On a lot of small business marketing websites, you’ll see information on promoting your business on Pinterest. You’ll especially see this if you market to moms as they are the primary users. Of Pinterest’s 100 million users, 71% are women.
Now, Pinterest can be great for nation-wide businesses or e-commerce style businesses like Etsy shops. But, as we’ll cover in this post, it’s not so great for local business except for one key tactic.
Pinterest Is Awful for Local Marketing
Well that sounds great that 71% of Pinners are women and most daycares and preschools are marketing mainly to moms, the problem is that schools are very local businesses. And Pinterest has really bad local targeting options.
Let’s take a look at why that is the case. Please note that, for you to be able to access ads, you must have already converted your Pinterest account to a Business Account.
So if we go right into Create Ad or Your Audience, we’ll default to the options in the screenshot below.
As we can see, there are no targeting options for location or anything else. Of course, these options could be useful if we had a large Pinterest following, but most daycares do not. If you’re not sure, you could also check your Google Analytics and see how many hits come from Pinterest under Referrers, but that’s probably a bit too technical for your average Director, so we won’t get into that here.
Now, if we go to create an ad, by the 3rd screen, we’ll be able to actually pick additional targeting options outside of the restrictive ones mentioned above. As you can see, location is an option, so we can pick that one.
As you can see, here we can target big cities like Indianapolis. However, that’s a huge area and let’s look at what happens in the next screenshot when we try to target Carmel a suburb of Indianapolis.
As you can see above, you can only target large cities. If I search for Indianapolis, that’s an option. But if I search for Carmel, a very large suburb with a lot of high end child care centers, it’s not available.
Even worse, Pinterest gives me no data as to the range of such areas or the number of users in them. Not many Pinterest users I know input their location into their profiles as it’s not a platform that is used for local shopping or ideas. So I don’t know where I’m really reaching people or how many people I could potentially reach.
Comparing Pinterest to Facebook (Hint: Use Facebook)
Facebook, on the other hand, has extraordinary targeting options. You can target to basically any city in the US down to the 10 mile radius as well as having an extremely diverse array of demographic option. We can do new parents, expectant parents, parents with children 0-3, moms with children 0-3, single dads, and on and on.
Pinterest only gives us a couple options and has nothing really relevant for targeting purposes.
Another point to note is that, while Pinterest boasts 100 million users, 50% of those are international. And that pales in comparison to Facebook’s 1 billion large user-base.
And here, we’re just talking about ads. That’s not even considering standard, non-paid posting. There again, we have no options for targeting and no meaningful way to localize our content. You could put the local city name in, of course, but it’s extremely rare that anyone would do a city search on Pinterest. That’s just not how it’s used. People search for topics like “crafts”, “travel ideas”, or “home décor”.
Bottom-line, if you are looking to use social media for marketing purposes, either organic or paid, stick to Facebook.
A Pinterest Strategy That DOES Rock
With all that said, there is a different use for Pinterest that parents really appreciate. That’s using Pinterest as a resource site pool.
Do you ever have parents ask you for ideas to do at home? Maybe they want some craft ideas for toddlers or they’re looking for extra math practice. Maybe they want advice on parenting for different ages and behaviors (or you’d like to offer it even if they didn’t ask J!)
This is the real power of Pinterest for a child care center or school. You can create different Boards for each topic. We can make one board for Toddler Crafts, one for Dealing with Challenging Behaviors in Preschoolers, One for Free Math Worksheets, and so on.
Here is an example of a resource pool I built for a Language School called Language Stars. As you can see, Boards are broken up by language as well as by activity such as Spanish Children’s Books, Chinese At-home Writing Practice, or Chinese Apps for Kids. Super useful stuff that the parents just loved.
Here is another example of a Pinterest Page done well by KinderCare. Again, you’ll see all the activities sorted meaningfully for parents.
It just makes it so easy for you. Rather than having to house all the files on your computer, constantly printing them off, or bookmarking them in your browser, you can direct all parents to your Pinterest site.
Pinterest for Local Marketing After All
This is great because it really establishes you as an expert and authority when they see how many amazing resources you’ve curated for them.
On top of that, this strategy actually make work to localize your Pinterest marketing! While trying to draw in traffic online is unlikely given Pinterest’s limited options, parents will share great resources with other parents.
And if they share your Pinterest Page with friends, then you just might start hearing from some new families who really love what you’re doing.
Need some help using your website or social media to actually drive tours and enrollments? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 800-396-9927 for your free strategy call.