By Kelly Kautz, Senior Copywriter
After nearly a year of meteoric growth, Pinterest has become the third most popular social network after Facebook and Twitter. For those who haven’t already jumped on the Pinterest bandwagon, the site is a virtual pin board that lets users save, categorize and share images from around the web.
According to Mashable, Pinterest receives an average of 1.36 million visitors each day, 68 percent of whom are female. While Pinterest’s traffic has declined in recent months, it still presents a huge opportunity for companies to expand their reach.
One of the site’s most obvious business benefits is referral traffic. The third-party measurement company Shareaholic recently found that Pinterest referred more traffic to sites than Google Plus, YouTube and LinkedIn combined.
To harness Pinterest’s referral power, first make sure your content is pinnable. You can test how well your content transfers to Pinterest by installing a “Pin It” button to your bookmark toolbar and using it to pin images from your own site. You can also install a “Pin It” button directly on your site.
Traffic isn’t the only benefit Pinterest can bring to your business. The site is also a great source of consumer insights. A quick keyword search can tell you what your audience is discussing and sharing.
Check out what’s being pinned from your competitors’ sites, and how your products and services compare. You can also search Pinterest by category, or use the pinners you follow to see what’s trending at any given moment.
Honda recently used Pinterest to connect with influencers, offering top Pinterest users $500 to take a 24-hour break to actually experience the stuff they’ve been pinning about.
“We’re just dipping our toes in the water here with our first campaign,” said Lauren Ebner, assistant manager of social media at American Honda Motor Co. “But it will be a good opportunity to market some of our vehicle launches.”
In a similar campaign, Kotex identified 50 influential Pinterest users and sent them each a customized gift box based on their pins. These efforts led to 2,284 online interactions and 694,853 total brand impressions, according to Adverblog.
Many companies are using Pinterest as a place to gather ideas and inspiration. Here at JPL, employees use the site to research everything from food styling to color palates and video production techniques. You can use Pinterest to generate new product ideas, identify trends and even zero in on business opportunities.
Sharing what inspires you not only inspires others. It can also establish you as a thought leader in your field: someone others look to for news and information about your industry.
A growing number of HR departments use Pinterest to recruit top talent. After all, it’s a great place to connect with people over shared interests.
But don’t stop there. Use Pinterest to share your unique company culture. Create a board that highlights area attractions, and invite employees to contribute their ideas. You can even pin employee profiles, and create your own office “yearbook.” You’re limited only by your imagination.
How have you seen Pinterest benefit your business? What ideas would you like to implement in the future?