When prospective clients started showing him pools they’d “pinned” during sales calls, Bill Murphey knew it was time to join Pinterest.
“The women would start to show me photos of the pools they
liked,” said Murphey, owner of Bill Murphey
& Associates, a pool masonry and hardscape firm based in
Tustin, Calif. (See the firm’s Pinterest board.) “It
really helped in the design process because they’d already
seen things that they’d liked.”
Launched in 2010, Pinterest is basically an online bulletin board
that allows users to “pin” images from around the Web
on virtual pinboards. It’s grown quickly, reaching more than
11 million monthly visitors earlier this year. As a result, the
share-site has attracted the attention of many businesses,
including pool firms, that want to build connections and brand
awareness with their customers.
Pinterest also has proven to be extremely popular with women, who
comprise 68 percent of its users and often are key influencers in
home-related decisions such as pools.
“Men don’t buy pools,” said Sandy Vollentine,
president of Ocean Quest Pools in Austin, Texas. (See the
firm’s Pinterest board.) “Men get told to buy
It adds up to a promising online opportunity for pool firms.
“Pinterest really is ideal for the pool and spa
industry,” said Katrice Svanda, director of operations at
Small Screen Producer, a Houston-based firm that
handles the Pool Marketing Site. “It taps into
people’s desire to enjoy pretty things and make a plan to
create them. It’s a nice way to build hopes and dreams and
picture your ideal scenario. Think of when most Pinterest users are
online. They’re at home, relaxing and thinking, ‘I
worked 12 hours today. What am I working toward?’ and looking
at a picture of a beautiful house.”
Or a stunning pool. “Pinterest made a lot of sense because
our pools are so visual,” said James Atlas, one of the owners
Poolcare, a pool building firm in Wheeling, Ill. which joined
the fast-growing social media site earlier this year. (See the
firm’s Pinterest board.) “It’s more like a
personal scrapbook [for users], so people use our pictures for
their dream home boards and when they’re looking for pool
Those pictures of distinctive pools, spas and waterfeatures can
travel far and wide as Pinterest users share and reshare compelling
images on their own boards.
“I’m always getting notices about pinning or repinning
our pictures,” Vollentine said. That’s great for
marketing — as long as pool firms make sure to tag those
photos with essentials such as the company’s name, location,
phone number and Website address.
“You want [your image] to go viral, but people often forget
that an image can leave your boards,” Svanda said.
“Twenty pins later, do they still know it’s
For pool service companies, choosing what to post on Pinterest can
be a little more difficult. At VivoPools, a La Cañada Flintridge,
Calif.-based firm, Caren Chen has been testing out a variety of
Pinterest content, from pictures of pools around the world to
notable pool signage. (See the firm’s Pinterest board.)
“We’re trying to see what resonates,” said Chen,
who is business operations manager at Vivo.
For pool firms that only handle service or maintenance, Svanda
recommends taking a broad approach and posting images that speak to
the whole pool and spa lifestyle experience for a customer.
“It’s a challenge because you’re selling one part
of a larger purchase, and that is your world,” she said.
“But for the end user, it is just one small piece of 1,000
Sharing your company’s work and brand isn’t the only
thing Pinterest is good for. At Florida Bonded
Pools, Vice President Ashley Cribbs values the
“backlinks” from the
company’s Pinterest site to its main Website. Those links
serve a dual purpose: They drive traffic to Florida Bonded
Pools’ Website and boost the Google rankings for the
company’s main site, according to Cribbs, who handles search
engine optimization at the Jacksonville, Fla., pool builder.