Of the major social networks, most people would agree that Pinterest is perhaps the one most lacking in obvious business marketing potential. Its uses for the average business (small, medium, or large) are often seen as limited.
It is a strange situation. It is an undoubted truth that visual content has the potential to make eminently bigger impacts, than its counterparts, and Pinterest is arguably the most visual of all social platforms.
So, with this in mind, we would assume that the pinboard-style photo-sharing website, which gives users the opportunity to create their own image collections based around a central theme or categorisation, would be the obvious choice for venturesome folks to display their offerings to the world, or simply grab the attention of an unsuspecting potential customer… but no.
However, what is often discovered by those willing to put a little faith in the power of pinning is that, when used in a considered and compelling way, Pinterest can become a fresh new channel through which they can, not only engage with and inspire their existing clientele, but grow and nurture a whole new customer base!
Ways Pinterest can help your business
Get new customers. Pinterest is unique amongst social media platforms because of the way users engage and interact with it. Unlike facebook, Google+ and Twitter, which are to a large extent about exploring the things you already know and love, Pinterest is about discovery.
The mindset of someone using it is arguably different from elsewhere on the web; they are open to ideas and the possibilities of new things in a way which they aren't elsewhere. This can (if you're lucky and very savvy) translate into more receptive potential customers and the promise of a continued loyal following.
Build Relationships. The extra opportunities to build relationships with your customers that any social network affords you is quite obvious. Aside from this though, Pinterest can become very useful in your attempts to form meaningful and beneficial relationships with the key influencers of the industry in which you operate.
These key influencers have achieved something which most of us aspire to - they have gained the trusting and loyal attention of the people that you want to reach.
In the same way that Twitter has opened up channels of communication between the Davids and Goliaths, so too Pinterest has given everyone the opportunity to engage with the giants of their particular industry. Of course, building and maintaining the relationship will take a good deal of effort on your part, but the initial ‘breaking of the ice, can be achieved by something as simple as repining one of their posts.
Know the competition. Pinterest offers perhaps the most clear, concise and comprehensive log of your competition’s activities. With a simple scroll you can quickly get a reliable sense of their products, marketing techniques, whom they engage with and (perhaps most importantly) details of their Pinterest following. A little undercover work will bring forth a fairly decent volume of information, what you do with it is up to you.
Be inspired and stay on trend. There is no doubt, Pinterest is an inspiring place to be, and from a business perspective it can be a wonderful resource to keep an eye on the trends, styles and fashions within your particular market.
One of the best ways to do this, is to discover and explore some relevant group boards and follow the ones that you like so you are always up to date with the content being shared on them. Finding the boards best suited to your particular requirement can be a little tricky (admittedly the search function related to this is poor) but if you spend a little time hunting out the best groups you will give yourself a daily stream of quality, relevant and engaging content.
Pinterest itself has only just begun to realise the extent of its own potential in the world of visual marketing.
And, if we still haven't convinced you of the possible marketing advantages of maintaining a Pinterest account, consider this statement made by Facebook former head of monetisation Tim Kendall, earlier this week 'Pinterest has the biggest business opportunity in the last 10 to 20 years for an online business' and it will be 'bigger than Facebook and bigger than Google'.
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