4 Reasons For B2B Marketers To Explore Pinterest

Pinterest has made a big splash on the social media scene, by quickly earning passionate users who log multiple hours per day on the site. Pinterest saw a 4,000% increase in site traffic from June to December of last year, and many consumer-facing and female-centric brands are already using it well. While Nordstrom pins its latest shoes and fashions by boards organized by department, Whole Foods uses the site to pin kitchen design inspiration and recycling projects in addition to recipes using its foods.

But despite its reputation as a service for brides and decorators, only 58% of the visitors to the site are women. And just like its diversity in users, brands on Pinterest aren’t limited to department and grocery stores. News sites such as Mashable and Time Magazine are also using the site to spread cover art, articles and copy included in its news stories.

Pinterest still has a long way to go in terms of its search capabilities and smartphone and tablet apps, but there is value for B2B marketers to start exploring. Here are four reasons B2B should start to look into using Pinterest.

1. Pinterest’s Push Mentality
Pinterest may be one of the few social media sites that requires little, if any, interaction with others – and although that may seem counter-intuitive, it’s also one of its strengths. While Twitter and Facebook require constant upkeep to stay on top of fan and follower comments, questions and shares, brands are able to push out content on their own time without a brand page to constantly update. Just be sure to tag and categorize pins with keywords that make sense for searchers, and pin them to boards that are similarly well organized. Pinterest’s search abilities are lagging, so making pins easy to find is key.

2. SEO value of inbound links
This one is a no-brainer for marketers looking to drive traffic to their content. Pinterest’s major selling point for users is the way it connects images – whether they’re product shots, infographics, photographs or even websites – with a stored link, making it easy to come back to pins’ original sources in the future. These links are logged as inbound links to these respective websites, boosting SEO. When it comes to determining what is “pinnable” on your B2B website, consider helpful FAQs, blog posts, product images, infographics and videos.

3. Niche Value
As many popular social media sites shift from mass appeal to niche servicing, B2B companies are able to better hone in on the industries and people most important to them. Leverage Pinterest’s “pin what you know and love” mentality by creating industry-specific boards and using specific keyword searches to find like-minded pins, boards and users.

4. Expert Positioning
Not sure if your company’s products or services lend themselves to being pinned? Expand your reach beyond your own products and use Pinterest as a way to show your expertise and experience in your industry, location and relationships. Utilize Pinterest’s open boards, which allow multiple users to pin to one board, to collaborate with your B2B partners and clients. If an important tradeshow is coming up, start and share a Tradeshow Must-Haves board that pins comfortable shoes, hotel and restaurant recommendations, and handy smartphone apps that position your company as a trusted expert and friend.

What would it take for you to begin exploring Pinterest for your B2B company?

Comments

  1. says

    With all the buzz about Pinterest, the fact that it’s good for SEO has been overlooked. Glad you highlighted it here.

    Also I’ve heard the female audience is 70% rather than 58%.
    Someone just told me about Gentlemint.com, a Pinterest for guys…I thought that was cute :)

  2. ACG says

    Do you have any examples of B2B Pinterest boards? I’m having a hard time taking your points into a real life example — i.e. what would an auto parts manufacturer or enterprise software company pin?

  3. says

    Brittany – I hadn’t heard of Gentlemint, but that name is pretty fun. And I pulled that female usage stat from this Hitwise study, although it was only looking at a six-month period through December.

    http://thenextweb.com/socialmedia/2011/12/22/pinterest-sees-site-visits-increase-by-4000-in-just-6-months/

    ACG – the majority of B2B usage I’ve seen so far has been ad and PR agencies. Most of their usage falls into my fourth point, positioning themselves as in-the-know in their clients’ industries (such as travel or furniture), recent campaign work or marketing trends as a whole.

    http://pinterest.com/jprpublicity/

  4. Suzanne McDonald says

    Thanks for compiling these key points, so much more helpful than some of the “it’s hot” Pinterest posts I’ve read. SEO is a great point, as is pinning based on what your target audience is interested in.

    Great question ACG, first I would question whether your target audience is using Pinterest. Going off stereotypes, if it’s predominantly women, are enterprise software decision-makers and auto parts manufacturers likely to be there? Perhaps Brittany’s mention of Gentlemint would be helpful.

    If you have a whitepaper, or could create a survey, then create an infographic, it seems that’s the type of content that works well. Would love to hear other thoughts.

    Hope that helps!

  5. says

    Great post – I understand that some marketers are still leary of Pinterest and are brushing it off “just the hot thing at the time” but I don’t think you can argue with your second point. If you’re a B2B creating content, this is a great way to get links (eyeballs) back to your website. Or – even as Alexis pointed out – collecting infographics in your niche and using them for your customers or as a storage unit for future blog posts. There is definitely room here for B2B’s. Thanks for sharing!

    Kadee
    @kadeeirene

  6. says

    ACG – here is a great example of what people are posting based on your B2B example: http://pinterest.com/pinkphoto/upcycled-auto-parts/ or this http://pinterest.com/all/?category=cars_motorcycles.

    While I realize it may not be what you are selling, it has to do with your industry in a more creative sense and what people on Pinterest would be interested in.

    You can also post cars or creative photographs of the cars that your parts are used in. Pinterest in general is a great source for inspiration. Play around and see how you can use it your advantage. Examples of pins or boards: car porn (cool cars people can look at all day), DIY projects you can do with parts, furniture using parts, decorating with auto parts, etc.

    Pinterest caters to the craft/creative/tech oriented individual so keep that in mind and be careful not to take away from the nature of the platform.

    Hope that helps!

    Kadee
    @kadeeirene

  7. says

    I’m a freelance writer using Pinterest as my online portfolio, showing work I have done for clients while also showcasing their products. I’m just getting started, so i don’t yet know what the results will be — but Pinterest is fun and stimulating. I’m looking for more ways to use it.
    http://pinterest.com/LeslieMillerPFH/

  8. says

    Reading a lot about Pinstorm in the last few months and did not find it a great site for brands and hardly social media. As mentioned in this article the concept of the site has very less to do with social interactions. But still the article highlights few avenues to explore for a marketer. Truth is the site is not famous in our country and it is still to become a global phenomena like Facebook or Twitter and I doubt if it will become one.

  9. says

    Great article! It didn’t take much for our marketing department to dive right in and start using Pinterest. Why not? It expressing the personality behind our brand and pushes people to our website at the same time. Here’s an example of an accounting firm using Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/alpernrosenthal/

  10. says

    I agree, Pinterest is fantastic for inbound links and for anyone selling product. It easily links to your e-store and can put you right into your sizing page right before check-out.

    Pinterest also did something that Twitter and Facebook took years to do, monetize their site. I am sure that they are receiving affiliate dollars all over the place on this forum.

  11. says

    Great post, though I’m not sure I’m in 100% agreement over the first one. True, Pinterest doesn’t require as much maintenance as something like Twitter, but if you want to get your images in front of people, it’s important to be pinning frequently.

    Plus, it’s necessary to make sure you are pinning images that are “optimized” for Pinterest– there’s definitely content on there that gets more attention. I think a good example of this is what IFB does– they pin great images with beautiful typography and just a short remark in the description. I click through almost every time.

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