Pinterest seems to be an often misunderstood social media platform. With many that I’ve spoken to commenting that it’s, “just that place where brides plan their wedding, right?”
In a way, yes it is. But it’s also so much more than that!
In this blog we’re going to take a look at how Pinterest can work for us as businesses, so that you can determine whether it’s the right platform for you in the long run.
What is Pinterest?
In a nutshell, Pinterest is a digital pinboard. It’s where a user goes to plan, be inspired, and find new shiny things to fall in love with.
But it’s a digital pinboard on a global scale, and in this way, has huge potential for businesses who are able to provide products or services for a national, or international audience.
Is Pinterest actually social?
Although it might not seem like it at first (I mean, nothing feels all that social about a digital pin board), Pinterest is an incredibly social channel.
Users on the platform are not only able to curate their own content, and fill their pin boards full of things they want or are inspired by. But they’re also able to interact with the content that other users and brands Pin.
For instance, they can Save content to their own pin board (engagement that can be equated to Sharing), they can comment on Pins, and they can Follow the brand or individual who Pinned the content. In this way, Pinterest allows people to be sociable and interact with one another on a scale that’s similar to any other social media platform.
Not only this, but Pinterest users are said to average 14.2 minutes on the platform per session (compared to Facebook’s 6.3 minutes). Now, assuming that people always visit Pinterest with intent – that is, with the desire to find something or interact with content in any way. This means the Pinterest community could potentially interact twice as much with content on the platform per session than Facebook users.
This level of activity, combined with Pinterest reporting 291 million monthly users to date, means that the platform is an incredibly social environment. And one where your content seems highly likely to be engaged with in multiple ways.
Will Pinterest work for my business?
This is all well and good, but there are still businesses that Pinterest might not be the best fit for. Let’s take a look at certain features & characteristics of the platform to figure out whether or not it would work for you.
Pinterest is a visual platform
If you’re a business that sells to your audience visually, then Pinterest is a great destination for you to be promoting your products or services. That’s because you can’t post something on Pinterest without including an image or video.
We’ll take a look at why this is the case in the next section, but for now, it’s important to consider the implications of this for your business on the platform. If there’s no possible way that you could display your business and what you can offer your customers visually, then Pinterest might not be the ideal fit for you.
That being said, you don’t have to showcase products or services to have a successful presence on Pinterest. Many businesses have developed a strong following, and driven a lot of traffic to their website, by promoting their blogs on the platform. They do so by creating visuals on a design tool such as Canva, and publish Pins with a link to that particular blog.
This allows users who are in seach of information to be driven to the company website. Once they’ve read the blog, there’s always the possibility that these users could view other pages on the site. And in doing so, become interested in doing business with the brand.
Pinterest is where people go wanting change
As mentioned in the previous section, Pinterest is a visual platform. Which makes a lot of sense when you consider that it’s where people go when they want inspiration for a change they’re going to make in their life, or a new thing they’re planning for. (Something that tends to be difficult without visual suggestions!)
In this way, it’s important to consider how you can represent your business as being able to provide a source of change on the platform. What line of narrative do you need to take to educate your audience on what solution you can provide to their problem? And what kind of imagery do you need to create/capture to be able to do this?
Pinterest is predominantly female
As a platform, Pinterest still holds a predominantly female audience. However, there has been a shift in recent years to indicate that men are beginning to visit and continually use Pinterest as a source of inspiration for all manner of things.
When it comes to making a decision as to whether you should be on the platform or not, don’t let Pinterest’s strong female audience be the deciding factor in you staying away. After all, it’s important to consider who will be making the purchasing decisions when it comes to your brand and the products or services you sell.
Pinterest is popular for timeless content
Because Pinterest is an inspirational platform, there’s a strong likelihood that users will be viewing content and considering whether or not to make a purchase over a period of time.
In this way, the platform might not be suitable for businesses that are promoting things that are time-bound – for instance, events. This type of business might not find Pinterest suitable simply because by the time someone finally makes a decision to interact with their Pin, there’s a chance the event will have long gone.
Pinterest is international
Around a third of Pinterest’s audience is based in the US. Meaning that as a business on the platform, you have a strong international community within your grasp.
This could be the ideal situation for a business that welcomes the opportunity of an international market. However, for others, their focus might be on the development of a strong local community.
Pinterest is a great platform to drive more traffic to your website
Pinterest can be a fantastic way for businesses to get more footfall on their website – and ultimately, make more sales online – as all Pins on the platform are tagged with a specific link.
If, therefore, you don’t currently have a website. There is a possibility that your presence on the platform won’t be as effective for your business.
You could choose to use Facebook or Instagram links for your Pins; so that people can still find a point of contact for your business. However, whether or not this would allow you to have a successful presence on the platform is not something we currently have the data to support.