47% of U.S. online consumers have made a purchase based on recommendations from Pinterest.
Recently, Pinterest has released a host of resources specifically geared towards helping businesses succeed on their network. This dedication to business is a definite signal that Pinterest is planning to continue making improvements on their site to support businesses – making for some potentially exciting new features coming down the road.
Since launching 2 years ago, Pinterest has achieved all of the above and more. It surpassed 10 million users, faster than any other stand-alone site in history. It outstripped the traffic of Google+, LinkedIn and YouTube combined, and it is now capable of driving more referral traffic than Twitter. Got your attention yet?
To use Pinterest for Business, you need to first understand what it is, how it works and how to make it work for you. Pinterest is a stand-alone Visual Social Network built around engaging visual content. Users share visual images from the web, by “pinning” them on to a series of virtual PinBoards.
“Pinners” can create, share, collect and repost information in picture, image or video format. This great video from MDG Advertising gives one of the most comprehensive overviews of Pinterest that I have seen.
Enough of the stats. Let’s talk strategy. Firstly you need to decide if Pinterest is the right fit for you; not all social media sites suit all business types. However, so far, I have not seen many businesses who would not benefit from a presence on Pinterest, especially with the use of some creative marketing.
Pinterest recently launched profiles for businesses, officially welcoming businesses to Pinterest. Cat Lee at Pinterest blogged about the changes and hinted at future tools for businesses. To make it easy for you to see how this might affect you’re business, we’ve listed the main points below.
Here’s what you will find:
- You can now enter the name of your businesses when you register, you no longer have to work around this and use the first name, last name format. Unfortunately, it doesn’t open up any new URLs.
- A new terms of service just for businesses, so you can now use Pinterest for marketing (nothing about copyright that we know of).
- New widget (code you can add to your website) so you can display your profile or a board on your website.
- Guidelines for how to use the Pinterest logo and terms. Specifically they say not to use “Pin” or “Pinterest” as part of your brand name or domain name. NO NOT: “Register a domain name containing “pin”, “pinterest” or any misspellings, transliterations or similar variations on Pinterest. No word on the consequences but we take this as an early warning.
- Guidelines on using their logo or a version of it (we think it’s going a bit far to prohibit the use of a pushpin, but we’re just reporting not making the rules).
- Use a scripted P
- Use a red and white P
- Use a pushpin
Developers are already updating their Pinterest tools to take advantage of the new buttons and widgets. For example, Michael Benson, CEO of WedOverHeels has already added the new profile widget to his site. He gives this tip: “Don’t forget to include the trailing slash at the end of your Pinterest User URL or the link to your pins from the widget won’t work.
Lee also wrote, “We hope to add more tools and features that are geared toward this audience,but didn’t give any hints as to what might be next.
While we’re glad to see Pinterest speak to brands and officially sanction them, some of the new guidelines are not welcome. Anyone who has built a business around Pinterest will have to rethink their plans.
Go to http://business.pinterest.com to convert your personal page to a business page and read more about the new changes.