“Why Pinterest? What does it do? What can it do for me?”
I get this question all the time.
Or several other variations:
“Pinterest is only for saving recipes for later.. when I get around to trying them.” “How can I use Pinterest to sell my products? It’s not a place to make sales?” “Pinterest is just another social media app that I have to take the time to learn. It’s too confusing.”
Let’s not forget the ultimate question/statement-“You can make MONEY from Pinterest?!?!?”
I have to admit, I originally was the person who just used Pinterest as my “idea” catch-all (think visual brain dump). I had boards for recipes I wanted to try, craft projects I wanted to do, dream home decor, and pretty places I wanted to visit (but never would). It wasn’t until a few months ago that I truly realized the potential Pinterest has.
Read now or pin for later!
What is Pinterest?
First and foremost, Pinterest is not considered a “social media” platform.
Well, not in the traditional sense. Sure, you can post comments on pins, however, you don’t regularly “socialize” on Pinterest like you would on Facebook or Instagram. There is no worry about “liking” pictures or commenting on posts, just to be seen and increase your engagement. Pinterest is a visual search engine, much like Google. It is based on eye-catching pins and the information it leads to.
If you use Pinterest personally, think about exactly how you use it. First, you probably opened the app because you wanted to search for something (a recipe, Halloween costume ideas, etc.). After finding what you needed (and several other variations,) you save (“pin”) it to the board you have categorized for it.
Or you were probably bored, waiting in line somewhere, and opened up your app to browse the home feed…and take the same steps as above.
Now, do you see why Pinterest isn’t a social media platform, but a beautiful VISUAL search engine, an online catalog, if you will, of just about everything under the sun?
Pinterest isn't a social media platform, but rather, a visual search engine. Click To Tweet
How does Pinterest benefit your business?
Pinterest is a hidden gem-a unicorn in the world of marketing.
What people don’t realize (or know) is, Pinterest is a great platform to advertise your business for FREE. I like to think of it as an ever-changing magazine/catalog, customized to my needs, wants, and interests.
By using Pinterest for your business, you are tapping into a marketing resource with the potential to drive organic traffic to any type of link you want – your website, blog, online store, Facebook group, etc. As of this post, Pinterest has over 300 million viewers every month.
Pinterest is NOT a quick fix – pins usually take at least three weeks to a month to get circulated, and up to two more months after that to really “pick up” and gain a big reach. (Of course, this all depends on the fact if people are interested in what you are offering, and if you create eye-catching pins that convert.)
Even though Pinterest takes a longer amount of time to spit out results as opposed to Facebook/Instagram, it is actually beneficial in the long run because your pins (if they are re-pinned (saved) by others) can virtually last forever. (Think bigger picture!)
By using Pinterest for your business, you are tapping into a marketing resource with the potential to drive organic traffic to any type of link you want – your website, blog, online store, Facebook group, etc. Click To Tweet
Pinterest can also be used in conjunction with other platforms, so you’re not waiting for a long time to get the organic traffic you need.
How Pinterest works
Pinterest can definitely seem a little complicated, and many people forgo using the platform because they don’t completely understand it. Add to that the fact that you don’t really see how you can get 300 million people to see your stuff. While it’s not a guarantee, it is a great possibility and a reality that many people would love to get a piece of. There are a few steps that go into the number of people who will actually be seeing your pins, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get your products/services into the eye of millions, at the very least.
First things first, Pinterest doesn’t rely on followers/having a following like other social media platforms. What helps you get “seen” the most is SEO, or keywords. Just like you would Google something, the same concept applies to Pinterest. You must have accurate keywords, and they must be placed strategically. Learn more about Pinterest SEO.
Of course, as with anything, there are several other factors that need to go into turning a view/being seen into a potential customer, and ultimately, a sale. Some include:
Fun fact: Pinterest can drive engagement [on your pins] for 120 days or more! Click To Tweet
From window shopper to a customer
Aside from creating pins and sharing them with your followers and them sharing it as well, there are other ways to extend your reach as a Pinterest for business user.
Group boards are a neat creation, much similar to the “engagement pods” you see for Instagram. Here, a community of people gets together to collaborate on a board, sharing their pins with this group of people. Then they turn around and share other’s pins, generating opportunities for extra organic traffic. If you have good SEO, your pins will gain great traction.
Group boards can be created by yourself, or you can join others (with permission) that are already in full swing. They can also be narrow-niched, or general. (Join my Pinterest blogging & business group boards here.)
Another way to get your pins out and circulating is by using Tailwind Tribes. A tribe is exactly like Pinterest group boards, however I feel like you can get a better (and bigger!) reach by utilizing them. Tribes are free to join and use. I’m currently a tribe owner of two tribes, one for Social Media Managers/Virtual Assistants, and one for Pinterest marketing & Management. Feel free to join any (or both) through the links, and when you do, we’ll both receive Tailwind credit for a free month! If you’re not currently a member of Tailwind, my affiliate links will gift you 100 free pins, too.
One of my tricks to getting my pins seen are by using specially-created Facebook groups for that purpose. Inside the groups there are using daily re-pin threads where you can submit a pin to the group, and in turn re-pin so many others. This is a great way to be seen by other audiences. My top 2 groups that I interact in everyday are Pinterest Pals and Pinterest Ninjas. (I am a part of quite a few more groups, however I don’t participate in them daily.)
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Quick-fix VS Long-term
One thing about Pinterest is, it is not known for instant gratification; rather it is more of a long-term solution. It does take time to accumulate all those people seeing your pin. However, the exchange is that pins last forever. Because if it is shared by so many, it will always be “out there” and seen somehow, somewhere.
So while the life of social media posts have an “expiration date”, pins don’t. Create different versions of your pins (for one product/listing/service/post) and you will have an abundance of mini-ads for your ONE product. The reach on this is basically ENDLESS.
One thing that you DO want to remember is that Pinterest works best when you plan ahead. As with “seasons” consumers (and you!) tend to start looking ahead when planning for events. It is recommended that you start creating pins with ideas/products that will be useful three months from now (similar to when you see stores putting out the Christmas stuff in October.) Be prepared and capitalize off those trends.
Plan ahead! People use Pinterest to plan for events, seasons, and holidays up to 3 months in advance. Click To Tweet
That’s not all
Everything that I have shared here is not even HALF of what Pinterest can do for you! There are promoted pins, shoppable pins, pinning strategies, management services.. This platform has so much to offer, and for most of these things, the price is… FREE. You can’t beat free when you’re just starting your business and need to drive traffic to your store/website/blog.
You can’t beat FREE when you’re just starting a business! Pinterest can change your life at no cost to you. Click To Tweet
Now you can see how easy it is to fall in love with Pinterest for your business! For me, I’m OBSESSED! I hope you find this post helpful. Stay tuned for more, in-depth posts of the innerworkings of Pinterest and the benefits it gives you (for FREE, don’t forget!). So the next time you see or think “Why Pinterest” it is my hope this post helps to satisfy your question.
Once you decide to take the plunge to start your business account, sign up for my mailing list below and get a free handout with quick tips to optimize your profile.