By now, you've probably heard about Pinterest, the hot new social media program. With a new program comes questions as many small businesses are wondering if they'll be able to find success on Pinterest to help them expand the reach of their brand.
When you think about the number of people on Pinterest, the amount of time spent on Pinterest (which is more overall minutes then Facebook!) and the target audience that Pinterest reaches, it can only add up to a successful social media story.
What really makes a successful social media campaign?
When you look at all the social media information out there, we’ve learned your marketing plan should include the Three C’s: content, community and connections (or engagement but that doesn’t really start with a C so we’ll use my word). Based on these three factors, let’s take a look at these businesses who aren’t just using Pinterest in their social media mix but seeing substantial growth leading to potential sales.
Content: Visit Bucks County
Visit Bucks County is the official tourism marketing arm for Bucks County, Pa. They signed on to Pinterest in January with one goal in mind – show new visitors everything Bucks County had to offer, hoping to affect the travel planners in the family. In most homes, the vacation decisions are made by the female head of the house and what better way to reach them then to set up shop in one of the top social media programs for women.
When you take a look at the content they posted, you can see the dedicated boards showing where to go and what to do on your vacation to Bucks County. They were one of the first tourism organization to launch a Pinterest contest where they partnered with local attractions and businesses to create Bucks County prize packages. Pinterest users were asked to repin the different prize packages they wanted to win and share these items on their boards. The contest kicked their followers into high gear and the contest pinboard generated more than 400 followers and nearly 1,000 repins.
Another promotion Bucks County ran was to promote a press release featuring the Top 12 Reasons to Visit Bucks County. They then created a pinboard specifically to highlight the top 12 reasons and directed everyone interested in learning more about their tourist destination to the pinboard. Their increase in followers has grown to 2,500 fans in just three months. While that number may not initially seem like a lot, just ask yourself …. where can your company can find 2,500 targeted fans for your business without spending a dime?
PediaStaff is a staffing firm that specializes in recruitment and staffing for pediatric therapists. PediaStaff signed on to Pinterest in August 2011 and currently has almost 24,000 followers. Quite a few of their 130 boards have even more followers and Pinterest has now become their biggest source of traffic to their web site, driving three times more traffic then Facebook does.
PediaStaff had always focused on reaching the specialized community of pediatric therapists and have used other social media programs like Linkedin, blogging and Twitter to reach out to potential recruits. Now Pinterest has become their number one source to develop these online relationships with pediatric therapists and the companies looking to hire them. One of their top boards called the announcement board includes resource information about PediaStaff, instructions on how followers can submit content ideas and suggestions to encourage pinners where to connect with them so they can receive other announcements.
PediaStaff found a way to create the ever-important conversation within their Pinterest community. They setup dedicated discussion boards for the different types of pediatric therapists and they posted pins or discussion ideas to inspire the therapists to share their experiences. To keep the community conversation going, PediaStaff setup a discussion starter board where followers can post new convesration ideas which then get converted into dedicated pins within the discussion boards.
After only six months of being on the program, Pinterest was sending PediaStaff more web traffic then their Facebook fan page. From their creative uses of engaging with their community, Pinterest has helped PediaStaff develop an online reputation as a resource for pediatric therapists.
Connections: Kate and thesmallthingsblog
Meet Kate. She’s a hairstylist, jewelry maker and all around crafty kinda person from NC. Kate writes a blog called thesmallthingsblog where she shares her crafting tips and hairstyle tricks. Like every blog, she was developing her connections through family and friends. Building her community was going slow until Kate discovered Pinterest. What started as a thought to pin an image of a hairstyle designed by Kate that directed Pinterest users to her blog to watch the tutorial video, instantly turned into 100,000 page views on her blog site.
After that day, Kate From TheSmallThingsBlog Pinterest boards has taken her business to the next level. Due to her success on Pinterest, Kate gained 16,000 blog subscribers and over 30,000 Pinterest followers. Kate isn’t just seeing the growth on Pinterest. Last year she started working with her first sponsor for her blog and due to the many hairstyle pins, she’s generating interest for private hairstyling clients.
So what have learned here today? Not all social media platforms are for every business but if you’re company has visual content, looking to communicate with potential customers by building a community and want to offer your target market more unique ways to connect and engage with your brand, then my friends … it looks like a Pinterest campaign could be in your future.