My good friend – a self-proclaimed Facebook junkie – says he just doesn’t understand what draws people to Pinterest. I assumed he didn’t like Pinterest because it has a reputation for being the preferred social media platform of stay-at-home moms who use it to share their favorite recipes and home decorating ideas.
Well, it turns out those “stay-at-home moms” are actually mompreneurs, business owners and bloggers who are not using it just to post photos of soufflés and sofa swatches. They are savvy marketers who’ve figured out Pinterest is an excellent tool to drive traffic to their websites and blogs. These women business owners are telling (and showing by example) male business owners the benefits of marketing with Pinterest.
I’ve self-published several books and was excited to be involved in a teleconference given by Andreea Ayers (LaunchGrowJoy.com) about how to promote my books using Pinterest. She provided a wealth of information about how best to use Pinterest as not only a marketing tool but also as a sales tool. Andreea graciously agreed to a follow-up telephone interview where I asked her why all business owners (male and female) should use Pinterest to reach and engage their client base.
Pinterest Gender Gap is Closing
While it’s true that 68 percent of current U.S. Pinterest users are women, more than 50 percent of Pinterest users in the United Kingdom are men who use it mainly for business. Andreea said about 95 percent of Pinterest users were women when the platform first launched. But as more and more men are seeing the benefit of promoting their businesses on Pinterest, she expects the gender gap will continue to close here in the States as it has in the U.K.
Third Most Popular Referral Site Behind Facebook and Twitter… But Trusted More
Andreea told me she actually gets more traffic from Facebook (almost a billion users) and Twitter (approximately 200 million users) than she does from Pinterest (12 million users and growing). Even though the numbers for Pinterest are much lower than Facebook and Twitter, Andreea cited a survey that found …
- users are more trusting of businesses they find on Pinterest than of businesses they find on Facebook or Twitter;
- referrals from Pinterest are more likely to buy from you than are referrals from other social media sites; and
- Pinterest referrals spend more time on your website (1 hour and 17 minutes) than referrals from LinkedIn (17 minutes) and Google+ (six minutes);
80 / 20 Rule
When it comes to pinning on Pinterest, Andreea suggests using the 80 / 20 Rule … 80 percent of your time should be re-pinning from other people’s boards about things that are of interest to your target market and 20 percent pinning about who you are and about your products and services.
We all know people don’t go to social media sites to be sold something. They are looking for inspiration, for information about what is of interest to them and how to solve problems that keep them up at night. Just give your audience enough information about who you are so they will be more comfortable connecting with you and joining your community. Then you can add a few pins identifying your products and services that are relevant to your target market.
Using Pinterest as a Sales Tool
So how do you sell your products and services on Pinterest? Andreea suggested using the Gifts option. After putting the dollar amount of your product or service in the appropriate field (Pinterest will walk you through this process) the price shows up as a banner across the upper left corner of your pin. Your target market will not purchase the item through Pinterest but, instead, will be directed to your website or WePay store where the purchase is actually made.
Truth be told, my friend uses Facebook exclusively to stay in touch with friends and family, and I can understand why he’d prefer it over Pinterest for that purpose. But business owners (regardless of gender) will definitely benefit from using Pinterest as a marketing and sales tool to promote themselves and their businesses.