Using Pinterest to Showcase Your Products
There has been a lot of buzz online about Pinterest, a new social media site that has just started to come to prominence in recent months. While none of the components of Pinterest are new it has revamped the idea of social networking with the innovative way that it has used already existing technology to create a new kind of experience for users. Essentially Pinterest is a social bookmarking site which allows users to compile a page of images which they ‘pin’ to their profile pages. The site is flexible for users who can create pages to fit with every one of their individual interests and has many practical uses from compiling recipes and collecting home decorating samples to creating pages of inspiring designs or useful products for a particular niche market.
The display properties of Pinterest pages have naturally attracted the attention of online marketers but because Pinterest is an interest based network it hasn’t got the same potential to become another online shop front like Facebook or Google+ does. Even so, Pinterest has a lot of potential for many businesses to showcase their products to an already existing interest group for their niche. Pinterest accounts are still on an invitation basis at the moment so the sign up requires new users to apply for an invitation but with 10 million new users in just the first couple of months they are certainly not restricted. Users sign in to the site using their Facebook or Twitter accounts and presently Pinterest doesn’t support business pages so you will need to register with a personal account. This may pose problems for larger companies but is almost tailored to small businesspeople that are mainly selling themselves to promote their products.
Because Pinterest is centered around using images it is most suited to promoting products that have a high visual appeal. This means that Pinterest isn’t going to be the best place to promote every business but for those that can use it Pinterest offers an excellent opportunity to display your products in a format that will appeal to your niche in the market. Because images are grouped according to interests products that relate to one specific topic can be pinned to a single page to show an item along with its upgraded versions and any accessories that compliment it. Photos can all be linked so that when someone is interested in your product they can click on the link and are taken straight to that product on your site.
Just as with all of the social media sites, success on Pinterest revolves around interacting with other users that share your interest. Following their pins and taking the time to ‘re-pin’ them on your pages will begin to build relationships just as sharing links does on Facebook and Twitter. A practical strategy is to find the people that have the best quality ‘pins’ and begin a relationship with them on the site to develop a profile in your niche. It is also important to make sure that you link the physical location of your business to your pinned images so that people know where you are when they want to purchase them and to integrate your Pinterest profile with the rest of your online profile.
Keep your Pinterest pages simple and be selective with the products that you display so that your pages don’t look like a straight sales pitch. Mixing your products up with images that relate to your niche can be a good way to inspire users to click on your product images and gives you the best chance of making a sales conversion from this new site.