Pinterest: The New Tool to Promote Small Businesses

3 Apr

Pinterest is one of the fastest growing social media websites to date, rivaling Facebook and Twitter. This site allows its members to create virtual bulletin boards, which can share inspiring images. Individuals can make multiple boards on their profile that span across various subjects such as fashion, weddings, and food recipes. Recently, small businesses have been jumping on the Pinterest band-wagon in order to promote their brand. It’s a cheap and easy marketing strategy that can potentially reach millions.

Pinterest’s Rising Popularity 

Users’ pin boards are accessible to everyone, and because of this, pictures can be shared all around the world. Pinterest realized that a huge reason for Facebook’s success was their photo sharing application, and they leveraged this idea. People are fascinated by the diverse pictures you can find on this website.

A Website Geared Towards Women

Pinterest’s primary audience is women. Seventy percent of its active users are women, and usually use the site to pin pictures of weddings, clothing, furniture, and food. Jay Ehret, a marketing specialist, advises businesses that sell to women to use Pinterest to gain a larger customer base. However, he does say not to limit the website to certain industries.  As Pinterest ages, it may gain more of a male following.

The Right Fit?

Pinterest can be useful for many companies, but it’s not the perfect social media platform for everyone. For a business to use Pinterest successfully, it should sell visually pleasing products. As a female member of the website, I enjoy looking at the clothes and accessories local boutiques post. I use Pinterest as a form of online shopping. If an image looks appealing, I research the original source of the picture to see where I can purchase the product. A service-oriented business would most likely not benefit from Pinterest. Profiles must also be updated daily to maintain the attention of its viewers. If your company doesn’t have someone who can control the page, Pinterest will serve no value.

by Emily Sky



3 Responses to “Pinterest: The New Tool to Promote Small Businesses”

  1. seanfeng April 12, 2012 at 4:02 pm #

    Facebook recently acquired Instagram, a wildly popular photo sharing service. Do you think Pinterest can compete with this new competitive threat, with backup from the social media giant, Facebook? I personally think that Pinterest may continue to hold a niche segment of the market, but Instagram might be able to steal a significant amount of users from Pinterest. What are your thoughts?

  2. Jacqueline Chen April 13, 2012 at 5:56 am #

    I knew you’d post about this! To answer Sean’s question, I do not think that Pinterest will be competing with Instagram. They’ve lived in unison for a while, and a lot of the things that are posted on Pinterest are from Instagram. They are really two different services with different target segments. Instagram allows you to take pictures, add filters to them and to share them with your friends on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, etc. With Pinterest, you can post pictures you’ve taken as well as repin pictures you’ve found interesting, similar to how Tumblr acts. I think that the two companies can easily work in unison as they are not the same service.

  3. Connie Chen April 13, 2012 at 9:59 am #

    I agree with everything that’s been said, but at the same time, I can’t see Pinterest ever gaining a significant male following. I just don’t see the core concept of the site, the pinboards, appealing to male tastes. Maybe I am personally biased, since I have a tumblr and Pinterest but find tumblr much more interactive than the simplicity of Pinterest. I do think that Pinterest and Instagram serve slightly different purposes, though, as Jacqueline said. However, to me Pinterest is at its best an ideal niche marketing tool not intended for broad audiences, while Instagram appeals to both sexes (but isn’t really an optimal marketing tool) and tumblr is a more comprehensive marketing tool than Pinterest.

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