If your company hasn’t caught Pinterest fever as an effective way to build and market your products and ideas, you are late to the party. Fortunately, you are running just a few minutes behind, and you still have time to wrap up your business with a big beautiful bow and present it to the party guests: your potential clients.

Pinterest, a social networking site that allows users to share content they find appealing, is an 11-billion-dollar business. In its young two-year life, Pinterest has been gained 100 million active users. It takes third place among social media giants Facebook and Twitter but soon, they may probably bypass this statistic.

So what is Pinterest and how does this site increase business sales?

Pinterest users set up digital boards, categorize them according to things they find appealing. Look at it as another way to use content as digital bookmarks. For example, the most classic things that are pinned include arts and crafts, Do-It-Yourself (DIY) projects, recipes and fitness. Pinterest has become an indispensable tool where people plan their future.
A user sets up boards for each of these things and collects visually appealing content or articles that are important and pins them onto their categorized boards. Everything that is pinned is from a website or business. Once the pin is done, followers may see it, and re-pin the same pins, if they find them interesting. People with a shared interest in crafts, recipes and others may also see the content and rep-in it. This is a great way to share among users. The pinned content stays on the board so a user may go back and refer to it later.

“93% of users have used Pinterest to plan a purchase and 80% of purchases made are via mobile”

Brands are flocking to Pinterest to take advantage of this unique ‘ready-to-buy’ audience. An example is from the men’s watch company MVMT. They started a company board and took close up, high quality images of their products. Through gathered statistical data, they doubled the rate of clicks to their website and doubled their watch sales.
And the most interesting thing about this?
Women were the major buyers. The company took note of that and learned their potential clients were not just men, but women who bought gifts for the man in their life.

You may be thinking at this point “How Can I Make This Happen For My Business?”

You must first ask yourself these important questions:

  • Who are my audience and my potential clients?
  • Do I have a product that others would want?
  • Is my content well written and relatable?
  • Is my product trendy and sought after by the public?
  • Do I have high quality images that showcase my products best attributes?

If you answered yes, you may be on your way to reaching a whole new audience and building your business. Pinterest users are mighty in number and passion. They drive more website traffic in greater numbers than You Tube and Google + combined.
Another example of this phenomena occurred on the entertainment news site, Buzzfeed.
They posted a picture of a clear pitcher full of fresh, clean water, filled with red, juicy strawberries and topped with ripe, crisp basil (see below). They titled it “Strawberry Infused Basil Water.” The description that followed, along with the enticing photo and simple to make recipe has become Pinterest gold.
It was clicked on and shared by well over 2 million people. The other benefit of this is curiosity of the clientele. They not only checked out the recipe for the infused water, but they clicked through other articles, too.
Other businesses have experienced a similar increase in traffic, click throughs and brand exposure through Pinterest. Here are a few of their success stories including lessons on how to Use Pinterest for business this year.

5) Allrecipes

This site has an active following of more than 30 million home cooks. Users share inspirational food recipes along with decadent photos that catch the eye, and make mouths water. They decided to add a pin button to not only every recipe, but to instructional videos, too. Within three months, over 50,000 recipes were pinned, resulting in share content increase of 900%.
The company also took the genius step of ensuring that recipes follow seasonal trends, such as pumpkin recipes for the fall and cookies and sparkling drinks for the holiday season. This is a smart, simple marketing strategy that revolves around trends and knowing what their clients are looking for. How to use Pinterest for business nailed!

“Within three months, more than 50,000 recipes were pinned resulting in 139 million Pinterest impressions, and clicks on Allrecipes’ Pinterest content increased more than 900%”

4) Artifact Uprising

This small business started in the basement of its founders. Within 18 months, their “basement business” turned into a multi-million-dollar company. They accept client digital photos and create an aesthetically pleasing book of unique images. One website picked up an example of their work, and from that alone, they received over 48,000 hits to their site.

“We’d still be working in a basement if it weren’t for Pinterest.” (Kate Thurmes, Chief Creative Officer)

They follow what works: ensure all images are high quality and visually appealing, focus on quality not quantity, add pins of their work daily to keep their content fresh. They use the seasons to promote trending ideas and products. They use Pinterest Analytics to track how their pins are doing.
Pinterest Analytics provides stats including what people respond it, what they are clicking on and sharing, what they are bookmarking on the website, and other bits of information such as gender and location.
Often times, businesses are surprised at what their clients find the most valuable. It’s not always what you think! This information helps guide your marketing strategy towards appealing and popular ideas that come directly from your clients.

3) Pure Vida

This company started when some college kids took a trip to Costa Rica and decided to sell bracelets made by a Costa Rican artist. They only intended to sell the bracelets for a few weeks, but after Pinners discovered the cute and unique items, this small company received an increased demand for their bracelets.
The company used their “vibe” to promote and it came through in their marketing. The bracelets were photographed at the beach, and included language like “Wanderlust” and “Let’s Go.” People quickly identified with these feelings and the bracelets are now sold in over 3500 surf shops and boutiques.

2) Tory Burch

This high profile brand was well known before Pinterest as a leading fashion designer of clothes, boots and shoes, and other accessories. Tory Burch decided to market their pins using fashion trends that tell a story. For example, they know that the Bohemian style look is popular right now.
They took pictures that reflected this style and told a story about traveling to Marrakesh. This promoted a feeling in pinners that they could relate to. Who wouldn’t want to wear these beautiful seasonal styles and travel to a far away adventurous land?
They learnt how to use Pinterest for business like a boss as all Tory Burch items have a pin and include information about item details, availability and price. They also provide “suggested pins” to pair with items, creating a look for the user without the hassle. It’s like having a personal shopper at your fingertips! Pure genius.

1) Wikihow

This is “the” go-to site for anyone looking for do it yourself (DIY) and how to guides. They use popular and creative ideas to create content for users. Wikihow took note of their most popular how to guides that pinners were using to share with others. Wikihow experienced a 4-fold increased growth of website traffic and now receives over 1 million visitors to their website daily.

“Pinterest gives us the ability to build a long-term audience around popular, creative and visual content. Over time, this is an opportunity to build recognition of our brand as a place where you can ‘wikiHow’ how to do anything!” (Thom Scher, Director of Marketing)

They knew by using Pinterest Analytics, what people wanted: great advice. Some of their most popular clicked on pages include “How to tie a tie,” “Using Coca-Cola to clean the toilet” and other less obvious ones such as “How to make a temporary tattoo.” They constantly refresh their content, striking a balance between popular pins and new, pertinent helpful tips and tricks.

Key Takeaways: How to Use Pinterest for Business in 2016

  • Drive traffic back to your site with the Pin It button

  • Use email marketing to drive repins & get your community aware of Pinterest right from the start: emails help drive followers and repins, highlighting top Pins and seasonal boards

  • Use Pinterest Analytics to to discover socially viral content, learn what your customers interests are and create a content strategy based on those findings

  • Add beautiful, high quality images that are a mix of contextual product shots, interesting use cases and inspiring lifestyle photography

So the only thing to ask yourself now is,” How can I get invited to this party? I have my gift and want to share it with the world!” Start by visiting Pinterest here. They have guides and tips on how to set up your business on Pinterest. It’s not too late…with your present in hand, walk through the party doors and celebrate your soon to be increased success.