Facebook and Twitter have a new competitor in the fight for small businesses’ advertising dollars.
Pinterest—the popular site known for letting users “pin” up photos and links for everything from recipes to home décor ideas to do-it-yourself craft projects—just announced that businesses will soon be able to get better exposure to pins with a new advertising feature called Promoted Pins. Businesses can pay to have a pin show up more prominently in users’ Pinterest feeds and will pay a fee any time someone clicks on that pin.
The company also announced that it is enhancing its analytics program to make it easier for businesses to track the success of their Promoted Pins and determine which pins generate the best results.
The new offering is currently being tested by a handful of businesses, including Shutterfly and men's clothing line vineyard vines, but will be available to all businesses soon, the company said in a blog post.
Pinterest is clearly taking a cue from Facebook and Twitter in trying to encourage businesses to pay money for exposure to their posts rather than just view the social networks as a free marketing tool. Social networks, however, seem to have had somewhat limited success so far in getting businesses to fork over cash. Facebook reportedly has only about 1 million small-business advertisers despite now having more than 30 million business pages and the company recently started a five-city roadshow called Facebook Fit to try and get small-business owners to see the value of advertising and learn about tools to help businesses better promote themselves on Facebook.
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