Pin or Pass? Should Auctiva Jump on the Pinterest Bandwagon?

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If you’re like me, you’ve been reading a lot about the latest and greatest social media darling, Pinterest.

It’s all about eye candy, ideas and (in the U.S., at least) women pinning their favorite things from easy how-to projects and recipes to must-have jewelry and fashion finds. But these aren’t just any women! According to the latest stats I found at Internet Marketing Inc., these women are a prime target market for many companies.

These women have no problem “pinning” and telling the world about how much they love a wide variety of products, and the kicker: Their household incomes are high. Fifty-seven percent of Pinterest users have a household income of $50,000+ (23 percent of these make $75,000+), according to Internet Marketing Inc.

Can you just hear all the businesses rushing to get their products in front of these women who are spending an average of one hour and 17 minutes staring at their Pinterest accounts each month?  Lots of businesses have jumped on “board” (how I love Pinterest puns), and many are doing a great job getting their products in front of lots of consumers and even pinned on other people’s boards so they can share those products with their friends and followers.

It seems many companies know the boundaries of Pinterest and that if you come at the Pinterest community with all your “sales guns” blazing, shouting “Buy this! On sale now!”, etc, you’re going to alienate your followers faster than a pin about how to reuse tartar sauce. Gross! (Speaking of gross, have you seen the pin of the literal rat tail haircut? That one is frightening)!

At Auctiva, we’re considering the possibility of starting our own Pinterest account and featuring boards that could focus on our company culture, featured sellers—with a link to their online store or listings—and maybe even have a board for all those snazzy e-commerce infographics I’ve been bookmarking for weeks. I love infographics. They’re so informative and pretty to look at, all at the same time, just like Pinterest. I’m sensing a trend.

But I have to say, as I’ve been digging around for businesses that have done it right, I have come across some truly awful uses for Pinterest. For example, I’ve seen company pin boards that feature yearbook-style head shots of employees. I’m not really sure why I should care about Ned from accounting unless he had on a cool shirt, a neat pair of glasses or is holding a trendy French bulldog.

I have a feeling that one’s not going to get many re-pins—unless, perhaps, Ned’s wife or mom are on Pinterest.

Another trend I’ve noticed is some businesses will forego opening business accounts on Pinterest all together, but encourage their users to Pin photos of how they use their products. They also prominently feature the Pin It button on their home page or next to their items for sale to help remind shoppers to share products they like, even if they aren’t planning on buying it that day. This is a strategy that I can see working for a lot of e-commerce merchants.

If you are an Auctiva Commerce user, it’s easy to add this button to your storefront, too. Simply go to Pinterest and enter your URL info and description, grab the HTML code from Pinterest, then use Auctiva Commerce’s HTML widget and place the Pin It button wherever you’d like within your site. You can even get a Pin It icon that shows a counter next to it of how many times that particular product has been pinned—reminding everyone just how popular and hip your products are.

What are your thoughts on Pinterest?  Would you follow an Auctiva Pinterest account? Do you use Pinterest for your e-commerce business? Maybe you feel Pinterest is better without all those businesses cluttering up the place. I’d love to hear your take on it in the comments below.

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About the author

Jenny Fuller

Jenny Fuller, Auctiva’s marketing writer, loves to buy and sell online. As a former consignor, Jenny has worked alongside penny-wise moms and eBayers and knows how to wheel and deal. She has a media arts degree from Chico State and despite never fulfilling her dream of becoming a TV weather girl, she’s happy to be part of the Auctiva team.

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