What do you think of when you hear about the popular website, Pinterest? If you’re anything like I used to be, you probably think of pretty vintage dresses, inspirational quotes and endless photographs of flowing white wedding dresses. In reality, there definitely are a lot of cute things on Pinterest. There are puppies and craft ideas, beautiful monogrammed designs and everything a wedding planner could ever dream of, but I’ve learned that there’s also a lot more.
When you’re considering the cursive lettered quotes and the impressive high heels, do you also acknowledge the extreme amount of web traffic that every post on Pinterest could potentially receive? Do you pay attention to the sheer number of totally engaged consumers who are using the site? Do you think about Pinterest’s unlimited business potential? If you don’t, now is the time to start, because there is no social media site on the Internet right now with as much untapped potential as Pinterest. This is a site that’s just waiting for business owners to make the most of it, and with the help of this post and with a little work of your own, it should be simple enough to start.
The sad truth is that people simply aren’t thinking about Pinterest in terms of its professional potential. It’s easy to ignore and overlook this site and make assumptions about its users, but consumers are consumers, and the people on Pinterest can actually be a goldmine for professionals. A Business Insider article from 2013 reported that Pinterest is worth 2 billion dollars, and it’s worth this much because its users are eager to spend money on the site. That’s right. Users on Pinterest want to spend money. Often that’s the sole reason that people use the site at all. In the Business Insider article, one Pinterest user talked about using the site as a form of window-shopping. She isn’t alone in that sentiment.
However, advertising on Pinterest isn’t like advertising on other social networking websites. Pinterest is an ad-free site where posts get popular only when they’re frequently shared. This means that businesses can’t just purchase ad space like they would be able to on Facebook or Twitter. Being good at Pinterest is the only way to get your business out there. So, how do you get “good” at Pinterest?
The best advice that I can give you is pretty easy: Pay attention to what’s popular. What are people sharing? What do they like to see? If people consistently share posts that feature adorable puppies, consider finding a way to feature a fluffy pup on your professional post.
Don’t be overly professional. If your post looks like an ad, no one’s even going to consider sharing it. You don’t need to hide the fact that you’re running a professional Pinterest account, but you don’t need to be obnoxious about it either. Share your posts and tell users where they can find your product and services, but don’t make your post completely about your products and services. Make sure you’re contributing something worthwhile, something that will make people want to investigate and learn more about your business.
Engage with others. I’ve always said that being successful on any social networking site is all about engagement with other users, and this is true for Pinterest as well. If people ask you questions about your business, promptly and politely respond. Follow others users. Share relevant posts. Your account doesn’t have to be a mundane and monotonous repeat of professional posts. Don’t be afraid to have a little fun with it. After all, that’s what Pinterest is all about.
Finally, the most important advice I can give to those wishing to create successful professional Pinterest accounts is this: Tag. Your. Posts. If you don’t tag your posts with the topics that they relate to, there’s a high chance that no one will see them. Tagging is the key to being found on Pinterest. Without it, you’re posting to an empty void. People constantly use Pinterest’s search function to find the posts that they want to see and follow. Therefore, the search function is the only thing that’s going to bring you potential interested customers. It is hugely important.
When I searched for “Raleigh, NC,” using Pinterest’s search engine, which is really is quite effective, I expected to find posts from a slew of local businesses. Instead, I found only two or three active Raleigh professionals consistently using the site, and all of the successful accounts were created by realtors. Raleigh realtors, it seems, are the only professionals in town who are beginning to realize Pinterest’s potential. Even all of these users aren’t making the most of what the site has to offer, but they are building a following and steadily increasing their relevance on the site.
One Raleigh realtor who is using Pinterest for her professional business is Lauren Murosky. Murosky regularly posts scenic, picturesque photographs of Raleigh and encourages those who are planning a move to the area to get in touch with her. Her posts are cleverly not intimidatingly or annoyingly professional at all. In fact, many users who share her photos don’t seem to have any close ties to Raleigh, but Murosky’s photographs are beautiful enough to appeal to anyone, Raleigh dweller or not. Murosky includes her phone number and professional title in the description section of every post. She currently has just 171 followers, but a few of her posts are already gaining traction, and if she posts regularly, she should have no issue adding a considerable amount to her follower count.
An example of one of Murosky’s posts: http://www.pinterest.com/pin/19844054583198494/
One local business that’s found an immense amount of success on Pinterest is Carla Freund Realty. With more than 3,000 followers on Pinterest, 178 different boards and nearly 5,000 pins, this North Carolina realty office has cracked the code of doing business on this website. The account offers different boards for each of the towns and counties that the realtors service, making it easy for potential customers to find the things they need. The account also features boards with decorating ideas, interesting Raleigh architectural feats, boards with featured current home styles and homes that are currently for sale. When it comes to professional Pinterest accounts, it doesn’t get much better than this one. Carla Freund Realty offers anything that customers could possibly need and want, and the account offers things that general Pinterest users would be interested in as well. There is a board full of homeowner tips, one with photos of extravagant celebrity homes, one for quotes and sayings and there’s even a board that provides “juicing recipes.” With every post, the company provides contact information. While doing research for this article, I found myself spending a lot of time on this Pinterest account. It’s entertaining and fun to explore. It’s just that good.
While Raleigh realtors are finding success on Pinterest, other businesses don’t seem to have gotten the memo. There are a few weak attempts, such as this account by Revival Antiques. The account has posted some intriguing photos of items in the store, but they don’t even provide basic contact information outside the form of a website link. One user has also posted a comment about a negative experience that she had with the store, but she hasn’t gotten any kind of public response from the company. On an account that’s already not very impressive, that could be the kiss of death for anyone considering shopping at this store. There is plenty of potential for this account to find some success — people on Pinterest tend to really love antiques — but it hasn’t been realized by this Raleigh business. And that’s the main point I’m trying to make with all of this, really.
There is so much potential on Pinterest, but people aren’t paying attention to it. So get ahead of this while you can. Pay attention to the countless possibilities that Pinterest offers and set up a professional account. It’s easy enough to get a successful account started that if you set a little time aside every evening, you could probably handle it alongside your other professional duties. If you feel overwhelmed and a bit out of touch, never fear. That doesn’t mean you can’t advertise and find a new bunch of customers on Pinterest. Consider hiring someone to run your account for you. We live in a world where social networking sites are hugely prevalent and there are tons of professionals who have based their entire careers around knowing how to make accounts successful. For affordable rates, you can have a wide following on Pinterest, and you won’t have to lift a finger to do it.
If you are looking to market your Raleigh (or other) business on Pinterest please visit our social media marketing page.
Good luck, and have fun! Pinterest is nothing if it isn’t fun, but it’s time that you turned that fun into a smart, rewarding business tool too. If you have any questions or would like to reach out to me, please comment below. I can also be found via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @SkyyTweet. Thanks for reading!