Pinterest Review - Can It Improve Your Business? - My Experiences So Far
Last Update: Nov 9, 2016
I thought I would share my experiences of using Pinterest to drive traffic. I have recently been working with some friends on a joint venture selling their branded cooking thermometers and grill mats on Amazon (dot) com in the United States.
Never having used social media in the past, I thought I would begin by doing some research.
Pinterest currently has 176 million registered users, not as many as I believe use Facebook, or Twitter, but more than enough to be going on with!
From what I can gather, the average Pinterest user earns a higher salary than users of the other media, (although some people are users of all three) and Pinterest users spend more money than those on Facebook and Twitter combined.
Demographically, over 80% of Pinterest users are women, whilst just under 18% are men. Most users are in the United States, with sizeable minorities in the UK, Canada and Australia and other nations, pretty much in that order.
Armed with these pieces of information and with the fact that I personally find Pinterest less intrusive than some social media and more fun, I took the plunge. (I have to admit to being wary of social media in general, but Pinterest was the one I felt most comfortable with.)
Given that our focus is on cooking thermometers and grill mats, I started setting up boards containing recipes, a natural choice to generate the right traffic. We now have boards on Gluten Free, Paleo, Healthy Recipes, Cooking Utensils, Barbecue Recipes, etc. I also set up a "Health and Fitness" board as that is a subject which also draws a lot of visitors, What I didn't expect was that it would attract more traffic than the food related boards. In response I signed up my friends to the Amazon affiliate program to take advantage of the unexpected traffic.
There is always the danger of creating too many boards on too a diverse range of subjects and whether it would have been better to have accepted less, but more targeted traffic is still a matter open to debate.
General advice suggests that in order to get targeted followers, you find Pinterest members in your niche and then "follow" their followers, in the expectation that, because they are interested in the same niche, they will also follow you. This sounds perfectly sensible, but in reality, many people follow others just to get exposure for themselves, or their businesses and they actually have little, or no interest in the niche of the person they follow, Hence I adopted the broad approach.
I made sure that I provided useful information in the form of the pins I saved to my boards and that all my pins were relevant to the boards to which I posted them. Anything else would be seen as spam. This brings me to the subject of "Group Boards" which are boards created by one person, to which they can invite people to post. It is possible to search for group boards and ask for man invite. The benefit to the owner of the board is obvious, but it can also benefit the pinners, as it gets them more exposure. Ideally you are looking for Group Boards which already have many followers, for best results. Another interesting fact is that 80% of pins on Pinterest are actually re-pins of what is already there. The possibility for pins to go viral definitely exists.
Another feature of Pinterest is that statistics are built in and can be accessed by a touch of a button, showing you which of your pins and boards are the most popular, with figures for daily and monthly impressions, viewers, engaged, clicks and re-pins. Analytics also show in which countries your traffic comes from and from which metropolitan areas. It also shows trends and interests and I have created certain additional boards in consequence.
Next, this brings me to Amazon. Typically, the perceived wisdom is that when you first list a product on Amazon, it will appear somewhere between page 20 and page 100 in the search results and that it's necessary to get reviews to push it up the ranks. This can be a difficult task and made more difficult, if friends and family are not in the same country as that in which you are selling and therefore can't be called upon for support. We *were seeking reviewers in the USA for our Amazon listings. (**Update: Amazon has recently introduced "Vine" which sellers can sign up to. Amazon then, as far as I can gather, assigns reviewers to your products. I don't know much about this yet, but it seems to be a great way for newbie sellers to get their products noticed on Amazon, whilst ensuring the integrity of the reviews from a potential buyer's perspective.)
I have used the Pinterest messaging system and it does seem to work and it also seems to send a message via email in addition to messaging you on Pinterest. Initially, I found it tricky, but with practice I am getting better. It's rather like using webmail. I am presumably doing something right as I keep being invited to contribute to group boards.
Our Pinterest site is Chef Verdi for anyone who has a Pinterest account.
I would be interested to hear what you think about the site.
Building a Pinterest footprint takes time and hard, but not unpleasant, work. How useful Pinterest will ultimately prove to be, I am not sure, but I would say the same about any social media platform. I suspect that it is at least as good as any and quite possibly better than most.
These views are based on my personal experiences, those of others may be different.
I hope you find this review helpful.
All the best with your endeavours.
P.S. **Update: Amazon has recently introduced "Vine" which sellers can sign up to. Amazon then, as far as I can gather, assigns reviewers to your products. I don't know much about this yet, but it seems to be a great way for newbie sellers to get their products noticed on Amazon, whilst ensuring the integrity of the reviews from a potential buyer's perspective.)
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