By Melissa Caceres, Sun-Sentinel 7:58 p.m. EDT, June 13, 2012
For Karen Reinstatler, pinning is the new window shopping.
The owner of the Pompano Beach boutique, Pink Slip Threads, a women’s clothing store that also sells gift items, says the newest social media site Pinterest.com has given her customers the opportunity to see her store without having to ever set foot in it.
“It’s so visual,” said Reinstatler. “I can post pictures, and it can automatically link them to my website.”
Pinterest, launched in March 2010, allows users to share images they like and pin them up on virtual boards. People use it like a scrapbook or collage to collect pictures of items, places, people and anything that catches the eye.
Many South Florida companies are tapping into the online site to connect with their clientele. “It’s a resource tool that has a reach to thousands of people,” said Gina Milani, who owns Sweet G’s Cupcakes with her husband in Fort Lauderdale. Milani says Pinterest allows her to showcase the variety of cupcakes they offer while researching seasonal trends that come up among clients. “It’s nice to see other’s ideas and notice how certain items get ‘repinned,’ ” she said. With wedding planning, Shelley Cameron, the owner of Better Half Weddings in Deerfield Beach, uses the site to interact with her clients by having them create their own boards to pin images of flower arrangements, dresses and other wedding details.
Through pinning, Cameron finds out the taste and vision that her brides have for their big day. “It’s convenient to have everything there,” said Cameron, “Instead of exchanging e-mails with our ideas, we pin photos on boards. It’s also eco-friendly since we don’t have to print anything.” Maria Harrison, a partner at a marketing company called Bullseye Strategy, said that Pinterest is a growing medium that businesses are tapping into. “What’s exciting about Pinterest is that they’ve hit 10 million users faster than any other site in the U.S.,” said Harrison. “They’re generating more referral traffic to websites than Google+, YouTube and LinkedIn combined.” During the South Florida Interactive Marketing Association’s meeting in May, Harrison made a presentation called “Pinning for Profit,” where she explained how to create a Pinterest business strategy and the best practices to develop growth.
She suggests using the site to create industry-specific boards, track what’s trending and become familiar with the free online statistics service, Google Analytics, to find out the real value of Pinterest to a company. “To find an unpaid channel [like Pinterest] for businesses to develop themselves is unheard of,” Harrison said. The account of The Pelican Grand Beach Resort has boards with pictures of their Fort Lauderdale location while also offering images of travel tips, wedding ideas and online contests with the hotel. “[Pinterest] is all about inspiration, more than anything,” said Nicole Braverman, social media manager at the Pelican Grand. “It helps paint a picture for our customers of what we have to offer them.” Even though the site’s current users are about 70 percent female, Pinterest is continuing to grow. Early this year, it became the third most popular social network, behind Facebook and Twitter, according to a report by Experian Marketing Services.
“Everything can be a fad,” said Andy Royston, creative partner for Tropical Sun Design, which advises and helps other companies manage their social media sites, including Pinterest. “But it’s nice for a business to be on the crest of the latest wave.”
For additional information on Bullseye’s unique interactive marketing and business development services, go to www.bullseyestrategy.comor call 954.591.8999.