With disposable income drastically reduced, many small businesses are struggling to sell their products and services for the value they deserve to cover the cost of their skill and effort.
Additionally we are witnessing a ‘visual revolution’. Time-starved customers are craving ever more information in bite-sized chunks via photos, videos and infographics, and they are looking for it online.
The exciting new social media platform Pinterest brings together these ‘visual’ and ‘online shopping’ trends, and has been proving very successful for creative businesses who know how to use it.
So how could a small business find targeted leads, customers and sales using Pinterest?
Using social media for business can be very time-consuming, but with a targeted marketing strategy and a few tips and tools it is possible to get a good ‘return on time invested’.
Pinterest enables you to set up an account with striking visual images collected on ‘pin boards’ – the online equivalent of a corkboard. These boards are perfect for showing your products in their best light, like an online catalogue.
It is best to give your pin boards titles which reflect what your ideal customers will be searching for. Fill your ‘profile’ section with the benefits your customers will gain by dealing with you, and add a good photograph or crisp logo, and of course a link to your website.
Service businesses can show ‘behind the scenes’ videos, and use Pinterest boards to collate relevant details from around the web which would interest their target audience. It is possible to quickly become the ‘go-to’ person for information about your industry.
As with other social media platforms pure self-promotion is frowned upon, but Pinterest is becoming very business-friendly and it is totally acceptable to pin your own offerings amongst general industry information and content from other relevant (but non-competing) businesses.
Food related pins, interior design and decor, arts and crafts, floristry, fashion, weddings, photography and jewellery are some of the hugely popular categories on Pinterest, and these businesses are finding increased, targeted traffic to their websites due to their photos being repinned and going ‘viral’.
Product- and service-based businesses, and even non-profits, are making good use of Pinterest to get results.
One of the main advantage of using Pinterest for business marketing is that Pinterest users are buyers. Unlike other social media sites where users log in to be ‘social’ and – on the whole – don’t like to be ‘sold to’, studies have shown that 1 in 5 Pinterest users pins something they later buy. This is a massive conversion rate for a social media platform, overtaking both Facebook and Twitter!
To recap, three very important trends are converging, right now: –
• Customers are increasingly searching online for products and services they actually want to buy
• High Street creative businesses are struggling to make sales in the current economy
• Pinterest offers a vehicle for putting your business smack bang in the middle of the online ‘visual revolution’
This means that if you decide to take the plunge and start to do your business marketing through social media, Pinterest could be a good choice to begin with.
So, it might be time for your creative business to jump onto Pinterest and find your customers online -where they are searching for you.
Ann Leslie is a Marketing Consultant and Pinterest expert, combining decades of experience in creative businesses with social media training and an MBA.
Ann helps creative individuals, entrepreneurs and businesses design a Pinterest marketing strategy to gain targeted leads, customers and sales for their business – and have fun doing so!