I’m sure you’ve at least heard some type of buzz about Pinterest in the past months, or at least heard the name. Pinterest is a social media site that was founded in 2010. You can liken it to a modern day bulletin or mood board where you pin pictures of things you like (ie. Clothing, gifts, recipes, quotes, etc.). You have different boards named with different themes and you can pin different images to these boards. All the boards together make up your Pinterest. Right now the site is in open Beta testing and there is a slight waiting list for membership (but you should be accepted within a couple of days!).
Check out the Numbers
Because of the typical theme of “pinned” images, this website is especially popular with women (58% of users) and people ages 25-44 (59% of users). The site is the fastest growing independent site ever with 10 million unique monthly visitors. To give you an idea, Pinterest has generated more referral traffic than YouTube, Google+, and LinkedIn combined.
What well-known brands are doing…
Several well-known brands have Pinterest listed as one of their main referral sites, including Etsy, Google, Martha Stewart, Better Homes and Gardens, Amazon, and more. Major brands have already taken notice and created their own “Boards” as well, like Whole Foods, Chobani Yogurt, Kate Spade, Williams-Sonoma, and several others.
Major sites are even providing links to their Pinterests right next to their Facebook and Twitter Links.
What is the hype about and can it help your business/brand?
First of all, this site has had exponential growth in the past few months and is being recognized by Time, TechCrunch, Mashable and other important figures in the online community (even Mark Zuckerberg has his own Pinterest!). Not only is it getting a lot of press, but the site is also designed to feed your addiction to its multitude of pin boards. On Pinterest, your news feed or “bulletin board” is a grid style layout. The grid was designed by Evan Sharp, Pinterest Designer, Co-Founder, and former designer at Facebook. The site is addicting because a user tailors the Pinterest experience to his or her own interests.
1. Try not to promote yourself directly. If you are a Bridal shop, don’t just pin today’s latest wedding dresses, give tips for de-stressing before the big day or show a whimsical DIY centerpiece. This way Pinterest is showing what your business/brand stands for, the ideals behind it. It’s not direct promotion this way, but users following your pins will feel a deeper connection to you.
This greek yogurt company doesn’t just show their new product. They have several different boards promoting different themes such as where they get their inspiration, recipes that include yogurt, how to include yogurt in a healthy diet, and so on.
2. Interact with users and other brands. Follow, re-pin, like other users content. This comes off as a more personal interaction and increases your engagement within the Pinterest community.
Ex: Bergdorf Goodman
This well-known high end department store follows Nina Garcia, Neiman Marcus, Newsweek, Glamour, and several other individual users.
3. Create pins that link back to your site. While you shouldn’t outwardly promote your product, it is still a good idea to link relevant pins to your site, such as an article or tip from your blog.
They don’t necessarily mention their product specifically. They pin about experiences of their employees for example that link back to their site. From there a user could easily go to the William-Sonoma retail section.
4. Be Impulsive. If something catches your eye that reminds you of your company or brand, pin it! Some pins don’t have to be so obvious, like maybe an inspirational quote that got you through a stressful day. Pin it and share your company/brand story.
Etsy has a board devoted to good reads. While they don’t sell these books on their website they do reinforce the ideals the company holds.
On the other hand, Pinterest may not be for everyone. So a used car dealer, for example, may not want to start their own boards because people are not on Pinterest for that sort of information. Also keep in mind the feminine demographic, your business may be suited for another site (possibly Gentelmint the “man’s” version of Pinterest). Most importantly have fun with the experience. Joining Pinterest should only help your business and be a compliment to other social networks (side note: all pins can be linked to your Facebook and Twitter accounts).
If anything, just check Pinterest out and test the waters. Just put yourself on the waiting list now and let us know how your experience is in the comments below. Happy Pinning!
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