Another new social media platform. You have to be kidding me, right? As if it’s not enough that we have Facebook fatigue and don’t know our Twitter from our elbow, but now we need to know about another bright red sloop on the horizon? Yes. Oh yes.
Pinterest is the latest darling to debut on the social media scene. Normally, even as an industry veteran, I don’t bother with new platforms until they’re standing in front of me screaming high user stats and daily engagement figures in my face. Pinterest is here, guys and gals, and it’s almost tailor made for estate agents looking to showcase their properties and increase their web equity online! Pinterest is now the #3 social media platform.
When a platform commands as much daily user time as Facebook, with a huge doubling of their user numbers over two months – we know there’s something to sit up and pay attention to. Thus, it is with great pleasure I introduce the UK property sector to the prettiest little girl-next-door of the social media platforms. Don’t be deceived – she’s not just about looks and photos, she has depth nd class too. You can take her home to meet Mum!
How does Pinterest Work?
It’s simple. Social bookmarking as a series of platforms was always confusing. Pinterest allows you go to a web page or image online that you love, and ‘pin’ it. You’re creating a virtual pinboard of your
favourites sites and images for everyone to see and follow. You can group the board using clever, keyword rich structures, too! For instance, ‘Kensington Property for Sale’, or ‘Knightsbridge properties for Rent’. You get the idea.
Most major websites have already jumped on the bandwagon, placing ‘Pin It!’ buttons on their web pages. If you’ve not yet integrated your social media accounts with your website, then make sure to include a Pinterest hook-up as well! (If you still have no social accounts or no integration with your website, shame shame shame. In fact, if you write in to me – firstname.lastname@example.org or to email@example.com, with your reasons for not being up-to-date or questions you have about setting up your social profiles – we’ll cover it in our very next article! Don’t be shy, we’ll keep it anonymous!)
HOW WILL IT HELP ME SELL AND LET THOSE HOUSES?
It’s all about kerbside appeal. All estate agents know that outside of cost, image accounts for everything in attracting viewers to a property for rent, sale or investment. You labour tirelessly over photographing and composing property details and you integrate new and exciting ways to show these properties off to their full potential to possible customers every day. Vendors are constantly trying to push new ways of displaying and interacting with your property stock. So why not go with something that will help your business own more online real estate. Something that’s beautiful and free?
Pinterest is easy and fuss free. It’s visually stimulating. Unlike the old school social bookmarking sites, it ‘pins’ the exact images that you or your customers want to ‘save’ or share.
ABOUT PINTEREST AND YOUR TARGET AUDIENCE
Web traffic to Pinterest surged 50 per cent from January to February of 2012, enabling the invitation-only site to overtake LinkedIn, Tagged, and Google+ in total monthly visits, Experian reports. Moreover, visits to Pinterest reached nearly 21.5 million during the week ended January 28, 2012, almost 30 times the number of total visits recorded six months earlier (week ended July 30, 2011). Pinterest continued to outpace its closest competitor LinkedIn by a healthy margin in March 2012.
Pinterest will help you develop business. It’s beautiful and it’s free, what’s not to like?’
If you’re a real stats person – you’ll be surprised to see how much market share Pinterest has already gained without making a huge splash on the UK property marketing scene.
- Facebook: 7.0 billion
- Twitter: 182.2 million
- Pinterest: 104.4 million
- LinkedIn: 85.7 million
WHO IS ON PINTEREST?
Well, some UK agents are up there with the trends, first to come up in our search was Harris Bell Estate Agents in sunny Scarborough. They describe themselves as, “Progressive, forward thinking estate agent in Scarborough, always looking for new and innovative ways to help sell property.” And that is true! They have pins that show off the area, homes with sea views, country homes and more.
Next up was Curchods, based in Surrey, this agency is obviously keen to prove that although it may be 74 years-old, it’s still ahead of the game!
A selection of very tasty properties is up there on their Pinterest page.
Third to wave the Pinterest flag – in our search that is – was Scott Fraser, an Oxfordshire agency which says, “Scottfraser have active Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and LinkedIn accounts to enable us to interact with our customers on the move, at their convenience. We even have a student persona “Scottie Fraser” with her own Facebook page dedicated to providing advice and support to students looking to rent in Oxford.
“We were the first agent in Oxford to have a Facebook property search tool providing up-to-date listings for potential tenants. And we were the first agent to launch a Pinterest page.”
So, congratulations to the Pinterest pioneers! Let us know if you are pinning!
ACCORDING TO FORBES MAGAZINE…
“Boomers and young adults (Boomerangs) were the groups most likely to visit Pinterest and sites in the Hobbies and Crafts category during the 12 weeks ended January 28. Such visitors (heavy Web users who spend time on house and garden, sports and fitness, and familyoriented websites) accounted for more than seven per cent of visits to Pinterest and three per cent to the Hobbies and Crafts category during the period.
Reading between the lines, it’s clear to see that the heaviest demographic by far on Pinterest is the female demographic. According to our informal poll of estate agents, in the category of ‘best customers’, the 30-40+ demographic leads as they have higher salaries, more disposable income, and are more inclined to trust peer recommendations. But don’t just take our word that peer recommendation accounts for 50 per cent of the average purchase decision (which is why social media is so important!); Forbes states that, In BlogHer’s annual study on women and social media, 81 per cent trust Pinterest versus Facebook (67 per cent) and Twitter (73 per cent).
Why? Because women trust other women in their circles more than anyone else. As a result, 47 per cent of women bought something based on a recommendation from Pinterest whereas only 33 per cent bought because of a recommendation on Facebook.
From your front office to your property portal feed – you’re working your hardest to make your properties look and feel their best. Unlike the other heavily branded social media platforms, or micro-blogging social platforms like Twitter, Pinterest is virtually unbranded. Your selection of imagery defines your brand presentation. Having your property stock presented visually, at it’s best, in a relatively brand-free social media platform is a revolution!
Pinterest has recently partnered with MailChimp to provide ‘one-click’ email distribution of your Pinterest boards. (For those of you not familiar with Mailchimp, you can utilise any standard HTML template and send out up to 10,000 free emails a month. When your database or email marketing programme exceeds this number – it’s time to get an ‘official’ Mailchimp account.)
You’d have to be mad or blind not to see how this is going to make your life easier as a property marketer. More importantly, it allows you to segment out your property lists and send them in a beautiful email in a single click. Again, it’s vital to organise your Pinterest boards from the beginning with this in mind – placing properties into a logical set of boards based on area, size, lifestyle factors, style, or even street name if you’re big enough!
Integrating your social media activity into the wider marketing mix has never been easier.’
IT’S MOBILE (AND FOOTBALL) FRIENDLY
Pinterest looks beautiful on mobile and tablets – straight out of the box. If you’re like me (and most other digital users) you’re watching TV while you’re searching the net on your iPad and possibly even answering emails on your phone at the same time. We’ve developed utterly new styles of communication and multi-channel access to media. Never is this more true than when, on a lovely evening in my home, I am forced to watch the European Championships – for instance. I’d rather chew off my arm than miss the opportunity to have some quality down-time with my partner and family, however – it’s all the better than I can surf for our next potential new home at the same time! In addition, I can easily share the visuals with my friends, who can then ‘re-pin’ these properties if they like them, or leave comments, or share out to the other social networks.
BE SOCIALLY AWARE
As if you needed another reason, Pinterest is also hardwired into Facebook and Twitter, allowing ‘frictionless sharing’ between the three platforms. Integrating your social media marketing into the larger marketing mix has never been easier.
So, what are you waiting for? Go on, get Pinning!