Is Pinterest Right For Your Bike Shop

Harvest PinterestIf you monitor trends in social media, you’ve already heard the buzz about Pinterest. Pinterest has quickly risen to become the third largest social media network behind Facebook and Twitter, referring more web traffic than Google+.

So what is it?

Like all social media sites, it’s about sharing — but with a twist. Users create “boards” — think virtual cork boards — and post (or “pin,” in Pinterest lingo) images and stories from the internet that appeal to them.

Each board is categorized, so fellow users can search by categories. If you have a board named “bikes” and it’s categorized in “Health and Fitness,” the contents of your board can be viewed by those searching for “Health and Fitness.”

Once users find your boards, they can re-pin anything on them. Your original pin can be seen by that user’s followers. And they can re-pin it over and over and over.

Take a look again at the demographic information: Women ages 20 to 50 are responsible for over 60 percent of Pinterest’s user base. That segment of the population is the holy grail for retailers — and they’re the ones using Pinterest the most.

But, much like Facebook or Twitter, joining Pinterest isn’t about setting up an account and calling it a presence. And it’s not about auto-posting your latest sale information, either.

The key to using Pinterest as a business is to sell your brand — your identity — more than the contents of your store. It’s about connecting with potential customers on the common thread of, “Hey, that’s pretty cool!”

Pinterest for retailers.

Perhaps the most powerful business application is the ability to post images of your company's products on your Pinterest board and link them back to your website. It works as a sort of virtual store catalog.

But remember that this is social media. If you simply display images of your products without contributing other content or sharing other users' pins, you'll likely find that people don't pay much attention.

Savvy social media users know not to get too promotional. For example, Whole Foods Market pins pictures of delicious-looking food, food art and images of recycled or reused products to inspire customers to be environmentally responsible.

Does it work for bike shops?

Harvest built and maintains a Pinterest account for one of our premier retailers.

Setting up the initial account itself was easy, but in order to get some traction we invested several hours in the initial weeks building up a substantial presence in this account. Over the course of about an hour a week we have been able to gain a pretty solid following for this dealer.

With little to no cross promotion between Pinterest and other marketing platforms like email and Facebook, the account has grown. By monitoring referral traffic we are able to measure the impact on the brand. Pinterest only has about 3% as many followers as Facebook for this dealer, but during the test period the site referred 22% as much traffic. That is an excellent result.

Is it right for you?

The answer is yes if one of these 2 scenarios applies to you: (1) you or a dedicated staff member have the time to build and maintain the account or (2) you outsource the management to a vendor such as Harvest.

You could gain excellent brand exposure with a very important demographic and generate excellent referral traffic to your website. As opportunities develop to convert that referral traffic into sales, you will be well positioned to take advantage.

As of today we can’t say that there is a proven pathway for bicycle dealers to monetize their investment in Pinterest, but when that path reveals itself you have to consider how ready you will be to take it.

Harvest can help qualifying Trek dealers.

If you’re interested in learning more, contact Harvest today. Our social media experts are ready to help you connect with your customers like never before.

About The Author

Ryan Atkinson

Ryan Atkinson

Ryan is a proven marketing professional who entered the cycling industry in 1994.