Have an interest in Pinterest? Millions of people certainly do. No matter whatsite analytics tool you’re using, you’ll see hockey-stick growth over the last six months. Pinterest is onAlexa’s Top 20 Sites in the U.S. Hitwise showed a jump from 10 million to 17 million visits just in January! On those stats alone, perhaps you should consider adding Pinterest to your social media marketing mix.
Why is Pinterest so appealing? Who’s using Pinterest? How are brands leveraging Pinterest? Here’s a quick guide and additional resources to get you started.
What is Pinterest?
A collector’s dream, Pinterest essentially lets a user discover, bookmark (aka “pin”) and organize images onto custom theme-based boards. Each image links back to the original website where it was found. Users can follow a specific board or all boards of another Pinterest user.
That’s where the beauty lies — like other social media, you get to share your ideas and inspire your audience, but now withstriking imagery. Not all images on Pinterest are visual eye candy, though. Check out some of the most shared images, according to Mashable. One thing is clear: what you share needs to resonate with your audience.
Who’s Using Pinterest and What Are They Sharing?
Using Google’s DoubleClick Ad Planner, you can see that in January 2012, there were 19M unique visitors in the U.S with 1.5B page views. Other Pinterest site demographics are
- 80% are between ages 25-54
- 82% Female
- 61% have some college education
- 70% have income between $25,000-$74,999
So far, the most popular categories are fashion, crafts, food, interior design, hobbies and leisure, books and literature and visual art and design.
People are signing up in droves but are they coming back? RJMetrics analyzed Pinterest site data and found:
- Pinterest is retaining and engaging users as much as 2-3x as efficiently as Twitter was at a similar time in its history.
- Over 80% of pins are re-pins, demonstrating the tremendous virality at work in the Pinterest community. To contrast, a study done at a similar time in Twitter’s history showed that only about 1.4% of tweets were retweets.
- The quality of the average new user (as defined by their level of engagement and likelihood to remain active) is high but declining. Users who have joined in recent months are 2-3x less active during their first month than the users that came before them.
More recently, it appears there are curious onlookers who are checking Pinterest out but not engaging. However, there is still a core, passionate set of users who keep coming back.
Additionally, Pinterest is connecting people within the social media ecosystem even more.eMarketer pointed out that as Pinterest becomes more popular with consumers, it’s referring traffic to larger social networks, and seeing traffic arrive from Facebook and Twitter.
How Are Brands Leveraging Pinterest?
Based on users’ interests above, it makes sense that the lifestyle brands such as Real Simple andMartha Stewart, have embraced Pinterest to increase their online visibility.
Clipped from: pinterest.com (share this clip)Retailers such as Nordstrom, Gap and Whole Foods are obvious players on Pinterest. But even local businesses, such as Gusto Pizza and Charles Reinhart Real Estate, can showcase their pizza pies and featured homes, respectively. There’s also room on Pinterest for marketing consultants like Mari Smith and Kristi Hines, who use infographics and other inspiring images to extend their personal brands.
Clipped from: pinterest.com (share this clip)If you have some time to surf, take a look at this extensive pinboard of over 500 brands using Pinterest! One other interesting thing to note: some big brands’ Pinterest URLs are already taken by early adopters: see Microsoft, Apple and Google. If you’re interested in Pinterest, you should claim your space now.
How Can You Market Your Business with Pinterest?
If your business is already participating in social media, you can sign up with your Facebook or Twitter account (once you get the official email invitation to join Pinterest). It makes it easier to share what you’ve pinned with your existing communities. Here are some marketing strategies, tips and resources to get you started on Pinterest:
1. Know your customers, appeal to their interests and participate on Pinterest with them
- Create themes for your boards that leverage top categories on Pinterest (but relate to your business in some way)
- Follow boards of pinners who are relevant to you; they may follow you back
- Re-pin interesting images from your followers onto a special board
- Ask your Pinterest followers to co-create a board of ideas on how to use your products or services
2. Find or create stunning, unique imagery that stands out from the ho-hum
- Stock photography is cheap, but may not be that interesting to re-pin if everyone has seen it already
- Use humorous images or cartoons to lighten the mood
- Informative infographics can work well for business-to-business marketers
- Note: you can’t pin images directly from your Facebook page or Flash-based websites
3. Practice good copywriting and tag your descriptions
- Board titles need to be succinct or they’ll get cut off on your Pinterest profile page — keep it to under 25 characters
- Keep descriptions short and catchy — the image should speak volumes, but a pithy one-liner can make a difference in being re-pinnable!
- If it makes sense, mention other users by typing “@” in front of their user names
- Use hashtags with words that describe your image (e.g., #travel) — this is one main way people can find pins
4. Allow pinning from your site and point people to your Pinterest profile
- Add a “Pin It” button – allows users to share images directly from your website or blog
- Add a “Follow Me on Pinterest” button – allows users to follow your boards on Pinterest
- Link to your Pinterest boards from blog posts, tweets or Facebook updates
5. Read these extensive how-to articles about Pinterest
- The Marketer’s Guide to Pinterest
- 30 Resources, Tips and Tricks for Marketing Your Business on Pinterest
- Pinterest Marketing Tips for SEO, Traffic, and Online Reputation Management
- Pinterest: 13 Tips and Tricks for Cutting Edge Users
Are you ready to start pinning? Let me know if you have more Pinterest tips and tricks to share!