Until now, a business on Pinterest had to use the same profile format as yours and mine. There weren’t many tools available, and there was no way (until recently) to verify your website. The terms of service actually prohibited commercial use of the site, but that didn’t stop some of the world’s biggest brands from capitalizing on the phenomenon. From Whole Foods to the Smithsonian, big brands and smaller scale bloggers alike are making the most of Pinterest.
The Pin It button was put to use on sites like Allrecipes.com and within 3 months, 50,000 recipes were pinned by users, resulting in a 900% increase in clicks on Allrecipes’ Pinterest-shared content.
With the announcement on Tuesday of the long awaited Pinterest for Business, Pinterest is not just acknowledging the thousands of business already on the site (and breaking the rules). The Silicon Valley start-up has also opened its arms to an entirely new realm of e-commerce possibilities. Pinterest is declaring itself as a champion for companies (large and small), working to make the site work for them.
Features and opportunities now offered with Pinterest Business profiles include:
- The option to convert an existing profile into a business account
- Name the account with a business or brand name rather than a first and last name
- Website verification badges (which we heard about back in October)
- New widgets for more seamless integration on business websites, including the Profile Widget and Board Widget. Easier to use guides for creation are also available for the Pin It Button and Follow Button.
- The opportunity to receive updates on future products and services (which will hopefully include analytics)
- A best practices guide containing examples and step-by-step instructions for making your account successful
- Case Studies based on business already successfully using Pinterest to drive traffic and new business
- Guidelines for using Pinterest logos and trademarks in your own marketing materials
To date, Pinterest has raised $138 million, and it shows no signs of slowing down. Heck, my mom’s even on it. With more and more business likely to jump on the bandwagon, many are now posing inevitable questions such as “How long until the now free-to-use site begins to sell ad space?”
So what is it about Pinterest that’s so appealing to businesses and users? Some of the following reasons might help you determine whether or not your business should sign up:
- Pinterest is the fourth largest traffic driver to websites in the world, surpassing Bing and Yahoo as reported by shareaholic.com.
- Pinterest is the third most popular social network on the web (behind only Facebook and Twitter), according to Experian’s 2012 Digital Marketer trend report.
- If you’ve got something to sell, chances are you want to be on Pinterest. Nearly ⅓ of Pinterest users have an annual household income of $100,000 or more. Most (68.2%) are female, and a majority of users are age 25 – 34 years.
- Trouble ranking organically? Pinterest pages have great authority with Google, providing an opportunity for a business to compete in rankings where they might not normally be able to outrank a competitor. Each click on a Pin from your site drives traffic right where you want it — your site!
- The number of active Pinterest users and unique visitors keeps on climbing. Pinterest became the fastest site ever to hit 10 million unique monthly U.S. visitors in history. The once exclusive, invite-only website is now open to anyone with an email address, Facebook, or Twitter account, opening the door to those who may have been intimidated by the exclusivity or simply lost interest during the wait period.
- The visual focus is addicting (to users). Pinterest users spend, on average 98 minutes per month on the site, behind only Facebook and Tumblr.
- Users always have access to Pinterest. The company provides a browser plug-in, mobile and iPad apps that make content on ANY site pinnable.
Our mission at Search Influence is to help small businesses succeed online. Pinterest’s visual appeal and addictive nature make it the perfect opportunity for a small business to grow, instead of being lost in the noise of a more trafficked network like Facebook. On Pinterest, it’s not the number of followers or fans you have, but the quality of your content that makes you successful. I don’t know about you, but some of the best products I’ve seen came from small or local businesses just trying to get it out there.
Pinterest for Business might be just the thing you need to get your product seen. Do you plan on signing up? Tell us about how it goes in the comments.
Posted on Thursday, November 15th, 2012
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