What’s your Pinterest?
Unless you’ve spent the last few months in a cave, chances are you’ve heard something recently about Pinterest. The social media platform is growing at an astonishing rate, even by the standards of social media. Just within the last few weeks, Pinterest has grown to become the number three-ranked social media network in the number of users. But what is Pinterest, exactly? In these days of social media overload, why are more and more people joining yet another social network? What should marketers know about it? And what are some possible ways of integrating Pinterest “boards” into your marketing and social media strategies?
I’ve asked Shannon Hill, a copywriter here at Quisenberry, and one of the earliest-adopters of Pinterest, to share her thoughts here on the Quisenblog.
Pinterest has been described as the most “visual” social network there is. Its simple, clean layout and page design, and its use of “pin boards” for different subjects make it easy to express your personal interests and style via photos, web images and even web video.
Turns out you have to be invited to join Pinterest. Really? An invitation? To join a social networking site?!
This small barrier into what seemed like an exclusive club piqued my interest. I waited 2 weeks. I checked my spam folder every day. Finally, it came. I was allowed to enter.
I logged in and took a look around. It was more confusing than the first time I tried Facebook. I actually read all the “help” sections, Still confused, I decided to just jump in with both feet.
Fast forward about four hours.
By then, I already had 50+ pins and was following all of my Facebook friends. So many pretty pictures. So many delicious recipes. Fashion. Art. And oh, the shoes.
Suddenly there was a catalogue of things I found beautiful and I started to see trends and tendencies I didn’t expect. I became the Pinterest stereotype of the girl that was “decorating the house she didn’t have with furniture she couldn’t afford, while planning the wedding she wasn’t going to have.”
Currently, women like me make up 87% of Pinterest users. And the women who use it, use it a lot. My experiences are similar to those of so many others, who go onto Pinterest intending to spend five minutes, and end up spending 45.
But beyond the pretty pictures and style statements, are there worthwhile Pinterest applications for marketers?
A couple of things should pique the curiosity of marketers. For starters, consider the number of users. Pinterest has grown from a community of 418,000 a year ago to 11.76 million in January 2012. That’s a 2703% increase in an 8-month period.
Then there’s the referral traffic. Pinterest is social by nature. When something is “pinned” from your website and someone clicks it, they are sent careening through the cyber universe to your site. According to Shareaholic, Pinterest drives more traffic than well established sites like Linkedin, Youtube, and Google+ combined.
But is Pinterest for you? If you have a brand or products that are considered “lifestyle” products (fashion, design, food, architecture, etc.) or are visual in nature, you might consider experimenting with your own Pinterest page.
Now, I’ve seen my fair share of “how to be successful on Pinterest” infographics. They are full of good suggestions. Pinterest is not advertising. Pin things other people would want to repin. The best time to pin is in the evening. All good advice, but what I have learned is how personal Pinterest is to each user.
Each board is a reflection of things someone loves. Things they care about. Things they find beautiful. So my biggest suggestion is not to over-think it. If your boards feel contrived or overly planned, it probably is, and you’ll be left behind. If your business is on Pinterest, be active and be passionate. What does your business do that other people will love or find beautiful?
Pinterest isn’t Facebook or Twitter. You are not sharing news. You are not calling people to action. You are allowing your business to be something they can put in their personal collection.
My advice? Do what I did. Just visit the site, poke around a bit, check to see if any of your friends or competitors or brands you admire are on there, and see what they’re doing. See how many “repins” and “likes” their pins have gotten. And if the spirit moves you, jump in.
Click here for another worthwhile article on Pinterest.
And Happy Pinning!
Posted by Shannon
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