Pinterest for Business

Pinterest is not just a pretty face. It is also a powerful conduit for the purchase path of highunnamed-2 end retailers. Shops like West Elm, Neiman Marcus and Nordstrom enjoy the referral traffic that comes their way from products shared via pins. It is estimated that close to half of all online shoppers have made an online purchase as a result of seeing a pin on Pinterest. And with the introduction of rich pins last year, Pinterest has made it even easier for a potential customer to check price and availability before heading off to a friendly shopping cart. Rich pins also give the retailer a way to stimulate repeat interest in a product by offering price discounts or special offers to all those who have pinned the product.

Advice for commerce seekers includes adding a Pin-it button to your website and creating video galleries of your products. While the majority of people using Pinterest say they do so to pass the time in a pleasant occupation, like the days when you turned the pages of catalogs earmarking pages or pulling them out of magazines to get ideas for new ways of arranging the furniture, clearly the hobby is driving sales.

Is Pinterest only for retail brands or commercial sellers? Certainly it is the most profitable for those entities, but for large corporations like GE and IBM, it can be used for branding and awareness. Using Pinterest as a small business owner is not much different than any other social network. You have to decide on your content strategy and then look at your assets. If you have graphs, infographics and images, those are all things you can pin to boards. Images and visuals are the most engaging pieces of content and Pinterest is a “visual discovery tool.”

You can also take some inspiration from your other social channels like Facebook and Google+. Do you have team pictures you can share? How about images of the building you work in, the neighborhood it resides in, the landscape you see from your window? IBM has been lauded for their Instagram account that shares images of many aspects of the technology giant’s persona like logos through the years and devices from days gone by. These are the types of vignettes that define a company’s history and express their personality.

Have you gotten any ideas for how you can use Pinterest as a business owner? Share some of your favorite boards with us in the comments.

About Victoria Bianchini

Victoria is an active and engaged social media manager with a penchant for creating and curating content that makes people think. She started her career on the Web with Prodigy, then was one of the founding members of About.com before going on to work in marketing communications for Register.com and Sphere (an AOL properety). These days she has taken what she’s learned and helps business owners realize the potential of social media.