You may have heard of the latest social media “must have”. It’s called Pinterest and it describes itself as an online “pinboard” to organize and share things you love, need, want, or just plain like looking at. It’s experiencing rather startling growth and interest. The invitation-only site received nearly 11 million total visits during the week ending December 17, 2011, almost 40 times the number of total visits versus just six months ago (week ending June 18, 2011).
So what does this mean for the small business owner? The membership is skewed more toward women between the ages of 25 and 44 with an average income over $30,000. They are sharing recipes, home décor images, family interest, entertainment and fashion. And while you may think this is a narrow stream (you know, “girlie stuff”) women still make the majority of buying decisions in a household. And while Pinterest doesn’t allow specific businesses to create their own pinboards (it goes against their terms of service-so far) there should still be an effort by commerce to be included in a Pinterest members boards.
Pinterest works when there is an image on a website which the member can “pin” to their individual boards. If your business is based on consumer product offerings with accompanying photographs you can add a “Pin It” button to each page to make it simple for the user to add. Installing the buttons is easy and just needs a bit of code pasting. If you’re a service provider then it behooves you to have attractive photos of process or even better, finished projects or sites that can be marked. Think of your images as a sort of wish list for visitors so they will pin you. A Pin It button can also be installed on a user’s browser but if there isn’t an image on a given page attempting to add to Pinterest it may not add successfully.
Luckily Pinterest is free and not ad-based so adding the Pin It button is a fairly painless way to draw interest, encourage “re-pins” and increase customer base and sales. It may take a bit of work adding photos and code but it’s if you feel like your product or service would look good on a board then it’s probably a good idea to at least explore what it would take to incorporate Pinterest into your website.