When you think of generating home improvement leads through social media, these aren’t the first Web sites that spring to mind. Yet there’s a lot of buzz around them, and not without reason. While Pinterest launched in 2010, lately it has a reputation as the place to be. With 70 million users, they must be doing something right.
But how, exactly, do you take advantage of them? Pinterest’s emphasis on visuals is great, and because you can link your content back to your own Web site, it’s useful for buffing your organic search ranking. But unless you’re a national chain, home improvement leads are a heavily localized business. A homeowner in Kentucky may love the pictures of what you do with decks. But if you’re based in Portland, he’s not a prospect unless he has a second home in Paducah.
Still, there are ways to take advantage of Pinterest. Tell stories with your pictures – show viewers a project from start to finish, from your customer’s grubby old bathroom to the modern masterpiece you turned it into. Try to show the happy homeowners behind the project, too.
Instagram is similar, although its focus tends less towards “home improvement ideas” and more “endless pictures of lunch.” If you’re a small business, that can actually work in your favor, because carefully titled images that feature cities and towns in your territory can sometimes improve your search ranking. But it’s still a difficult avenue to pursue.
On both Web sites, make sure you tag effectively. #Newbathroom will produce results everywhere from Raleigh to Reykjavik, whereas #Portlandrenovations will make it clear whom you’re catering to. Will a lot of homeowners search for that hashtag? No, probably not. But those that do are very relevant to you, rather than some guy across the country who just wants to browse countertop options.
eBay is an even tougher nut to crack, especially since eBay generally doesn’t allow auctions to link to company Web sites. Still, eBay is also national in scope. So it’s difficult to auction off your services in conjunction with physical products (such as a walk-in tub, a pergola, an awning) unless you can install it directly. The geo-targeting is non-existent. And the margins for product sales just aren’t there.
Will these Web sites generate lots of sales leads for your home improvement company? Not likely. Pinterest and Instagram just aren’t designed to attract local searches. But that doesn’t mean they don’t have their uses – they improve organic search rankings and provide powerful galleries for you to show off your work. These Web sites have value to you – just don’t plan on making them the keystone of your social media campaign.
Oh, and try not to get addicted to weird Pinterest projects: