How Pinterest Can Help You Grow Your Business

Most small business owners know the benefits of using social media networks like Facebook and Twitter by now. But have you thought about how Pinterest could help you grow your business?

What It Is

Pinterest is a digital pinboard that allows users to collect, organize, and share ideas for projects or interests. It’s an image-driven network where millions of people all over the world can gather to look for places to travel, things to buy, and activities to do. Content posted to Pinterest is called a “Pin.”

How It Works

A Pin can be almost anything—an image, a recipe, a product, or even a quote from a magazine. Pinterest users can Pin things directly from websites using the Pin It button and then organize them into collections called boards. You also can repin each other’s Pins, share and follow each other’s boards, and search for Pins by topic.

For businesses, the key benefit of Pinterest is that all Pins link back to their original sources. That’s how businesses can get referral traffic—if a business owner or someone else Pins a product he’s selling on his website, that Pin will link back to that product listing no matter how many times it's repinned.

Who’s Using It

According to research conducted by the Pew Research Center, 21 percent of online adults were using Pinterest in 2013, an increase from 15 percent the previous year. And women are four times as likely as men to be Pinterest users.

While those numbers may seem small compared to Facebook users (71 percent of online adults in 2013), businesses who’ve started using Pinterest have seen some significant results.

Businesses who've started using Pinterest have seen some significant results. 

For example, Allrecipes, one of the world’s top resources for recipes, cooking tips, and food videos, had more than 50,000 of its recipes pinned within its first three months of joining Pinterest. Esmee Williams, vice president of brand marketing for Allrecipes, said in a testimonial on Pinterest’s website that the brand saw a “a significant increase in the volume of recipes and videos shared daily—resulting in dramatic boosts in the daily social referrals Allrecipes receives from Pinterest. This makes our content more discoverable, which grows our community,” she added.

What It Can Do For Small Businesses

It’s not just big, national brands benefiting from Pinterest; small businesses are getting in on the action, too. Special-event venues, for instance, are sharing blog posts, photos, and ideas via Pinterest to help their clients plan for weddings and other special events, while retail-based businesses are using it to showcase their products. Like Allrecipes, small businesses are using Pinterest to grow their online communities and, as a result, their customer base and sales.

While that's certainly a goal for business owners using social media, Pinterest also is a great tool to help you connect with your audience in an authentic, personal way through shared interests, passions, and hobbies. And since Pinterest, like other social networks, is used by people all over the world, that gives you almost unlimited potential to grow your audience and drive more traffic to your website.

Now that you know what Pinterest can do for your business, are you ready to start pinning?

Learn more about how to get started by downloading Pinterest’s nine-page Best Practice Guide, which features tips and tools to help you make the most of the fast-growing social network.

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  • Author: Missy Sheehan
  • About Me: aka Media Marketing contributor, freelance writer for regional publications like Blue Ridge Country, WV Living, and Hagerstown magazines. I write articles on food, travel, and outdoor adventure as well as marketing materials for businesses. Connect with me on Twitter @SheehanWriting.