A couple of weeks ago, Pinterest actually acknowledged one of the worst kept secrets in social media. Businesses use Pinterest.
I know – it sounds funny, right? But in the original terms of service you agreed to when you created your Pinterest account (you do have a Pinterest account, right?), you agreed that Pinterest’s primary purpose was for individuals to connect around ideas – not to explicitly sell goods or services.
Um. Yeah. Tell that to Martha Stewart Weddings, whose referrals from Pinterest have exceeded those from Twitter and Facebook…combined. Or ModCloth. Or Whole Foods. Or a bunch of other businesses that have discovered the marketing power of Pinterest.
So I wanted to take some time to go over some of the new benefits Pinterest has added, sort of the “why” you should have a Pinterest business account. On Thursday, I’ll give you the step by step of how to set up a business account (or convert your existing account) and some tips for how to market and brand your business well using Pinterest.
Businesses have been using Pinterest since its earliest days and have developed some very creative marketing strategies that really showed some of the best kinds of social media marketing. They used Pinterest to inspire, educate, and teach. In short – they used Pinterest to create value for their followers. And people responded to this kind of relationship marketing! Finally – marketing that truly provided value rather than clubbing people over the head with a not-so-subtle “Buy me!” message.
It’s not as if Pinterest didn’t know businesses were using its service, exactly. I mean, there was a feature already built into Pinterest where you could add a dollar sign and number to a description of a pin – and it would add a price onto the image on your board.
But overall, the point of Pinterest was to do a sort of soft selling technique that they called lifestyle marketing. And judging from the number of businesses that used it, it was incredibly successful.
So the smart folks at Pinterest figured out that if businesses were finding some pretty dang creative ways to market on Pinterest, perhaps it was time to help them do so legitimately. And thus Pinterest business accounts were created.
Incidentally, if you’ve avoided Pinterest, thinking it was just for middle aged women in the heartland, it’s time to get over that idea. It’s an important part of any organization’s marketing efforts, and now is the moment to develop your Pinterest marketing strategy.
How Personal and Business Pinterest Accounts are Different
Terms of Service
From the outside looking in, business and personal accounts don’t appear to differ. The important part to know is that Pinterest has revised its original personal account terms of service (TOS) and has created a second one specifically for businesses. And the TOS clearly states that if you are using Pinterest for business purposes, you must have a business account.
Were you a marketing major in college? Chances are, if you’re an entrepreneur these days, you haven’t studied marketing formally – you’ve learned it all on the fly. Responding to the need to teach people how to use Pinterest in ways that add value, Pinterest has provided business-oriented marketing education. You can click over to the business section of Pinterest and find a set of marketing how-to’s and case studies of businesses using Pinterest very successfully. It’s definitely worth checking out!
Back in the day (isn’t it fun how fast social media changes?), it was a bit tricky to put your business name on Pinterest – you had to somehow use the First/Last Name fields in a way to arrange your business name and hope it turned out just right. Now, the field for your business name is just a single field – so you can type in your business name on Pinterest normally and it will look just right.
Learn What’s New
Pinterest has committed to developing new features specifically geared toward business users of its services. Those who have business Pinterest accounts will be first to know about the new features and learn how to use them to market their businesses.
As you can see, there are a number of benefits to having a Pinterest business account. Have you converted your account yet or set up your new account? I’d love to hear – leave me a note below!