What is Pinterest?
Pinterest is like a scrapbook that you can share online. It’s an open network which means all profiles are public. People create boards and pin images to them based around different themes. Popular themes include fashion, crafts, quotations, photography, interior design and humour.
Who is using it?
- At present 80% of users are women between the ages of 25-54
- Studies suggest that women control around 80% of the purchasing decisions in most households
Combining these facts makes Pinterest an attractive proposition for certain brands if they can get it right. Alexa ranks Pinterest in the top twenty sites in terms of traffic in the US and it ranks in the top sixty sites globally.
How popular is it?
Some interesting figures compiled by comScore in their 2011 whitepaper chart the success of Pinterest. In May 2011 they had 418,000 unique visitors to their site from the US – by November just 6 months later this has grown to nearly 4.9 million users. (In January 2012 they hit over eleven million unique visitors) What is just as interesting though is how engaged their users are with the average user spending 88 minutes per month on the site in comparison to the time spent on Twitter (24 mins) and LinkedIn (16mins).
A report from February this year by comScore illustrates that Pinterest is continuing to spread globally with huge growth in several EU countries. In January there were 245,000 unique visitors to the site from the UK alone. Stats for the UK suggest a higher proportion of users are male with a stronger focus towards business interests.
So why should you use it for business?
Pinterest is one of the top five sites for referring traffic to your site. It is responsible for more referrals than YouTube, LinkedIn and Google+ combined. This finding by Shareaholic is concerned with referral traffic only, it excludes organic/paid search but it is impressive none the less.
It is SEO friendly.
This means that all links to your site are DoFollow links which generate link juice unlike other social media sites like Facebook or LinkedIn. (update 24.4.12 not anymore – but it is still good for traffic!) You can upload images of your products with a price and a direct link back to your website. Sound interesting?
How can I use it for business?
1. Pinterest is a visual medium – you have to think outside the box – get creative!
2. Tag your images with relevant keywords
3. Use hashtags to run a multi-platform campaign (great example via Smart Insights #mywoodfloor)
4. You can share a board to allow multiple contributors
5. Allow customers to post photos of themselves using your product – what a testimonial!
6. Run a competition; get your fans/followers to create a board around your competition theme. Repin the winners to your finalist board and let people vote on the winner through likes
7. Market research – now you can see exactly what your customers are interested in, you can gain valuable insights into what inspires them
8. Create a video gallery (Pinterest supports video too!) Demonstrate products – upload How To Guides
9. Foster engagement with your customers – Repin their pins to your boards
It’s a public platform at the moment but private pages are coming which will make it interesting to see how businesses can use it to create internal boards for employees or clients to use.
Irish brands/businesses on Pinterest
Eason > books
ICAN Advertising > digital advertising & marketing agency
Loraine Domican > headwear designer
I searched for all the big Irish brand names and also just by Ireland there is virtually no utilisation by Irish companies at present. Like any new social media platform there will always be those who jump on board first and it really hasn’t hit Ireland fully yet. **Update 2013 – Many Irish companies are now using Pinterest view this board by Krisha De for a comprehensive listing.
Pinterest is still in beta mode (testing) if they can bypass the minefield of copyright issues, there is no doubt the future lies with visual marketing and Pinterest can be at the heart of a campaign for you. People love sharing photos and videos – the popularity of YouTube, the high usage of infographics and the volume of photos shared online is testament to that.
To find out it someone has repinned your images on Pinterest use this URL, replacing domain.com with your own domain name (http://pinterest.com/source/domain.com/)
Other interesting articles on Pinterest-
How does Pinterest make money – by using Skimlinks? No, that was just testing according to Ben Silbermann CEO of Pinterest v/ Josh Davis
Why Brand Managers Need to Take an Interest in Pinterest v/ Steve Olenski
List of 250+ Brands on Pinterest v/ Jason Keath
Pinterest just solved all Proctor & Gamble’s Social Media Problems v/Business Insider
How to get more Pins and Repins on Pinterest v/Dan Zarrella
by Janis Meehan