Launched in 2010, Pinterest is a relative newbie on the social media scene, yet it's rapidly gaining momentum as the go-to site for image sharing and networking online. Boasting a current user base of 70 million, the site is also obtaining the serious attention of marketers as a way to generate more online traffic and sales.
If you've yet to harness the power of the popular visual-sharing platform for your business or brand, here's a look at a few reasons why you should consider jumping on the bandwagon.
Drives traffic and sales
Pinterest is proving itself to be a great sales platform as consumers turn to the thousands of images and other content, aka pins, to find ideas for fashion, home decorating, arts and crafts, recipes and much more.
According to a study by Bizrate, 70 per cent of users visit the site to get inspiration on what to buy (versus only 17 per cent for Facebook), 67 per cent use it to keep up on the latest trends and 39 per cent use it to get special offers from the brands and businesses they follow1.
In terms of referral traffic, the site is steering as much as, or even more, than rivals Facebook and Twitter, with an average order value of $80.54.2 Indeed, online makeup retailer, Sephora, reports that Pinterest customers spend 15 times more than those from Facebook3, and Real Simple, a monthly women's interest magazine, claims the majority of their traffic now comes from Pinterest.4
Builds your links
It's a well-established fact that having high-quality links to your site will increase SEO. As the vast majority of the images on the board are gleaned from the internet, most pins also include a link back to the source. With millions of new pins and re-pins every day, this could provide your business with many valuable inbound links.
It's easy to use
Setting up your own board is a relatively easy undertaking that does not require any special technical skills. However, to create a board that will generate attention, you need to do more than just post pictures of your products. Here are some tips on creating a board that stands out:
Post how-to guides: Show attractive images of how to use your products. For example, if you sell a food item, post a fabulous recipe using that ingredient along with a mouth-watering photo.
Post a variety of content: Mix up your boards and keep them interesting by including a variety of content. In addition to photos, you can add videos and articles as well as content from other sources.
Include a price: Pins of products that include a price get 36 per cent more likes than those without.5
Run a contest: Run "Pin it to win it" campaigns by having users post your images to their own boards for the chance to win a prize. It's always wise to check state-based competition laws and regulations to ensure compliance when planning any social media competitions.
The female factor
It may not come as a surprise that the majority of the site's users are women - 80 per cent, in fact - with most users in the 25-44 age range, followed by the 45-54 crowd.6 As more companies join the site each day, the male population is gradually catching up as well.
Pinterest is a popular and - as its users say - addictive site with the numbers to back it up. Not having your own board could very well mean missing out on increased traffic to your website and consequently sales.
This article represents the views of the author only and not those of American Express.
Kathleen has a degree in marketing with over 10 years experience in the IT field as a database developer and web designer. As a freelance writer, Kathleen has written for several publications across Australia as well as for various business and hi-tech blogs online.