Business + Marketing

Why Pinterest Could Be Your Best Promotional Tool

January 10, 2020

By Carrie Swails

© Carrie Swails Photography

Creating high-quality visual content can be time-consuming and expensive for other businesses, but not for photographers. We’re in the business of creating high-quality visual content. While many other businesses are investing in a strong visual marketing strategy, we’re learning how to utilize our visual content to the best of our abilities.

As photographers, we’re looking at any platform that allows us to showcase our best photographs and connect with potential clients. Facebook and Instagram are arguably two of the most popular platforms for photographers. However, it’s Pinterest that is the least utilized by photographers and business owners alike.

Pinterest’s potential is packed with compelling reasons for you to invest your time and effort on its platform.

1. Significantly Fewer Businesses Use Pinterest

Perhaps the most compelling reason to invest time on Pinterest is that only 27 percent of other businesses that utilize social media for marketing are using this platform.

Ever heard a photographer mention how saturated the industry is? I know I’ve seen many posts online and conversations in person about standing out amid all the competition, especially when habits and visual trends are so cyclical in the photo industry.

A great way to start standing out more is to focus marketing efforts in places that others aren’t oversaturated. Reportedly, 90 percent of businesses are on Facebook and 59 percent are on Twitter. There’s a lot of room for other businesses to start using Pinterest, and since a smaller percentage are using it, there’s a lot of space for you to start standing out.

2. Pinterest Connects Users Directly to Content

Think about what your average Instagram user must do to get from their daily use to your website, where they can find what they need to hire you:

If you’re not already on their feed, they must see an image from someone else, perhaps read the hashtags and decide to click on one. They look through all those images and click one. Maybe they go back because they didn’t like that one after all. Eventually, they click one they like. It’s yours. They like it, go to your profile, decide to like you, and find the link in your profile. That link probably leads them to one of those services that displays all your most popular links, your website, latest blog post, pricing and more. They need to decide where to click to get to information they are looking for. The conversion from stumbling across your work to getting the information they want can be a bit of a bumpy road.

On Pinterest, potential clients can do a targeted search for something they want to know more about. They find a photo of yours pinned directly from your blog post. They see it, click it, then click the link to find out more and are taken to an entire blog post. On that blog post, they see similar images. Not only that, but they are exposed to how you tell stories. They can read what you write, and you can use your blog post to convert them to other areas of your website.

The conversion is much quicker. Instead of them stumbling across your work, they found exactly what they wanted and then, hopefully, fell in love with your work, style, how you write about your clients and how you tell stories visually. There are fewer decisions for users to make along the way as they’re getting converted from a user to a buyer of your services.

Since there are fewer decisions, there are fewer distractions. On other platforms, they may see other ads, other interesting articles or other interesting photos, even after clicking on your profile. Even if they decide to follow you, that follow is not the same as a direct inquiry for your services.

In my personal experience, pinning photos from my blog posts, where I’ve told my clients’ stories, converts best for me. When they are on my website, I control where they go, what they see and the exact information they need to become a customer of mine. My own inquiry and booking statistics show that nearly half of my clients find me exactly like this.

I don’t have to worry about Instagram algorithms or how many likes a photo has on social media. Those stats cease to matter. Pinterest makes direct connections to my business a very simple and easy conversion for its users.

3. A Pin’s Life Expectancy is 55 Times More Effective Than an Instagram Post

“Life expectancy” is not a term we talk about often enough when discussing social media marketing. Each tweet, gram, snap, post, pin and video have a limited amount of time when it will show up on a user’s feed for interaction. After that, it’s gone, and new content will replace it.

A tweet has a lifespan of 17 minutes on Twitter. A Facebook post’s lifespan is about five hours. A snap lasts one day on Snapchat. An Instagram post’s impact is about two days. A single pin has a life expectancy of 110 days on Pinterest.

The Social Media Cheat Sheet to Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest

Just imagine that you take your favorite photo from a wedding or shoot and post it on Pinterest, linking it back to its companion blog post. For the next three or four months, that photo will be pinned and clicked, linking directly back to your website and converting those clicks into inquiries. If you post that same photo on Instagram, for the next two days you have likes and comments, potentially an inquiry, but after that, it’s over, and you need to generate new content right away.

A snapshot of my Pinterest page, which kept my business humming when I found myself with less time on my hands to market.

The lifespan of a pin on Pinterest is what has kept my business going when I got too busy to keep up with Instagram or Facebook. I had a baby this year, and I know the only reason I’m still booking clients is because of pins I have on Pinterest.

4. Pinterest is 4x More Effective at Converting Sales

Not only does Pinterest limit the number of steps from a user discovering your content to converting, but it’s also four times more effective at generating sales of all kinds. When it comes to social media, Pinterest basically specializes in referrals.

It generates 33 percent more referral traffic than Facebook, Snapchat or Twitter to sites where users can buy something. Approximately two-thirds of its billions of pins represent products and brands. More than half of Pinterest users log in specifically to find products. Best of all? 83 percent of its female users use Pinterest to plan “life moments.” Think things like weddings, babies or new homes. Because of this, it makes it one of the best platforms to connect with your most interested and engaged audiences.

How to Start Engaging on Pinterest Right Now

Now that you are ready to take that Pinterest account of yours to the next level, it’s time to start thinking about where to start. The best place to begin is with strategic blogging. Blogging and Pinterest go together like peanut butter and jelly. They are so intuitively connected that one should never happen without the other.

Start out by blogging your photo sessions and weddings. Make sure that when you blog, you aren’t just posting photos; post the story or inspiration behind that session, too. Those words will be great for pulling into the description area of pins and connecting with users when they discover you. Social media is all about building relationships, after all.

Once you blog, simply pin photos directly from your blog to your Pinterest account. From there, other users will repin your content and you’ll be able to take advantage of that 110-day life expectancy!

Carrie Swails is a feminist and a Lord of the Rings-loving wedding photographer serving Colorado and the world. Her dream is to be taken to New Zealand for a wedding at the Hobbiton Movie Set so she can fulfill all her nerdy offbeat wedding dreams.