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6 reasons Pinterest is worth considering for your business

By Mikela Dennison (mikelaprnz on Pinterest)

In this post, we'll look at six reasons you should be considering Pinterest as a visually engaging and cost-effective way to communicate with your audience and drive traffic to your website.

If you aren't already familiar with it, Pinterest is a visual pin board website and app that is based around users sharing images they like, and organising their images (or 'pins') onto boards.

Users (or pinners as they are known) share a combination of images they own, and images they have seen and want to re-share. Increasingly, businesses are realising the potential this relatively new social media platform has for driving traffic to company websites, engaging with a captive audience online, and creating a world around the brand.

In recent weeks, Pinterest has launched a useful analytics tool for verified business accounts, which means community managers now have access to how pins are being shared and how Pinterest users are engaging with your site.

Let's explore six key reasons for considering Pinterest as a valuable, cost-effective, and interesting visual tool that can enhance your brand's message and offering.

1. It is visual

People love photos and graphics - regardless of whether you are in a high level corporation, an SME, or working as a freelancer.

It is easier and more effective to tell your brand's story in visual form than to expect people to read a long and tedious brand vision statement or document outlining your processes (you know it's true).

The increased popularity and use of visual tools is changing the way people do business, and the way customers and clients engage with businesses and brands – just consider the rise of infographics, or photography applications like Instagram and you will see how many people are getting on board with visuals as a key communications tactic.

You can shape the message around your brand simply and effectively through the images you choose to upload and those you choose to share.

2. It promotes connections and social sharing

Social sharing is the driving force behind social media.

It pays to make sure that if another pinner likes or repins one of your pins, you do them the same courtesy. It does not take long, and you don't even have to say anything, but by returning the favour you are opening the doors to more sharing of your pins and content in the future.

Liking pins, repinning images, and following other pinners and their boards is a great way to connect with new audiences and promote a two-way relationship.

Huffington Post has a great slideshow on Pinterest Etiquette, which is a short but useful overview of good pinning behaviour. Pinterest also has a useful tool called Group Boards which allows you to invite other pinners to contribute to one or more of your boards.

So for example, if you have several different work streams or departments, you might like to have a board where three or four people can contribute images, which means a wider audience will be exposed to your board through your collaborators' followers. It also spreads the load of work, so if time and resource is an issue, then using group boards can be highly effective and cost-efficient in terms of populating your Pinterest boards.

3. It drives traffic to your website

No social media activity (when it is being used for business purposes) should be done without an objective. More often than not, your objective will be raising brand awareness and attracting people to your website to get in touch and do business with you.

Think about the social media environment as a kind of ecosystem, whereby all channels should be working together to create a solid online presence for your brand, with the goal being to drive people to contact you and do business with you.

By having strong strategies for using different social media channels, you increase the chances that your target audience will see your brand, be aware of the new and interesting things your brand is doing, and hopefully get in touch with you to use your product or service.

4. You can track progress easily

It is important to track progress so you can see how effective your Pinterest activity is. As mentioned at the start of this post, the recently launched Pinterest analytics function makes the platform more appealing than ever, with the added benefit of access to accurate data about what people are pinning from your site, as well as sharing information about your account and how it is driving traffic.

If you aren't using a verified business account, you should still utilise your website's analytics so you can track your activity and engagement (Google Analytics is a good option). If you see an increase in traffic coming to your site from Pinterest, you know you are onto a good thing.

Pinterest isn't for everyone, and for some businesses your audience might not be ready to delve into pins and repins just yet – which is fine.

All communications activity, whether traditional, social media, or advertising, should be centred around creating long term, sustainable relationships between a company and its stakeholders, so don't put all your eggs in one basket.

Pinterest is just one of many ways you can tell your brand's story and shape the message of how people perceive it.

5. It is time and cost effective

There are two key elements to Pinterest; creating visual content and curating visual content.

Creating content should be the aim for brands. You want to be capturing salient images that communicate your brand's story to your audience, as you can then add your website as the source which means any user who clicks the image will be directed to your site.

Whether your content is photos of new products, creating infographics or memes that are brand-consistent, using an image that links to a blog post, photos of customers using your products in interesting ways, your premises or branded materials, or events that you host, there are a range of ways that you can create visual material that you can upload to your Pinterest account.

Take a look at the recent Honda Pintermission campaign which aimed to promote the new Honda CR-V, which engaged with influential Pinterest users and gained significant results with a cost-effective, innovative and visually interesting social media drive.

Even the Pintermission invitations Honda created were unique, brand consistent and highly relatable for their target audience. This is a great example of brand's using Pinterest to create their own content and directly engage with their target audience.

Curating content is the other side of Pinterest, and is where pinners often start out their online activities. Curating involves sharing other people's pins, and placing them on to your own board and sharing with your audience.

In fact, if you spend a few minutes a day building up your boards, you will soon have a few hundred pins on your account, which you can then organise and categorise, making it easy for other pinners to explore your boards and share pins from your boards.

6. It creates a world around your brand

Do you think your customers or clients are only interested in your product or service? Of course not.

People have full and active lives, and by engaging with their other interests, using Pinterest to show how you relate to your audience and how your brand is in the same headspace as your audience, it can help to foster a real sense of identity for your business.

For example, if you sell an ergonomic chair and you want to engage with office workers and HR managers, you are not going to pin images solely of your chair with the price (and if you are planning on doing that, you need to rethink what Pinterest is about).

A more effective approach might be to create different boards on your account; one for your product, and then a range of other boards that would hold repinned images, organised into boards such as 'Stylish office spaces', 'Ergonomic living', 'Posture infographics, 'Quirky chairs' and so on. You might like to share any blog posts you write on Pinterest, using an associated image to allow users to click through to your blog.

By creating these different areas and populating them with a mixture of your own images and other pinners' images, you are widening the opportunity for people to connect with your brand and see you as a useful source of relevant visuals.

So what are you waiting for?

You might surprise yourself by how much you and your team enjoy using this intuitive and highly visual channel, and how effective it can be in terms of telling your brand's story and communicating your message.

Increasingly, brands and businesses around the world are using Pinterest to connect with target audiences, promote brand awareness and drive traffic to their company website – can you afford to miss out on this cost-effective and visually engaging communications opportunity?