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What's Hot in Small Business – Chris Crum

What's Hot in Small Business – Chris Crum
Chris Crum has been a featured writer with the WebProNews.com team and the iEntry Network of B2B Publications since 2003. Chris writes for Small Business Resources about social media, search, and what’s new for small business. Hundreds of publications link to Chris’ articles including the Wall Street Journal, USA Today, LA Times and the New York Times.

Pinterest Creating New Opportunities for Businesses

Pinterest Creating New Opportunities for Businesses

Pinterest has spent the last couple years immensely building its user base. Now it’s really starting to focus on what it can do to help businesses get more out of the visual social network.

The two big things businesses should be paying attention to are Pinterest’s new ad platform, Promoted Pins, and the site’s emerging search features.

Pinterest has been moving closer and closer to becoming a major search tool with features like Guided Search, and an advanced recipe search feature, which could and likely will be extended to other verticals. Guided Search is designed to help people find good ideas for things like where to plan vacations, what to have for dinner, etc. It lets users explore ideas for types of things they want. The other recently launched search experience lets users search for ingredients (like whatever is in their refrigerator) to find collections of relevant recipes. Again, this type of thing is expected to expand to other verticals.

The point is, Pinterest is focused on search, and that alone presents opportunities for businesses who want to be found in users’ searches. In fact, Pinterest recently raised a new $200 million round of funding, which the company said it would use to help it realize its “vision of solving discovery and helping everyone find things they’ll love.”

Organic search on Pinterest is something businesses should be considering right now. It’s going to mean incorporating interesting graphics into your efforts, as that is a big part of what Pinterest is all about, but it will also help if you can provide something that people are specifically looking for.

Search also happens to be a big part of the paid side of things. The company recently introduced its Promoted Pins feature. These sponsored pins appear on search results as well as category pages.

Last month, Pinterest began beta testing do-it-yourself Promoted Pins, opening up the feature to businesses of any size, who wish to promote their pins. They’re available on a cost-per-click basis through ads.pinterest.com.

Pinterest is only testing them with a handful of businesses at first, but we can expect an announcement in the near future about the feature being widely available.

Pinterest also revamped its analytics offering so businesses can see what people are pinning from their sites, as well as how pins from their profiles are performing. This is also in a slow roll-out process.

Pinterest recently announced that it was working with a small group of marketing tech companies to improve analytics offerings from third party providers, who are able to provide additional insights not available in Pinterest’s own offering. Partners include Salesforce, Hootsuite, Spredfast, Percolate, Piqora, Curalate, and Tailwind. They get access to data through Pinterest’s Business Insights API.

If you’re not convinced that Pinterest is worth your time, you might be interested to know that it’s second only to Facebook in driving social media traffic referrals (according to Shareaholic).

There are some major opportunities for businesses in Pinterest for those willing to put the effort into taking advantage, and really things are just getting started.


 

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