Small Businesses See Sales Boost from Pinterest

Mar 5, 2012

Pinterest, the exploding social network built around “virtual scrapbooking,” has proved to be a valuable resource to small businesses in need of exposure, according to CNBC. The image-centric site is a boon to businesses whose products are already visually appealing, such as art studios, craft makers, and fashion designers. But all kinds of organizations are successfully harnessing the power of Pinterest to market their services and wares, according to CNBC:

Users might assemble ideas for their home renovation plans on one board, and showcase their favorite books or charities on others…The result is an electronic word-of-mouth network that can lead to snowballing attention for a workout regimen, barbecue techniques, or a manufacturer`s product.

Since joining Pinterest, fine art photographer Carl Christensen has seen a significant rise in his online sales, now accounting for 50% of his total revenue. By posting images of his prints, Christensen is able expose his work to thousands of people who would not otherwise see it. Some like his work so much that they click through to his website to purchase the real thing.

For brands looking to cash in on the virtual market, they should "do as the Romans do." Become an active player on Pinterest by engaging with the community through repins. Repins will help build a network of followers for brands and diversify the offerings for a stronger network. For most small businesses, CNBC warns that it is not enough to post photos of their products:

Small marketers must generate interest in their work by participating in Pinterest communities, rather than simply promoting their products. For example, business owners can create pinboards highlighting the ideas of others whose taste they share.

Though acclimating to the new site may be daunting for some, the potential business opportunity is well worth the investment. According to Experian Hitwise, Pinterest—which is run by a mere 20 employees—received more than 100 million visits in the month of February and is the third most popular social networking site in the U.S., behind Facebook and Twitter.

Click here to learn more about how small businesses are reaping the benefits of Pinterest’s growing popularity. 

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