Retailers: How Do You Show Your Stuff Without Being Salesy On Social Media?
When it comes to buying habits on the web, search still trumps social because prospective buyers are already searching (with their credit cards ready) for the product or service they want or need. It is like make a quicl run into the grocery store to grab that one loaf of bread and gallon of milk that you need. That is why they call Google “the search engine of intent.”
But Social Networking has proven itself to be the modern day extension of word of mouth advertising. How many times do we ask our friends, “who do you know that…” or “where did you buy that…” to get the referral information we need to make a buying decision? Social is fast becoming the new search when it comes to the discovery and driving of purchase desire, in a way that traditional advertising will never again be able to match. And advertising budgets are following this trend.
So how do you go about getting your wares in front of your target audience?
This week, Mashable’s Lauren Indvik explored the hot surge of interest in Pinterest – the new social sharing network where users collect and “pin” the stuff they like on the web. Pinterest is generating a lot of buzz because it is already referring more traffic for online retailers than Google+.
So what does Pinterest mean for you and your business?
- Pinterest is like a digital cork board with pictures of all the stuff you want and admire
- 58% of all Pinterest traffic is coming from women (a great buying demographic for many retailers)
- Pinterest is becoming a significant source of traffic for many online retailers
So what do small business owners need to know about Pinterest?
If you are a small business owner, you don’t have extra time in your day to play around on all the social channels out there – unless they prove to drive sales right to your bottom line. Pinterest can become a useful channel when you are able to specifically describe your target market – what they want and what they are interested in, or want to know more about. Consider these examples:
Just like a blog (but with a lot less time) you could create a Pinterest account around a lifestyle: Perhaps you are a company that makes backyard barbeque, deck equipment, or awnings. You could create a Pinterest account to not only show off your best products, but show people using and enjoying their outdoor spaces. Because it is a digital pinboard, each image is clickable and can bring visitors to a page for more information (and to buy!).
One thing I have noticed in recent weeks is the rash of Pinterest followers who are signing up and “following” my account. Many of my friends from other social channels (such as Facebook) are coming over to check it out. Interestingly – a lot of them have not set up their own boards. They are looking for inspiration and something interesting. So this is a great chance to be early in the game with a Pinterest account that people are talking about and sharing.
Ultimately – what does this mean for you – the small business owner?
Social sharing and social commerce are coming on fast but are still less than half of the business that is being conveyed by search. Our recommendation is that you cover the basic blocking and tackling of search listings first – because if people going searching for you, your product or service and cannot find you – you might as well close your doors.
But if you’ve got your SEO underway, social sharing sites likes Pinterest can be a great way to put your best foot forward, without coming off as too “salesy” and ruining the party.
This article was written by Tobin Slaven – Partner and Creative Director at Dream Local Digital. Tobin is the former Co-Founder of Mindboom Media and Mobile Marketing of Maine, which merged with Dream Local Digital in 2012. In joining the Dream Team, Tobin will take on the role of Creative Director, Marketing Strategist, and Account Manager. He will also lead research and development of the best tools and strategies to serve the small business community. His own self-stated mission is to save Main Street – one small business at a time, with practical information about how social media and mobile technology is changing the rules of how we do business, and giving small business owners an unfair advantage over the national brands and big box store competition. You can follow Tobin on many of the social channels @tobinslaven