What’s Pinterest and How to Use It for Marketing Your Brand?
In December 2011 I reported that there was a new entry to the list of top 10 US social networking sites. It’s Pinterest. Pinterest debuted with almost the same market share a s Google+. So what’s Pinterest?
Wikipedia tells us that:
Pinterest is a vision board-styled social photo sharing website and app where users can create and manage theme-based image collections. Users label and create theme-based image boards.
I have to say that I didn’t pay much attention to that site. But that changed as we got a pretty impressive peak of traffic from that site. Before January 14 we had practically zero visits from Pinterest and then it exploded.
The image that did it for us was Facebook Cheat Sheet. The image got pinned and repinned hundreds of times generating about 10 thousand visits to our site.
In some sense Pinterest is similar to StumbleUpon. However, I noticed that during the the peak in visits from Pinterest we had also a measurable growth in traffic from other social networking sites. This suggest that users on Pinterest tend to reshare the content to other social neworking sites like Facebook and Twitter.
This got me really interested and after some digging I found that Pinterest is growing like crazy. On this Experian Hitwise graph you can see how Pinterest reached 11 million visits per week in December 2011.
So what’s Pinterest?
Pinterest is an online pinboard that allows you to collect and display the images you find on the web. You can find boards from other people to discover new things and get inspiration from others. You can use Pinterest to plan their a vacation, decorate your home and share your favorite fashion items.
First of all Pinterest is really visual. If you find something that pleases the eye then you would like to pin it on Pinterest. This means that the most active categories on the site tend to be interior design, travel destinations, hobbies, fashion, food, etc.
When you open up the home page of site you will see images of resorts, shoes, pies, furniture, and so forth. And this focus also shows when you take a look at the categories list.
Experian Hitwise says that:
Pinterest visitors also over-index for the Hobbies and Crafts category (versus the online population) which is expected given the abundance of crafts content on the website. […] This group of consumers is characterized as baby boomers and young adults who are heavy web users who spend time on house and garden, sports and fitness, and family-oriented websites.
Pinterest and social media marketing
Pinterest will work for your marketing if your business is about home décor, fashion, travel, design furniture… Everything you can eat with your eyes goes. Images that people dream about or collect to get inspired will get pinned.
For example my business partner creates wooden flooring and uses really innovative technology to do that. We talked about his site and I suggested that Pinterest might be a great match for his business. I started to show him how to use Pinterest and we found that there were already hundreds of pins with people expressing their interest in their products.
9 specific marketing tactics for Pinterest
1. Promote a lifestyle that your brand enables. Give people ideas and inspire them. This will lead to sharing your content with friends and family.
2. Run a contest where you let people pin your product images or take pictures of themselves using you brand.
3. Share great content from others that you can’t re-post to your site then use Pinterest to get it to your audience. For example we pin interesting social media marketing infographics to our pinboard.
4. Pin first, tweet later. If you find something visual that you would usually tweet about, such as infographic, then pin it to Pinterest first and then tweet about the pin.
6. Create pinnable content! When creating content think really hard about the images you use. Are they pinnable? After discovering Pinterest I have a constant desire to illustrate the social media marketing materials we create, so that they would get more traction on Pinterest.
7. Use “Pin It button”. We added this button to our own site just to test it as we don’t have much visual content but even now some of our posts get pinned. So if you have anything visual to share use it!
8. Add a “follow me on Pinterest” button to your web site.
9. Don’t pin just your own content. Create relationships by repinning images from other users and give value to your own followers by helping them discover new things.
Now go for a test drive with Pinterest. Let us know in the comments what ideas do you have about using Pinterest for marketing your brand.