I recently attended a seminar on Pinterest.com, the photo-sharing social network that has grown at a record-breaking pace to become the third largest social site behind Facebook and Twitter. Going into the seminar, I considered myself a “veteran pinner” having been invited to the site in early 2011 before the hype really hit the masses. Because I’d already put in many hours of pinning recipes, fitness tips, home decor, and DIY projects, I felt quite familiar with the functionality of the site from a user’s perspective. So naturally I thought, “I already know how to use Pinterest, and the business applications seem obvious” (Better Homes & Gardens is a great example of an early adopter). Admittedly, I wasn’t totally convinced businesses belonged on Pinterest.

I was pleasantly surprised to come away with the realization that Pinterest holds a great deal of potential for businesses. Therefore, what I’d like to share is not HOW businesses should use Pinterest, but, more much importantly (for all you skeptics like me), WHY businesses should be using Pinterest:

  1. The Power of Visual Impact: The short attention span of today’s buyer and the mass amount of digital clutter online makes it difficult for your message to be heard. Pinterest is almost entirely composed of info-graphics and, as we all know, a picture is worth a thousand words. Visual impressions present your product in a format that’s attractive, easy to digest and invites instant interaction.

  2. The Power of an Active Audience: The Pinterest audience operates unlike any other social network thus far. Though the number of male users is increasing, the majority of active pinners are women, who are also the driving force behind household purchasing decisions. Because the purpose of Pinterest is to “pin” things you aspire to own, create or do, Pinterest provides the opportunity to place products directly in front of the ideal customer – someone who is open to a new product or idea, and actually looking for it.

  3. The Power of Viral Sharing: Simply put, Pinterest is a collection of links collectively presented with attractive thumbnails. Because each thumbnail links back to the original source (your website), the potential to drive traffic to your site is incredible. In fact, Pinterest is driving more traffic to brand sites than YouTube, LinkedIn and Google+ combined! Not only are pinners sharing with their followers, they are also storing pins on a virtual board where it can be referenced over and over again by new visitors. Just one pin about your product has the potential to continually drive traffic back to your website for years. The number of impressions is increased further considering the level of engagement that’s possible. Users can re-pin, edit, comment, and make notes on your original pinned item.

  4. The Power of Positive Energy: Pinterest is a place for sharing aspirations (unlike sites like Facebook or Twitter, which are more susceptible to the infiltration of negative content). Pinners are simply discovering things they want to buy or do which creates a positive and accepting atmosphere – a place where consumers feel good while associating your product with their own desires.

  5. The Power of SEO: Pinterest brings a plethora of information to users automatically, but also allows them to search for specific items. Analytics are showing that pinners have started to use the Pinterest search function in place of traditional search engines like Google, Yahoo! or Bing. If you’re concerned about appearing above the fold on Google, you should certainly share the same concern on Pinterest. This active, engaged and positive audience of 105+ million users is searching, perhaps even for your product right now. By creating a presence on Pinterest, your business is that much more likely to be found.

If you would like to have a conversation to learn more about Pinterest and if it’s right for your marketing plan, please contact Insight Creative.