A social media newcomer and superstar in visual sharing, Pinterest has become one of the most important networks for B2C businesses, especially those in fashion.
Because of this, many B2B marketers may think there isn't a place for their business on this site where the majority of users are recent college graduates.
However, you need to think again. One study shows that Pinterest accounts for 3.6% of referral traffic. Don't think that's a lot? Twitter is just barely ahead of the newcomer at 3.61%.
Pinterest provides great opportunities for businesses, such as Business.com and other B2B marketers, to reach new clients while increasing engagement, generating leads and increasing sales. In this article, we'll share some best practices and a few of our own tips.
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Building your page is the first step to getting started on Pinterest. Of course, you want to pin your own content, but sharing and repining the content of others is also important. Social networks are just that: social.
If you only pin your content, you aren't being very social. When over 80% of pins are repins, you can't just pin your own images and expect results. Engage with others on the network as you begin to build your boards. Here are a few tips to get you started:
- If you're a local or small business, make sure you have boards and pins that feature your location. You'll be able to connect with others in your area more easily. Another option would be to feature other businesses in your area.
- Create boards from events your business hosted or participated in. Pin images from before, during and after the event.
- Showcase your company culture. Customers may be more likely to buy from your business if they see your team giving back to the community; potential customers want to see the culture and people behind the brand.
Our tip: Take a look at the categories Pinterest offers. Look for ways to tie your business into those areas to attract new audiences. On the Business.com Pinterest page, we have boards about business books, office interiors, and office humor. Because the majority of current Pinterest users are women, we have also created a business board specifically for women.
As with all social networks, you need to spend time looking for ways to engage with users on Pinterest. While hosting some type of sweepstakes may be out of your budget, you can spend the time commenting on and liking the pins of others, especially those who could become clients.
- Host a contest. Jetsetter, an invitation-only travel sales site, held a "Pin It to Win It" contest that had outstanding results. Referral traffic from Pinterest to Jetsetter.com increased 100% and page views increased 150%.
- Use the "Source" search (http://pinterest.com/source/[YourSite])function to see who is sharing your content. Comment, like, and repin these pins to develop deeper social relationships. This is similar to retweeting posts your business is tagged in.
- Pin downloads from your site. White papers, e-Books, newsletters and slideshows are all great things to pin on Pinterest. You can capture leads, emails, and the attention of your followers.
Our tip: If you were to visit the "Source" page of Business.com on Pinterest, you can see where we have liked, commented on and repined some of the content other users shared from our site. We also have a shared Small Business Board where thought leaders in the small business space, as well as small businesses, can pin content that other small business owners and marketers may find helpful.
Benefits for Your Business
In 2012, more than one-quarter of B2B marketers used Pinterest to distribute content. Beyond increased referral traffic and content downloads, Pinterest can contribute to your company's SEO efforts, branding, and competitive and real-time analysis.
- Increased Content Downloads: Sharing whitepapers and e-Books on Pinterest will drive up the number of people downloading content. Hubspot experienced a 17% visitor lead conversion by sharing their e-books on Pinterest as visuals.
- Increased Referral Traffic: AnsonAlex found that publishers who use infographics grow in traffic an average of 12% more than those who don't.
Pinterest developed itself as a leader in visual sharing. On Pinterest, your business can share content with compelling images to develop deeper engagement with your current and prospective audiences. While your provide value to these people and companies, your own business will benefit as you seen an increase in downloads, referral traffic and gain new insight into how you can develop your business better.