As a small business owner just like you, it quickly became apparent to me that knowing how to generate results with social media marketing was essential to the success of my business. Especially, as in the beginning, there was absolutely zero budget for any other type of marketing – I’ll be telling the story of how my social media mentors came into existence in other articles, so make sure you sign up to receive updates.
Regardless of whether you’re a mega multinational, or just getting started really, the fact is that people all over the world have realized the huge gains to be made from getting social media savvy.
As I’m sure you know, there’s a whole family of social networking platforms out there – Twitter, Facebook, Google + – and each of them has its own unique character and rules of engagement.
Now, this can be this can be pretty intimidating all on it’s own, but if you throw in the fact that most major corporates have already set up on these platforms, established their market, and are very busy engaging online, you’d be forgiven for thinking that your situation as a small business owner is rather hopeless.
The great news is though, that that’s just not true…today, not only are we going to be talking about how small businesses can benefit from social media, but we’re going to be focusing that discussion to one of the fastest growing, and most dynamic social networks on the web right now…Pinterest! More importantly, we are going to look at exactly why your small business can benefit from Pinterest.
For those of you who don’t know the full power of Pinterest is, you’d be forgiven for thinking of the site as a giant pin board where people organize and share content that reflects their interests. It’s kind of like virtual scrapbooking, where users are able to upload, “pin”, or “like” different types of content. It’s true, Pinterest is all about images, a place of great graphics, a feast for the senses and home to all things beautifully divine…but those aren’t the main reasons why it deserves your attention.
The site has over 10 million unique visitors, has grown by 4000% in the past 6 months AND, right now, it happens to be the social network that’s driving the most sales online.
Yeah, that got your attention didn’t it…take out your pen and paper because you’re gonna want to write this down…here are some of the BIG ways that SMALL businesses can benefit from using Pinterest.
1. De-cluttering with categories
Pinterest is the king of content categories, and that’s because the platform was specifically designed to organize. All of the images or “pins” that you post are organized onto different boards that match that particular area of business, and what this means for Pinterest users is that, instead of scrolling through a sea of archives and month-old posts, whenever they want to find something, all they have to do is search for the board that mirrors their category of interest.
For example, a lady who wants inspiration for a wedding dress doesn’t need to sift through cake flavors, flower arrangements or any of the other posts that you might expect to find on say, a wedding planner’s Facebook page. All that they’d have to do is search for boards titled “wedding dresses” and they’ve got access to a smorgasbord of suggestions ranging from now, right back to 19-voetsek!
Most social media platforms don’t have features that come anywhere close to the level of organizational efficiency that makes Pinterest, Pinterest. So while a brand may be posting content that’s relevant to a user, this is often cluttered and diluted by a sea of other content that simply is not. What then often happens is that users become fed-up with these spammy posts to the point where they may decide to hide, or even (heaven forbid!) dislike or unfollow your business page.
Users want to find what they want, and they want to find it easy and quick. Creating multiple boards for the many different aspects of your business is a huge benefit that should not be overlooked. No muss, no fuss, just engagement.
2. A longer content lifespan
Designing a social media campaign is no walk in the park. You plan then revise and experiment before you plan and revise some more…that’s why, in terms of your content, it’s crucial that businesses are concentrating on getting as much bang for their buck as possible.
As we mentioned earlier, different social networks have different cultures and personalities. Because people interact differently on each platform, it makes sense that your brand content may be performing different functions, and for different lengths of time as well. It’s been found that content posted on Pinterest seems to retain user interest and engagement for considerably longer than other major social networks.
Twitter, the fast-paced, real-time social media commentator, only has a content lifespan of between 5-25 minutes. On Facebook, where users like to page cruise and peruse, tend to engage with content for about 80 minutes – irrelevant posts and poor navigation tools are probably somewhat responsible for curbing user enthusiasm. Whereas, with Pinterest – the place where people can totally immerse themselves in categorized boards of their liking – content tends to remain active for up to A WEEK!
3. Leveling the playing field
There’s no kidding customers when it comes to social media. Before, big business could spend a ton of time and money constructing the perfect multi-million dollar billboard or TV ad that might get customers thinking about them in a positive way for weeks, or even months on end…with social media that just isn’t the case.
You can’t use tricks or gimmicks, you can’t just tell customers what you think they want to hear, because on social media it’s all about interacting, engaging in an exchange and this is happening DAILY!
All it takes is a single inappropriate comment, an overlooked complaint, or an insensitive post, and your business could be facing marketing mayhem! Now, while this is true of all social media, the discussion becomes all the more interesting on Pinterest.
Because Pinterest is a more visual platform, businesses need to know how to effectively portray brand messages through graphics and images as opposed to words. And what this means that your level of truth and customer understanding needs to run all the more deeply.
Now, this may seem a little intimidating, but what this actually means is that businesses are being forced into really living their brand promises. Something that sleep-starved and cash-strapped start-ups tend to do by default. Fans and followers only stick around where a message is authentic, consistent and true, meaning that no matter how big you are, on Pinterest, you’re going to have to play by the same set of rules.
4. A Higher potential Return on Investment
For those of you who don’t know, your return on investment (ROI) describes how much your business has benefited or gained because of its efforts on social media. This concept is measured in many different ways – brand awareness, content engagement, click-through rate, but essentially it underlines the same question…”have these activities helped to make money for my business?”
No matter what sort of goods you’re offering, what other goals or aspirations your business may have, the fact remains: if you’re not making money, your business won’t survive (click to tweet).
That’s why you’ll be happy to know that Pinterest appeals to an older and more mature crowd, and studies indicate that these users are likely to spend TWICE as much money as they do with other popular social networks. Now, if this doesn’t set you up to achieve a higher ROI on the social media networking scale, then I don’t know what does!
By now, I’m hoping that you need no further convincing. Businesses, big and small are making connections, building their brand and making money too. That’s why I’d suggest you spend some time and effort experimenting on the platform, and discovering even more ways that you can bring value to your customers and your business too.
Now just in case you didn’t catch all of those reasons why you’d want your business getting involved, here they are again:
- De-cluttering with categories
- A longer content lifespan
- Leveling the playing field
- A Higher potential Return on Investment
Just before you go…have you taken our FREE 5 day ecourse : Simple Social Media Strategies that work? – Add you email in the opt-in box at the top of this page to access this training immediately.
If you’re already a power Pinterest user and have identified some other benefits, big or small, it would be awesome if you would share them with us in the comments below. Lastly, if you’ve found this article valuable, I’d love it if you shared it with others.
Until next time. Be focused. Be positive. Be empowered.
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