Pinterest, the social network that lets users share online "pinboards" of things they like on the Web, is two years old, but since September has quickly become the next social network to watch.
Estimated unique visitors to Pinterest have increased by 429 percent from September to December 2011, according to Compete.com. In a recent article, Mashable even asks: Is Pinterest the next social commerce game changer?
That's because Pinterest is quickly becoming a leading referral of traffic to retail websites. While search engines remain supreme as traffic drivers, Monetate.com reports that Pinterest is a top five referrer for several apparel retailers. And Pinterest is still an invitation-only site!
This is the part where I tell you that you that your natural business should be on Pinterest. Not because you should have a presence on every social network just to protect your brand, but because this network works. Results in terms of traffic to your site can be seen right away. Plus, it's just plain fun and a little addictive. (Don't say I didn't warn you.)
Get started with Pinterest
Here are 5 things natural businesses should know about getting started on Pinterest.
Pinterest is easy to use—easier than Facebook or Twitter—and doesn't require a full-blown strategy. Wait, what? That's right, I said it. Don't throw out everything you know about using social media, but do loosen up. Pinterest is all about showcasing beautiful, alluring and inspiring photos—of your own products and from around the Web.
Pinterest users are 58 percent female and 59 percent are between the ages of 25 and 44, according to Experian.com. Are mommy bloggers your audience? If so, you just struck gold.
Don't just pin your own products. Search others' pinboards and either repin, "like" or leave a comment. It is a social network after all, and interaction will still drive engagement.
One of the best ways to learn how to use Pinterest is by following the example of other natural businesses. Give these a look: Delicious Living, Whole Foods Market, Saffron Road Food, Frontier Co-op and The Bear & The Rat: Cool Treats for Dogs.
- Right after you pin something, be prepared for an onslaught of emails alerting you about others' activity on your pins. Pinterest users often find new things to pin by searching the categories of boards, such as Food & Drink or Products. When you create new pins, they'll show up on these pages, exposing your pins to all of Pinterest and not just your followers. Be sure to follow these users back and grow your reach.
Is your natural business on Pinterest? Share your tips and your URL in the comments.