Pinterest Marketing Strategies for Business

Pinterest’s following has grown exponentially over the last few years. So it’s only natural that businesses are flocking to the social media site to interact with their customers. Pinterest is intriguing to businesses because it offers unique public relations opportunities. Social media has opened doors for businesses through word of mouth referrals, but Pinterest provides a direct, easy channel for friends to suggest items they love to friends. In fact, 81% of US Consumers say they trust information from Pinterest.

The Pinterest User

Mixed within crafting ideas, recipes, and travel destinations are endless opportunities for purchases. I can count at least ten items I have purchased over the last six months solely thanks to Pinterest. In fact, users are 10% more likely to purchase, and likely to spend about 10% more, when led to specific product by Pinterest over other social media networks. According to a recent study at Georgia Tech, “consumption truly lies at the heart of the site.”

It is true that an overwhelming majority of pins cater to a specific audience, mainly women between the ages of 24 and 54, but the audience is quickly diversifying. A male following is quickly developing, and whether it be gift ideas for the ladies in their life or finding indulgences of their own, there’s definitely room to market to the guys as well. You’ll findĀ  below a few infographics (the second is a link) I’ve made to highlight some of the demographics and statistics involving Pinterest.

Pinterest_Marketing_Demographic

So how do businesses best capitalize on this medium?

What doesn’t change despite your market is the visual appeal of Pinterest. Businesses should make sure any pins they share marketing their products are visually appealing, and invite the user to learn more. An alternative use for a conventional product, a DIY project, and infographics are all images that intrigue the common Pinterest user to purchase an item, without a direct sales approach. What’s most important is that the business is engaging with the customer, not selling to them.

Engaging with customers requires building a following. Customer contests and intriguing content are two great ways to do so. You’re board must be worth something to a customer for them to consider following you. And from another angle, you’re website should be worth something for customers to pin directly from it. Adding a “Pin it” button to individual products from your website allows customers to save products their interested in to their personal collection, rather than an on-site shopping cart that is easily abandoned.

Companies can also adapt their website to take advantage of the Pinterest idea. Creating a grid-like, visual shopping experience and using price banners are only a few of the ideas a business could duplicate. Websites like Tobi have even developed a “like” feature to make shopping on their site more of a social experience. The key to remember is that visual, social interaction on the internet is the wave of the future, and whether you go to it or create your own these ideas are worth investigating.

pinterest-for-business-is-here-get-your-pinte-L-b76TUm

Mobile Wallet Privacy Issues

There’s been a lot of talk recently about the introduction of mobile wallets – the idea of paying with nothing but your phone through Near-Field Communication technology. The idea had a slow start, but is starting to take off as more and more people worldwide adopt smart phones. You can read about the quickly growing market at the Sacramento Bee.

mobile-wallet-2

There’s a lot of controversy over the idea of putting so much personal information on one device, and rightfully so. All of that information in the hands of the wrong person can be life-ruining. But I truthfully think that this is just a scare that consumers will eventually get over (hey, people were scared of using credit cards at one point).

What if my phone is stolen???

I challenge you to count how many times in a day you reach for your smartphone, whether to check it or just make sure it’s still there (hint: it’s nearly impossible). Now compare that to how many times a day you do the same with your wallet. It’s a large difference.

So, in theory, if you were to misplace your wallet, you’d most likely notice a lot later than you would if it were your cell phone. You would likely be able to cancel your credit cards and protect your information much sooner than you would with a wallet. Especially if all of that information was integrated in one place, say your Apple iTunes account.

What about big scary hackers?

The bigger scare, though, is remote theft. It would be detrimental if someone could access your entire phone’s information, including finances, without the phone ever leaving your hand. But between mobile commerce, banking apps, and your iTunes account, there’s plenty (and in my case, almost all) of your financial information already being accessed by your phone. An NFC chip would merely access an account through the internet, much like when you access your banking information now.

Can companies get my information this way?

Granted, there’s still plenty of room for research and laws to be developed. It’s a long road ahead for mobile wallets, and it will take time to gain some footing. One issue is how the integration of different apps together (like Facebook) could affect your privacy – I don’t think anyone wants Facebook knowing how much they owe MasterCard this month. But this seems to be the wave of the future, and the kinks will inevitable be worked out.

I know that my Bank of America app was life changing. As a college student, there’s plenty of times I’ve had to transfer money instantly to pay for groceries at the check out, or check my balance to decide whether to splurge on dessert at dinner. I can’t even begin to imagine the ease of having my wallet right on my phone. I know it would at least make the line for a beer at Kens a lot shorter!