Do you use Pinterest to market your small business?
If you hadn't even thought of doing this before, you are not alone. So many people either don't 'get' Pinterest or have misconceptions about who and how it is used.
Pinterest has changed a lot since it first launched in 2010. It's no longer just about recipes or planning your dream wedding (although both can still be done and are still popular uses for Pinterest). Over the years Pinterest have made various changes to the algorithm and added extra features which has resulted in a much more business friendly platform.
However, Pinterest can still be a highly underutilised platform by businesses and entrepreneurs.
Today I am going to be busting 5 common myths about Pinterest
Myth #1 Pinterest is just a space for finding craft ideas, recipes or planning weddings
Pinterest is essentially a huge content hub. It is home to 175 billion pins which cover 30+ categories from design, education and technology to health + fitness, travel, fashion and photography. Whether you want to shop for that perfect pair of shoes, watch a Canva tutorial, find a new workout plan, or learn about meditation and mindfulness, chances are that Pinterest has the solution for you!
As a result, Pinterest is where people go to find inspiration and search for ideas and information on many, many different topics.
Want to know what some of the current popular/trending topics on Pinterest are? According to the Pinterest Top 100 trends, these are some of the most popular topics on Pinterest.
- Health + Wellness
- Hobbies + Interests
- Men's Style
- Women's Style
- Kid's and parenting
Myth #2 Pinterest is just another social media platform
Pinterest often gets lumped in with the social networks, but in actual fact it is a visual search engine.
Why is this relevant? A number of reasons.
To start with, people use Pinterest differently to how they might use Facebook. Facebook users (generally) go to Facebook for the social experience - to share their stories and photos, to connect with friends and family and to be part of a community. They are (generally) less interested in seeing posts from businesses. This is why the algorithm limits business page reach, particularly on posts with links and promotions, and why marketing strategies usually focus on brand awareness and creating engagement.
On the other hand, pinners use Pinterest to find things that interest or inspire them. They are actively looking for ideas, solutions or information. As a result they are in a very different mindset. They want to find your content. Or discover your products and services. They are open minded and more likely to engage with your content. They are less likely to be bothered by ads because they are often in a 'purchasing mindset'. Furthermore, every pin you create has a direct, clickable link to your website - and Pinterest actually wants users to click on this link. They want their users to find what ever it was that they were searching for so that they keep coming back for more inspiration and information.
Accordingly, the Pinterest marketing strategy is different to Facebook. One of the key elements of this strategy is SEO optimisation. With Pinterest being a search engine, it is essential to have an SEO rich profile and to create SEO rich content and . Other important elements include the use of high quality, optimised images and a consistent, strategic pinning schedule.
3. Myth #3 Pinterest is just for females
Pinterest does still have a predominantly female user base. However, the statistics from the last few years indicate a definite change in this trend. According to Pinterest, over 40% of new user sign ups are male. Amongst the most popular topics and categories for men are DIY projects, outdoors, food, entertainment and of course men's fashion.
So even if you have a predominantly male target audience, don't be too quick to dismiss Pinterest for your business.
Myth #4 Pinterest only works for product based businesses
Pinterest does work very well for product based businesses, particularly in some of those popular categories listed above such as fashion, beauty and home. With Pinterest being a visual platform and having eCommerce partnerships with platforms such as Shopify and Etsy, it can be a logical step for an online store to showcase their products here.
However, Pinterest works just as well (if not better - in my opinion) for service based businesses. In this situation you are showcasing your services, expertise, knowledge and content. As already mentioned, pinners use Pinterest to search for information and ideas. They could be searching for anything from nutrition tips, mindfulness exercises, business hacks or step by step instructions on how to set up a YouTube account. If you create content that answers their questions, educates or inspires them then you could (or should) be sharing your content on Pinterest so that users can find you.
Many people get stuck on how to do this. The solution to sharing articles and other content on Pinterest, as a visual platform, is to creating high quality, attention grabbing, optimised images that entice users to click on your pin. Once they click on it, they will be directed through to the relevant blog article on your website. If they find your content to be valuable/ helpful (which is generally what we aim for in a blog post) then they are more likely to save your pin and/or read your other website content, sign up to your email list, follow you on social media or make a purchase depending on your website call-to-actions.
5. Myth - Pinterest has a very small audience so it's not worth the effort
Whilst the total number of users is still less than for Facebook and Instagram, Pinterest has experienced rapid growth in recent years. From 150M users in late 2016 to over 250M monthly users in late 2018. That's a 67% increase and this growth is likely to continue as Pinterest continues to introduce new features and benefits.
The best thing is that there is still opportunity to take advantage of the low cost/organic traffic that many businesses obtain on Pinterest. Especially for businesses located outside of the US. Although Pinterest for business is currently utilised more in the US, the statistics from the last 1-2 years indicate very rapid growth in Pinterest users outside of US. Over 50% of users are located outside of the US, and 80% of new sign ups are non- US residents.
Think back to the early Facebook for business days when organic traffic was a lot "easier" and free. Many entrepreneurs and businesses benefited from getting in early on and making the most of these the platform - understanding the features, developing a strategy and establishing a following etc. In comparison, for those starting later there could be a steeper learning curve to grasp all the features and functions of a more developed platform. Additionally, obtaining great organic reach became somewhat more difficult for many business pages.
And there you have it. Now you know the real truth about those common Pinterest misconceptions.
Did you learn anything new? I'd love for you to comment below and share if this article helped clear up any misconceptions you had about Pinterest for Business.
Interested in starting a Pinterest Account for your business but not sure where to start? Grab my Free Beginners Guide to Setting up a Pinterest Account for Business for some great tips on setting up an optimised Pinterest account.
Thanks for reading. Happy Pinning!