Pinterest: Can it help my business?
There’s plenty of people talking about Pinterest right now and for good reason. It recently became the third largest social network on the Internet, with only Facebook and Twitter ahead of it. So what it is it? And how can your business cash in? BigCommerce support team ninja, Erika Jarvi, explains:
What is it?
Pinterest is a visually-driven website, where people can “pin” pictures or videos of their favorite things/places/people on a virtual pinboard. As a user, you can categorize these pinned pictures into multiple boards, all with their own theme. When a picture is then pinned, a short description can be written about it, and the picture is automatically linked to the place from which it came.
The ease with which you can post pictures, coupled with the social nature of the site (which uses Twitter-like “following” to watch pins from other users) makes it a great way for you, as an e-commerce store owner, to get your products promoted.
When you first get into Pinterest (it is a invite-only service right now, but after I requested an invite, I got in fairly quickly), you’re asked to specify a few interests of yours, and then you’ll automatically follow prominent members with those same interests. It’s a great way to start buying into the service.
Pinterest will also start you off with five common board themes (which you can change or delete, if you want) to start pinning your favorite things. There’s even a handy bookmark you can put in your browser’s link bar that will automatically start the pinning process without having to login to Pinterest if you’re on another website.
Pinterest can directly link with your Twitter and Facebook accounts, requiring you to login to one or the other when you first create your account. This means that pinning a product can be shared exponentially through all three avenues almost instantaneously.
Whats in it for me?
From an e-commerce point of view, Pinterest should be recognized as a great source of free marketing. The only thing it requires of you is to pin your products, or have your products be pinned. Since it is a picture or video based board, you’ll want to make sure that your products have good pictures. The more enticing and interesting a picture is, the more likely people on Pinterest are to look at it.
Once it gets discovered, however, the ease in which the product can be shared is Pinterest’s greatest selling point.
Past that, the already booming user base of 7.2 million users (over 328% growth from last year alone), while still being invite-only, should let you know that it’s becoming a huge traffic source for people sharing their favorite products. It’s already passed the referral traffic from YouTube, Google+ and LinkedIn, according to Shareaholic’s January 2012 Referral Traffic Report.
About the Author
Erika Jarvi is a ninja on the BigCommerce support team. She helps maintain our knowledge base of useful information and also runs our educational webinars where she teaches hundreds of clients each week how to get the most out of BigCommerce to help them sell online and grow their businesses.
While Facebook still reigns in referrals, Pinterest’s ability to post directly to social media giant makes it a strong contender for you to reach as many consumers as possible.