Pinterest has a user base coming in at 72+ million and counting as of mid-2015, and with their new feature, buyable pins, they just radically changed the game for businesses.
Pinterest launched its buyable pins feature for iphone/ipad users at the end of June and in the coming months will expand to desktop users. This is an enticing opportunity for businesses, big and small.
Buyable pins means that now businesses can sell products directly through Pinterest, instead of using Pinterest to redirect shoppers to their own website.
How will buyable pins change Pinterest for business?
Well, unlike Facebook and other social media platforms, people are on Pinterest to shop. Pinterest traffic converts to a sale 22% more often than Facebook traffic. And, on average, they spend $140-180! And this is BEFORE buyable pins rolled out. Expect the sales numbers to increase in the next 12 months, and significantly.
Convenience = $$$
Prior to buyable pins, Pinterest has also been the ultimate in window shopping/ideas gathering. Pin boards represent personal ideals–the crafty person they wish they were; the fashion styles they wish they owned; the impressive recipes they wish they made. Buyable pins makes users wish lists not only available, but ridiculously convenient. Pinterest combines users’ favorite stores from all categories with no closing time, no sore feet, no fussy kids. Buyable pins is the natural next step.
How many times do users click through a pin only to find the links don’t work or worse, they’ve been spammed? Buyable pins allows shoppers to skip the drama and to buy what they want when they want it. No click-through necessary.
Power of Shared Pins
Pinterest users are looking for stuff they’d like to try and stuff they’d like to buy. They get ideas from their friends that make them feel empowered, like they could be fashionable, artistic or fun on a moment’s notice. You as a business owner, have a chance to be in the middle of that. If a business touts its own products, consumers are likely to ignore the message. But when a shopper’s friend shares or recommends a product, that’s a whole other thing entirely. Starting to see the power?
Gifts & Wishlists
Browse a friend’s Pinterest boards and you are basically browsing her wishlists for all kinds of topics. For all the women (moms, wives, sisters, friends) and the growing male user-base, Pinterest is like a mobile gift wish-list.
Buyable pins makes purchasing a gift much easier. Buy the expensive natural makeup kit or brushes that she wouldn’t splurge on for herself. Instead of a giftcard to Anthropologie, buy her an outift you know she already wants. Boom. Best gift, ever.
Take the Advantage
This means that now, more than ever, your business needs to establish a trustworthy brand identity on the site. Below is a link for more information to getting your buyable pins onto Pinterest, and yes, there is even a waitlist. In the meantime, follow these steps for establishing and furthering your brand on Pinterest.
Pinterest for Business Checklist:
1. Know your target market.
Okay, so you’ve heard it before, but this is step 1 – really, step zero – with ANY marketing. This will shape virtually everything you do on Pinterest, but one of the most important reasons is this: You have to pin things your audience is interested in. Don’t just self-promote–share things from around the web that will catch your followers’ interest and make them want to share! Do they have kids? Are they environmentally-conscious? Pin accordingly. This shows that your business is well-rounded and builds trust with your audience.
2. Optimize your business name and “About” Section.
Make sure your “Business Name” in your Profile tells both your name as well as your business type. For example, “New Beginnings” is not nearly as descriptive as “New Beginnings | Wedding Planner in Austin, Texas.” Also, don’t ignore the “About You” box in your profile. You only have 160 characters, so make them count! You can even update this seasonally or to reflect your latest promotion.
3. Pin from your website.
Pinterest is one of the best ways to drive traffic to your site. By the way, Google knows this, and takes Pinterest into account when ranking your webpages. So Pinterest is also good for your SEO! On average, each pin from your website adds up to 2 new website visits. That’s a bunch! Create new pins with links to your blog articles or most informative web pages. Optimize the pin’s description with keywords so that your pins can be found in searches.
4. Invest in beautiful photography of your products.
This is a MUST where Pinterest is concerned, because Pinterest is all about images. If your photos are poor in quality, you will be severely limited in how far your pins reach. So put away your iPhone, and hire a photographer to make your stuff look good. (These photos can be used on your site, your Facebook, and everywhere. You’ll be so glad you did it!) Tip: photograph your products in action when possible.
5. Confirm your website.
You have to add a piece of code to your website. Detailed instructions are here. This does several things for you:
- Shows pinners you’re a legit, trustworthy source–not just a random guy putting his so-called “opinions” out there.
- Allows your business name to appear in Pinterest searches for Pinners. If someone searches for a bakery in Chicago, they’ll be able to find you, so make sure your name is optimized (see step 2)!
- Allows you to take advantage of Pinterest Analytics. How many people are pinning from your website? Which pins are most popular with your followers? This info is invaluable when it comes to future Pinterest efforts! More details and a handy intro video on Pinterest analytics.
6. Follow to be Followed
Now that you’ve got a good foundation laid, you’re ready to follow pinners in your target market to make them want to follow you back. But don’t do this until you’ve completed steps 1-5. No one is going to follow your blank page!
Pinterest is wisely rolling buyable pins out slowly. Find out more about buyable pins, including if you qualify for early roll out or need to hop onto the waiting list.