The majority of businesses I work with focus on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn, leaving Pinterest untouched and, often, completely ignored. However, whilst there is an element of ‘social’ to Pinterest, it’s actually more of a search engine than a social media platform, and so, just as with Google and YouTube, it can drive major traffic and produce staggering results. 93% of active pinners say they use Pinterest to plan a purchase, and 67% of Pinners say they’ve discovered a new brand or product from business content on Pinterest.

If you’re interested in exploring how Pinterest might work for your business, check out these success stories and my analysis of what you can learn from them:

1. Use Pinterest to drive traffic

When your goal is to drive traffic and get as many eyes on your website as possible, Pinterest can play a big role.

Buzzfeed began trialling Pinterest in 2012 and saw quick success. Through experimenting with both content and strategy, they’ve been able to build upon that success and continue to drive traffic. Dao Nguyen, VP of Growth and Data at Buzzfeed said:

“Pinterest is Buzzfeed’s second largest social network referrer. It also has a much longer lifecycle than other social networks, often driving traffic to posts months after publication.”

The team found that compelling pins (that are funny, for example) may get an instant click-through but may not be saved, whereas other pins (that contain beautiful photos, for example) will get a lot of saves and later visits but not so many instant clicks. Both are valuable to Buzzfeed, but what would work for your business?

Key takeaway: Experiment with different image types, descriptions, and categories to learn what works for you.

2. Interact with your audience via Pinterest

The smartest among us know that engagement is key if you want to cut through the noise and build a connection with your followers.

US coffee retailer, Caribou Coffee, began using Pinterest to inspire their customers, sharing pins like memorable quotes, inspiring images, and attractive photos of coffee drinks. Caribou also wanted to take inspiration from their customers and so they developed a Pinterest campaign that would drive engagement. They asked their Pinterest followers to share images that could inspire a new flavour combination using the hashtag #InspireCaribou.

“We could not have imagined the kind of input, enthusiasm and fun we had working with our fans to create the Real Inspiration Blend,” said Michele Vig, Vice President of Marketing.

The campaign was a huge success, amassing more than 11 million media impressions and impressive Facebook and Twitter clickthrough rates.

Key takeaway: Look for ways to use Pinterest to involve your customers and give them an opportunity to inspire you.

3. Sell products via Pinterest

If you’re a retailer looking to get your products in front of a ready-to-buy audience, buyable Pins could be the way to go.

Small business FlyAway BlueJay, seller of handmade artisan pieces, used Pinterest’s mobile-first buyable Pins to increase sales and reach new customers.

“For a small business like us, using a large platform such as Pinterest to reach new customers is critical. Buyable Pins make Pinterest more user-friendly both for people shopping for the perfect gift and for businesses trying to reach new clients,” said Owner and founder Holly Feld.

100% of the Buyable Pin sales FlyAway BlueJay acquired came from brand new customers and Pinterest drove 20% of their overall sales and 28% of overall website traffic.

Key takeaway: Take advantage of Pinterest’s business features, such as buyable Pins, to capture new customers and increase sales.

4. Bridge the gap between online and offline

Already using Pinterest for your business? Let’s look at how you can take what’s happening online and use it to influence customers instore.

By labelling ‘Top Pinned Items’ with a Pinterest logo instore, Nordstrom is drawing attention to those products that are most popular online.

“[Pinterest] is our fastest growing social channel,” Nordstrom Corporate Affairs rep Colin Johnson told The Huffington Post. “So we wanted to integrate the feedback that we’re getting from our Pinterest community.”

Key takeaway: We often focus on bringing our business’s offline world online with the use of images, video, and storytelling to show what’s going on in the real world. Turn the tables and look at how you can show off your online successes in real life.

Whether it’s traffic, engagement, or sales that you’re looking for more of, Pinterest can certainly deliver the goods.

If you need help figuring out how to get the most out of Pinterest for your business, take a look at the services I provide and then get in touch to let me know what your goals are.

Uncover the secrets behind these #Pinterest success stories and learn how to use this often under-utilised #socialmedia platform to get results Click To Tweet

(Header photo by Alexandra Maria on Pexels)

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