and shared up when relevant to a user.

Best Business Targets for Pinterest

In particular, businesses with a female buyer are a good fit, as well as those that have a strong visual component. For example, recipes, food, travel, and fashion are popular categories on Pinterest.

So think products over services. And businesses that can link easily to an eCommerce site with stock numbers will find it more useful. So companies like Collin Street Bakery or Harry and David will thrive on Pinterest, while a custom caterer may not find it as helpful.

Pinterest Applications

Given that your business is a good fit, here are 5 ways you can use Pinterest to grow your business.

  • Promote your products. Feature individual stock numbers from your eCommerce site as individual pins. Austin, Texas-based Kendra Scott uses Pinterest to feature its jewelry, with just 1-click to go from Pinterest to the website. On a smaller scale, Pinterest would be very useful driving interested customers to your Etsy shop.
  • Soft sell lifestyle benefits. Feature the look or lifestyle benefit of your products. For example, Joanna Gaines of Fixer Upper fame features completed, decorated rooms from each show on her boards. Someone planning to redecorate can save inspirational items and research specific purchases later. Apparently, it’s not all about buying shiplap! Image: Joanna Gaines Pinterest account.
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Or a local hairdresser or wedding photographer may share styles and photos to highlight their skills.

  • Feature your content. Blogs and publications can grow their readership, especially if they have strong photographs. Pins on popular articles link back to the website, growing both traffic and readership.
  • Share videos. We’ve all heard about how great videos are for engagement on Facebook. The same is true for Pinterest.
  • Build Community. Pinterest allows multiple users to pin on “shared boards.” So create some shared boards that encourage your employees, customers or partners to pin. Going back to the travel agency example, your employees or customers could pin to a Dream Vacation Board. Or the food company could create a board for customers to post Favorite Family recipes. Building community could also lead to an opportunity to recognize and thank valuable customers, employees, and partners.

So you think you should be on Pinterest? The next steps are establishing your boards and pins and then deciding an advertising strategy, which I’ll address in a later post.

Are you using Pinterest to grow your business? Share your experience in the comments below.

Laurie Shook

Laurie Shook is a marketing director with a passion for social business. As a Social Media Dallas board member, she enjoys bringing speakers and insights to the DFW digital marketing community.

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