Pinterest is one of the latest, greatest players in the world of social media. Like other simple but innovative platforms, it opens up the Internet to help people share information about themselves, their pursuits, and their businesses with millions of others. With its ability to compile and organize visually compelling content, Pinterest is a powerful tool for small businesses of all kinds, creating a portfolio and project management system that's easy to use, simple to navigate, and attractive. Here are a few of the ways Pinterest has helped small businesses grab our attention and reach a wider audience.

Outreach

Pinterest has an estimated 11 million users and that base is only growing. Those users tend to have a fair amount of disposable income and they come from younger demographics that are always hungry for more content. That built-in audience would be enough to make Pinterest a great business tool, but the platform's ease of use makes it a convenient way to share pictures with people who don't have a Pinterest account. This has been the main appeal for businesses like event spaces.

Instead of relying solely on unique website traffic and more traditional forms of advertising, venues for weddings, proms, and other occasions let their pictures speak first. Properly tagged and described, a Pinterest album can impress with gorgeous, professional photos, and then link to the venue site.Pinterest Logo

Organization

There are a lot of ways to store and share images online using platforms like Facebook and Flickr. Pinterest goes the extra mile by letting users compile content-rich boards that are full of additional information. Along with crisp, shareable images, Pinterest users can create instructional images, viral-ready lists, and showcase their business's creativity.

For example, the Deschutes Brewery has used Pinterest to go beyond mere beer promotions to include everything from DIY beer bottle art projects to brew-related news snippets that serve as micro-articles. Given that Oregon has more microbreweries than any other state in the nation, making Deschutes into a fun source of information is a great way to grab attention for the brand.

More Bang for Your Buck

A lot of companies invest a great deal of money in social media. They create new content and sometimes even have a dedicated staff person to manage the company's social media presence. Like any other expense, a company's social media budget is only as meaningful as its return on investment.

Research has shown that Pinterest has both a longer lifespan for content and a greater average ROI than other social media platforms, giving content investments weeks and even months of viable time online and averaging sales that are almost twice that of Facebook click-through. The platform is also becoming increasingly relevant to brands mining in Big Data and consumer analytics. As the market demand for data increases, we can expect to see greater variation in the types of data collected. Getting in on the ground floor and studying the industry only serves to benefit your business.

Easy Integration

Pinterest is powerful as a stand-alone tool, but it really shines when it's combined with other platforms. One of the biggest winners is Pinterest's integration with Etsy, a popular e-commerce system for hand-crafted goods. Generally speaking, Etsy customers are fans of highly specific and often idiosyncratic items, so they'll be looking for particular tags and images.

A well organized, frequently updated Pinterest page linked to a craftsperson's Etsy store is like a ready-made online catalogue for people who want to look at great images that appeal to their specific interests.

Growing Functionality

Pinterest has done a great job at keeping pace with the way people share content online. While it started as a photo-focused platform, it quickly added video and animated gif functions to stay relevant for savvy users. This means that Pinterest can be a place to organize a variety of content originating in other places, such as Instagram and YouTube. Users can then have a single-location portfolio that displays the company's full range of content.

Navigating the always-changing content waters of the Internet can be challenging, but it's essential for small businesses to understand online content to make a lasting impression on customers. Pinterest is a smart, flexible tool for outreach, portfolios, and inbound marketing. It's definitely worth taking the learning curve to add it to the toolkit.

 

Teddy Hunt: A freelance content writer with a focus on technology. When not behind a computer, Teddy spends the majority of his free time outdoors and resides in Tampa, Florida.

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