This is my third post about Pinterest on Astoria Social Media.
The first asked, Hey, Astoria small business owners, do you think creating a Pinterest presence is worth your time and effort? The second suggested that it probably is, provided you pin smart and have a strategy.
This time, I’m going to stop asking and suggesting, and just show you someone who is not just present on Pinterest, but seriously kicking some Pinterest butt (if a person could be said to be doing that.)
WHO: Mackenzi Farquer, owner of SITE (35-11 34 Ave)
PINTEREST LOCATION: http://pinterest.com/mackenzi/
NUMBER OF FOLLOWERS/FOLLOWING: 1332/133
NUMBER OF BOARDS/PINS: 51/1613
ON PINTEREST: “When people look at your boards, they get insights into your business.”
“Wow. That’s an impressive number of followers,” you might be saying (or perhaps you just fainted). In fact, it is a large number—much higher than most local businesses have. But there’s a caveat here: SITE is an online business as well as a bricks-and-mortar one; it makes sense for Mackenzi to spend more time on Pinterest than you might. She’s reaching out to a broad, far-flung contingent of pinners who could conceivably become online customers.
She also has more boards than you might need, but some of them are used for “off-label” purposes. Some boards are for friends and family, for sharing party planning ideas for baby showers and wedding receptions. Others are for suggesting items for her interior design clients. (Sharing and viewing photos on Pinterest = MUCH easier than e-mailing photos.) Or she might pin an item to see what kind of interest it generates, and whether it might work well for SITE.
An important thing to remember when you’re looking at Mackenzi’s boards is this: The things you see are not all her “stuff.” (In other words, the boards are not an online catalog of SITE items.) “You don’t want to pin only your own items,” says Mackenzi. “You want to connect with your community.”
As with all social media, Mackenzi’s theory on Pinterest is this: “If you’re not doing it, you’re doing it wrong.” Take advantage of the fact that Pinterest is free and offers a glimpse into what you and your business are about in a completely different way than Twitter or even Facebook can. Start with just a few boards with themes related to your business, and remember, “The more you use it, the better you get.”
TOP MACKENZI TIP TO PINNING YOUR OWN ITEMS: “When you’re uploading your own photos to Pinterest, remember to give each photo you upload a name.” “$10 Pantone Toothbrush Set” is more descriptive than “IMG_2135.”
ASTORIA SOCIAL MEDIA notes:
Congratulations to Mackenzi on her most recent contribution to Retail Minded Magazine. The article, “What is Pinterest and How Does It Benefit Retailers?” is a great primer and hands-on how-to for beginners. Check it out (order info is in the photo caption, below) or get in touch with her directly to find out more about her Social Media consulting services: email@example.com; 718.626.6030.
Here’s the (long-delayed) follow-up to a post I did about Pinterest back in May. Is it worth your time? We have a definite YES from Julian Lesser, founder, ed-in-chief and publisher of BORO Magazine, who wrote:
“It should be used by all business, big and small. It’s a virtual gallery. Users can search visually on it forever and as they search, they discover.”
BORO Magazine itself isn’t on Pinterest, but its lush photography is irresistible to pinners, who have snagged great images of dishes from local restaurants, including William Hallet, Burger Club, and Junko Sushi on Broadway.
Still, it has to be acknowledged, not many Astoria shops and restaurants have their own “virtual galleries.” One search went as follows: Pinterest search bar: Astoria NY. Click: People. And here they are, our friends and neighbors. (And might I add, a good-looking group they are.) Of this group, I only found nine businesses. (There are owners out there that have their business listed under their own names; but the ones below show up when you are looking specifically for Astoria, NY people.)
Astoria PAC and Cream Delight Cupcakery get honorable mentions for being on Pinterest, but it looks like they’re still planning their pins. (No pins yet.)
Lyons Mortgage Services: In an interesting move, they have no pictures; just videos.
Seamless Creative: Gorgeous design boards, and a whopping 54,446 followers.
Build It Green! NYC looks even better than when I looked a few weeks ago, so someone’s doing a great job. They have four boards and draw from a variety of sources to present a picture of what’s possible when you recycle.
I never heard of the White Roof Project prior to this search, but they’re based in Astoria and have a fascinating mission.
Berricle Sterling Silver Jewelry (on Steinway Street) has a healthy number of followers and is heaven to look at it you like pretty, sparkly things.
Kitchen Next Door doesn’t have many images, but provide a link to their Facebook page, which features some impressive looking baked goods.
And last but not least, Queens Library Steinway. They have a robust Pinterest presence, with well-thought out boards that include Staff Picks (for several categories), books that have been made into movies, and “Readalike” boards. (If you liked 50 Shades of Grey and Hunger Games, you’re in luck; there are more out there like them!)
Here’s another slice of my ASM: Everything Astoria! board on Pinterest, below. I would love to add a pin from your business, so if I missed you this time, please let me know. In the meantime, if you’re not on Pinterest, please give it some more consideration. It’s wonderful free publicity; setting it up is simple, free, and fast; and it doesn’t take up too much time to maintain. Just remember to set a timer to avoid losing yourself in the infamous Pinterest fantasy fog.
Does it make sense for a small local business owner to spend time on Pinterest?
With more than 20 million users pinning and re-pinning and linking like crazy, you’d think big-league marketers would need no nudge to join the Pinterest party. But it seems that some of them still do, and if Drew Neisser’s MarketingDaily piece in MediaPost doesn’t interest them, I don’t know what would:
“[T]he photo-sharing phenom now refers more traffic to other sites than LinkedIn, YouTube and Google+ combined. This means that by adding more photos to their Web site and blogs, and then “pinning” them on Pinterest, which automatically creates a link back to the images’ origin, marketers can count on more visitors dropping by without paying for the privilege.”
The question is, does it make sense YOUR business to be on Pinterest? In other words, is it worth the time and effort to create nice boards of your own when only a teeny-tiny portion of Pinterest’s millions will walk into your store?
My gut feeling is that there’s very little return on your investment of time in terms of people “discovering” you and dropping by. That said, it is a free virtual billboard. As such, it can be used to create a really nice visual representation of what you and your business are all about—and it’s in a layout that 20 million people like to look at.
• Another positive to pin to the “pro” column, according to MediaPost: “[N]ow that Pinterest is encouraging brands to pin their own images (for copyright reasons among others), marketers can feel free to share every image they have on relevant “boards.”
Question: Are you on Pinterest, primarily for your business?
If yes, how much time do you spend on it, and do you feel like it drums up any local interest you wouldn’t have gotten any other way? What are the benefits?
If not, what are your reasons?
Look for a follow-up to this post sometime next week.