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What is Pinterest?

Pinterest was last year’s breakout social media platform. To make it simple, think of Pinterest as a visual pinboard that you would use to save ideas.

For example, a restaurant may be looking to redesign their look. Wouldn’t it be great if there was a website that an operator could visit and quickly glance over thousands of restaurant themes, layouts and designs? Pinterest offers this ability and more. But let’s not get into the details of the platform, let’s talk basics.

What is Pinterest?
Pinterest is a photo-sharing website allowing users to create various themed pinboards. Users can borrow other pins for inspiration, called “re-pinning,” or they can post and create their own pinned images.

Who uses Pinterest?
Pinterest currently has over 104 million users and eighty percent of users in the United States are female. Users tend to live in the Midwestern states and 50% of them have children.

What type of information is on Pinterest?
Placing information on Pinterest is called “pinning.” The top pins in the United States include pins on crafts, fitness, recipes and interior/fashion design. Recipes, nutrition and anything related to food continue to be extremely popular on the Pinterest platform.

How can a distributor use Pinterest?
A distributor can communicate through Pinterest by sharing various pinboards to different audiences. Consider a board for your operators in the K-12 segment. Do you have any information you can share regarding school nutrition that would be valuable?

Are your operators interested in modifying their restaurant with new, creative ideas? Pin examples of unique restaurants marketing concepts, various menu layouts, different lighting options or even recipes.

Consider posting local information for those patrons in your community. Good PR is always beneficial and people like to see what occurs at the various businesses located in their community. 

How can my operator customers use Pinterest?
Operators, particularly restaurant owners, can use Pinterest to highlight their various dishes, events occurring at their restaurant and fun behind the scenes images. Some restaurants have utilized Pinterest to host contests.

Why should anyone look into using Pinterest?
Pinterest is the third most popular social networking site regarding hits per week and it also has an extremely high referral rate. Meaning that users who click on a post from a business are very likely that they will visit that business’s website through the Pinterest image; thus a high referral rate. Actually, Pinterest’s referral rate is higher than the YouTube, LinkedIn and the Google+ referral rate combined!

People are visual, sharing images from Pinterest through existing Facebook, Twitter or other social platforms is a great way to encourage interaction and customer loyalty to your business or your customer’s business.

Check out these great Pinterest examples:
Whole Foods
Notice how Whole Foods does not focus on pinning picture of their products, but instead pins pictures that represent the type of person who shops at their locations.

Mooo Restaurant
If you have a great restaurant space, show it off! See how Mooo Restaurant showcases their space and atmosphere through images. You can do this too.

Social media seems to be constantly changing but one thing is for certain, people are drawn to images and love to share information online. If you are interested in utilizing Pinterest and have some questions regarding the platform or best practices, please feel free to reach out to Tegan Gullikson, UniPro’s Manager of Digital Marketing, at gullikson@uniprofoodservice.com.

Source: “Pinterestingly Enough.” Infographic. Dec 2012. www.buzzreferrals.com