In just two years, Pinterest has amassed more than 10 million users. With a record like that, it’s a place where salons should consider developing a presence.
In the world of Pinterest, users “pin” videos and images to boards. It’s not hard to see why the virtual bookmarking site appeals to more women (97%) than men (3%). Browse the boards of some of your friends and you will find beautiful images, how-tos on life, organizing tips, travel pictures, and more. Its feel is more magazine than web. And it’s oh-so-easy to get started. Have a Twitter or Facebook account? You are halfway there.
Currently, Pinterest (www.pinterest.com) is by invitation only — from a current user or Pinterest. (Generally, it only takes about a day to get an invitation directly from the site.) Once you have scored an account, it is easy to fill in a few blanks on your profile and you will be ready to create your first board. Creating a pinboard is simple. First, click “add a board” from the top toolbar. Next, type in a catchy title, and choose a category. Finally, click “create” and, voila, you are ready to start pinning.
Want to pin something on the fly? There is a Pinterest iPhone app you can download to your phone. You will also find predesigned buttons to integrate with your websites and blogs, follow buttons, and pin-it buttons to add to your browser’s toolbar.
Aside from the obvious personal uses for Pinterest — collecting decorating ideas, travel destinations, or maybe even fashion inspiration — salons may find a treasure trove of eager publicity. Type in nails on the site and you will find it’s already a trending topic.
Why should you be active on Pinterest as a salon owner or nail professional? Easy, if you make your images and material easy to “pin,” it will quickly be propagated to boards where it will be in front of an exponential audience of potential clients. Gina Schreck, co-founder and digital immigration officer of SynapseConnecting and Synapse3Di points out that, “When you pin an item and it has a price on the item you will get 35% more of a chance of being repinned. This means people are there to buy. Pinterest also produces the same kind of referral traffic to a site as Twitter (in a very short period of time).”
Techs and stylists who want to develop a virtual portfolio can do so in just a few clicks of the mouse. Beauty is content people naturally want to share. Pinterest is unique in this “look book” quality. “People are 10% more likely to purchase products and services on Pinterest than the same products seen on Facebook. Pinterest is a very valuable source for driving traffic to your store and site. The best reason to be on Pinterest is it is free marketing,” says Schreck.
If you are having trouble filling your boards or creating interaction, consider crowdsourcing. Let your fans fill the void. Create a board such as “Where in the world is _____ Salon? Ask clients to post pictures of themselves enjoying their manicure or pedicure on vacation. The idea is to get clients to tell your story for you.
On the subject of story — effective pinboards evoke an emotional response. They tell the story of who we envy, who we want to be, or what we wish our lives were like. Photos should be high quality and tell a story. Gone is the blah, blah, blah of everyday life (unless you can portray it in a way that sticks). Magazine covers pull this off very well. We make a split second decision based on the cover. It either speaks to us or it doesn’t.
Tap into glamour or trending topics. Trending topics can include famous people who visit the salon, charity work, etc., but you will probably want to relegate it to its own board. For example, you could title a board “Look Who Stopped In” for celebrity sightings or “It’s All Good” for community involvement.
Schreck helps businesses use social media and engagement effectively. When asked about preventing copyright infringement, she points out that “Pinners” should always credit their original sources. “If you load a photo, you can put a watermark on the photo with a web address. Be sure to add the link back to your site since most people will not change a link; they will simply repin and share.”
This may well be the easiest and most intuitive site yet. So go ahead and hit up your nail buddies for an invite or go to Pinterest and request one. It’s easy to get lost in the fabulous images floating on the boards. Welcome to your newest addiction — it’s fat-free, sugar-free, eye candy with a whopping potential payload if you play it right.
> Do create relative pinboards, such as “Summer Pedicures” or “Holiday Nail Art” and upload photos you have the rights to.
> Do share the wealth and pin other professionals’ photos. This works especially well for helping salons in other areas build business.
> Do be an active user and periodically comment on other users’ content.
> Do create public pinboards and ask people to contribute (crowdsourcing).
> Do keep it professional.
> Do pin items that may be of use to your target audience. Cooking, travel, and beauty are common popular themes.
> Do ask your readers to pin images and videos that are helpful.
> Do keep an eye out for rogue pinning and promptly and politely ask the poster to add your website information so that you may receive credit and traffic to your site. Most will oblige and don’t intentionally violate copyright.
> Don’t appropriate material you don’t have the right to use or that isn’t clearly intended for Pinterest. Just because it’s on the web doesn’t mean it’s in the public domain.
> Don’t use the site as your own personal soapbox or the “me, me, me only” channel of self-promotion.
> Don’t forget to include “pin” buttons on your website and blogs. Use it anywhere you would other social networking plugins.
> Don’t pin anything that might be offensive to groups of people.
> Don’t barge into the community. Ease into it and get a feel for the culture.
> Don’t stress over the thought of willy-nilly pinning of your material you would not want pinned. Pinterest offers script your IT person can embed to prevent pinning of certain items.
NAILS has added the “pin-it” button to Nails Art Gallery (nailartgallery.nailsmag.com) so you can automatically pin any photos you’ve uploaded to your profile there. Likewise, you can create a board called “Other Artists’ Nail Art” to pin inspirational designs you’d like to try.
You can find NAILS on Pinterest at www.pinterest.com/nailsmagazine.