Pinterest, the social media site that works like a search engine, is now a publicly-traded company. What this means is the way you used the site to gain free organic traffic will change in the future. Here’s what changes to look for and how to continue to use Pinterest for your business. Pinterest IPO Pinterest’s IPO filing was set at $19 a share in March and ended its first trading day at $24.40. While the stock took a dip in May, trading has been steady since. The company was able to start strong due to the differences in the platform and other social media sites. While most social sites are about sharing user experience, Pinterest is about finding new information. According to Pinterest: “250m people use Pinterest every month, 98% have tried something new they found on Pinterest, 84% use Pinterest when they’re trying to decide what to buy, and 77% have found a new brand or product” Pinterest Business People make money on Pinterest by “growing an audience and letting their content and expertise shine” through content contributions and joint promotions. Read all about it on Pinterest’s business page. All this and more was explained in the company’s S-1 filing for the SEC. If you plan to invest in the site, the full 184-page document is worth a read. It may be a road map to how you should change your pinning strategy. What Pinterest going Public Means for Your Website When most social media sites go public users fear losing organic reach. The most important and attractive feature of social media is the fact that it’s free. All free things come to an end and this platform is at the end of a long list of other sites that have gone public. When the popular social site Facebook went public, some people weren’t happy. The same can be said for content creators who use Pinterest to their advantage. Facebook’s platform switched towards the need for ads to reach an audience, but Pinterest claims not to be the same. So far it’s hard to tell. Though more promoted pins seem to pop up, the site is still the same. Business account users are being grated new features and tools to keep their interest. But, the importance of using advertising is being promoted on those features. Pinterest Ads Not much has changed yet as far as user experience. The site maintains that users will continue to gain organic traffic. After all, they were built on bloggers sharing content. At the same time advertisements (called promoted pins) are being pushed to those users with business accounts. To show just how committed they are to the future of ads, Pintrest also introduced promoted pins in Spain, Italy, and Germany. The spread of purchased pins will help them generate revenue all over the world. As Pinterest introduces changes, expect ad features to be at the forefront. Purchased pins are different from ads on other platforms as well. They flow seamlessly into other content because they look like regular pins. Since users go to the site looking to buy, the purchased pins are seen as part of the experience. This has been a big selling point for Pinterest going public. It’s also a reason to use the site if you haven’t already. Why you Should be Using Pinterest for Your Business There are two main reasons you should use Pinterest for your business. The first is that the users read the content. This means they actually follow the link that leads to your website, increasing your traffic. It’s the reason why your business needs a blog that utilizes Pinterest. The second reason is the demographic for the site is mostly mothers. The site boasts that it’s full of users who decide on household purchases. Once users are on your site and reading your blog, they are clicking your ads and purchasing your products. Pinterest Changes Bloggers and content creators began planning for changes before the site went public. Here are some changes you may have seen and will see in the future. Changes we can look for from Pinterest: paid pins prices to go up over time. new features and ways of posting (videos and pin carousels) your organic traffic to go down and your paid traffic to go up more purchased pin ads for business users ad changes and features a new business hub for business accounts better analytics features While Pinterest may claim it will not interfere with organic traffic, more ad features will cause an increase in the benefits of using purchased pins on the site. Hopefully, this means they will be able to come up with better analytics tools that are more useful than what they offer now. How to use the new Pinterest for Your Business You’ll be able to leverage Pinterest for strategic marketing in the same ways you already have. To avoid a dip in your productivity now that the platform is public here are more ways to use Pinterest for your business: use it to spread your content If you have a blog this is still a great platform to generate traffic. People come to your site from this platform to read your posts. In fact, they are also actively searching for your information. use it to reinforce your SEO Because the social site is part search engine you can combine your Pinterest keywords with your Google keywords. The more your pins and images with alt text are shared the more visible you are on Pinterest and other search engines. use it as a direct link to a product Make your pins go straight to a product page. Instead of linking to a post create a pin that leads straight to a landing page. If you use promoted pins, remember they look just like any other pin. Using this strategy, the difference is these pins will lead to a direct call to action or a product. use the new video feature Pins can now be uploaded as videos, use your pin as a tutorial that links directly to the page where they can purchase the product in the video. Keep in mind, you can create a video pin that is not an ad. use it to keep up with trends Pinterest updates you monthly on what people are searching for. Look for popular search categories that connect to your products or content and write a blog post about it. Try to connect your content to the needs of the users of the platform. For more tips, you can check your business hub, so that you can see how to make better pins and get more followers. Putting a Pin in it Pinterest in not the first social site to go public. Although Pinterest is different, the fear of losing organic traffic is the same. The benefits of using the site could be well worth the price of ads. You may gain more business if you use the tools to your advantage. We haven’t seen a big dip in organic traffic yet, but that information comes with time. Now may be the best time to test Pinterest’s promoted pins. Give it a try, before the ad prices go up and connect with the users who are searching for what you have to offer. Have you used Pinterest to spread your content? What benefits can you see from the site going public? Comment Below.