By Cheli Rosa
Pinterest is a social media platform that allows people to look for ideas, deals or information on just about any topic in the world, including self-storage. A simple search will produce a multitude of “pins” you can re-pin to your account boards and reference later by simply logging into the website. Others can also access your pins, so it makes idea-sharing easy and fun. The site is very visual, with most posts containing images or videos.
Until recently, Pinterest was the new kid on the social media block; however, that’s changing. The site now has more than 100 million users, 85 percent of which are women, according to social media management website socialdraft.com. This is a highly desired demographic for self-storage operators. A recent blog by The Parham Group, a storage developer and operator, states women make up an estimated 84 percent of industry customers. Judging by that fact alone, your target audience is ready and waiting on Pinterest!
What Can It Do for You?
Pinterest is so much more than a place for posting recipes and craft projects. It’s a destination to share ideas about pretty much any interest you can imagine. Home décor, crafts, do-it-yourself projects, holidays and events are the most popular topics women pin, and there’s so much within those areas that relate to self-storage. Popular posts by active storage operators include storage-organization tips, facility features, property events, charity and community involvement, moving guides, and even non-storage topics that will generate interest.
This all sounds like fun, but how does it help your storage business make money? The most valuable thing about posting a pin on Pinterest is it nearly always contains a link back to your website. The search engine optimization value alone makes it worthwhile. “Social Marketing Writing” (SMW), an online magazine that publishes social media tips, reports that while a Facebook post reaches half of its total value within 90 minutes, a Pinterest pin doesn’t reach that point until three and a half months. That means each pin will reach significantly more people than any Facebook post!
Another great opportunity is to use Promoted Pins, which drives even more traffic to your website. This cost-effective tool is available to users with business accounts, allowing them to promote their best pins to a specific audience and track the results. Let’s take a look at how it works and why your storage business will benefit.
How It Works
We’ve already established that Pinterest is home to a large target audience for self-storage—women. Additionally, 47 percent of users report making a purchase due to a pin. A few years ago, the major downfall of using Pinterest for business would have been the lack of location targeting on the website. Users aren’t joined by networks as they are on Facebook. However, Pinterest has filled that void with the introduction of Promoted Pins.
This is the hottest new social media advertising tool around. It’s a series of shared ideas that are promoted on the website feed based on a user’s preferences or recently pinned items. They blend seamlessly with non-promoted pins, and even allow businesses to target potential customers based on age, gender, geography, interests, etc.
Additionally, the pins are query-based, which means an ad will be matched with user interests based on what they’ve searched. Have you ever wondered how Facebook knows you were shopping for shoes earlier in the day? Business Facebook users have targeting ads to reach people with interests in shoes. You can now do this on Pinterest.
The greatest thing about Promoted Pins is it’s affordable. Each campaign can have a specified budget and duration. Plus, you only pay for clicks on your original promoted pin. So if someone re-pins your promoted pin, and then another user clicks on the re-pin from that person, you don’t pay for the click.
Creating Your Pin
Your goal when you pin something is to get the post re-pinned. First, select the pins you’d like to promote. They should be ones that have already been added to boards on your profile. Your pins should include imagery but can’t include any call-to-action, promotion, sale or pricing. Remember to add keywords. SMW reports the 10 most re-pinned words on Pinterest are bake, bottle, cake, cheese, chicken, cut, minutes, mix, recipe and step. Can you fit any of these keywords into your post?
Here are some more statistics from SMW you should know:
- Images with 10 percent empty background space get re-pinned two to four times more than images with 40 percent empty background.
- Images containing faces get re-pinned 25 percent less than those that don’t.
Pinterest has shared data about the types of posts that are popular on specific days, so we know Saturdays are the best time to post. This information makes your decisions about when and what to post incredibly easy. Plus, Pinterest business pages also include easy-to-use analytics that allow you to quickly determine the return on your investment.
If you’re not sure how to get started on Pinterest, simply set up a business page and begin searching for posts about self-storage. You can re-pin posts made by others in your industry and, voila! You’re now an active Pinterest user. The account setup is far easier than some of the other social media platforms, plus Pinterest is enjoyable to use. Now you can use it to have fun and grow your business.
Cheli Rosa is director of marketing for StorageStuff.Bid, which provides online storage-auction services. She’s a former high school teacher turned storage professional turned auctioneer. She’s worked in all areas of self-storage. Her constant desire for additional knowledge led her to immerse herself in the lien-foreclosure process. For more information, call 877.758.4243; visit www.storagestuff.bid.