In addition to paying bills, accepting new consignments and offering design consultations, Sandy Wood, the owner of Designed for Change, has one other important duty when it comes to keeping her shop running.
The furniture and home décor consignment shop in Augusta posts albums of its wares on Pinterest each week.
The popular social-network site has been a boon for business, Wood said.
“Social media has changed the way we do business,” she said.
“It helps me connect with people immediately. I’ve had people call me within 20 minutes of posting something new online.”
Designed for Change is just one of several local businesses and nonprofits to leverage the power of the social site, founded in 2010 as a way to collect and save images on virtual, personal “pinboards.”
Local creative firm Kruhu took to the site two weeks ago with boards showcasing self-made projects and inspirational art and design.
On Facebook, Kruhu described Pinterest as “a vast resource for discovery, inspiration, visual acuity,” even while joking about the site’s propensity to attract minivans’ worth of moms.
Nearly 70 percent of Pinterest’s users are women, according to recent Google Ad Planner data. More than half are younger than 35.
That makes it a powerful tool to reach certain audiences, said Elissa McCrary, the marketing and communications director for the American Cancer Society in Atlanta.
“We’re looking to get the word out any way we can, be it Twitter, Facebook or Pinterest,” she said. As one of the newest social sites, “Pinterest reaches new people.”
It’s one of the reasons why local Relay for Life volunteers create their own pinboards, she said.
The Relay for Life Augusta team has “pinned” fundraising ideas, healthy living ideas and inspiring quotes and phrases on its Pinterest page.
Oxygen Fitness Studio in Augusta’s Surrey Center also pins healthy living ideas, with a spin. Its pins include workout routines, positive affirmations and snack ideas for gym members and others on Pinterest who might stumble across the boards.
That’s just the thing about Pinterest, Wood said.
“You never know who is going to see it. It’s free advertising, but with some personality,” she said. “There’s a creative aspect to it.”
Local auto dealers have gotten creative, pinning not just currently for-sale cars, but also car-care tips and photos of classic cars.
Milton Ruben Auto Group in Augusta has shared everything from old car ads to famous cars from movies on its site.
The best business pinboards combine both advertisements and content. There’s a give and take, said Wood, who also pins decorating ideas and inspiration, in addition to furniture for sale.
“It’s like a magazine, but entirely unique to you. It’s your photos, your ideas, your interests,” she said. “It’s a great tool for business.”