As you may have heard Pinterest is the new virtual hub within the social media world – Pinterest does what it says on the tin, it’s a website where you can display or rather “Pin” your interests.
The development of Pinterest and its subsequent success has evolved from similar social sharing websites such as Flicker and Photobucket. Trends show that more and more people are looking to store and share their photos and videos- everywhere from anywhere.
It’s official. Everyone’s gone Pinterest mad.
Pinterest has become something of a growing phenomenon since it was listed in “Time Magazine” as one of the “50 Best Websites of 2011“. It now totals an impressive 11 million+ visits per week.
The search facility has recently become my research life saver over the past few months…The b-side of my life at Digital & Wise gives way to my hobby as an Artist. Pinterest been a god-send for inspiration and research – It effortlessly conjures up a plethora of imagery… For example my recent search for, “Bauhaus” brought up this fantastic selection of “pins”.
Is Pinterest a fad or a valuable marketing tool?
Pinterest has taken outside investment from entrepreneurs and venture capitalists to keep stable over the years. They have experimented with the money making ventures such as affiliate links and they may try advertising in the future.
One way traffic.
Apparently Pinterest drove more referral traffic to online retailers following their start up in 2011 than LinkedIn, YouTube and Google+. Pinterest has a large and expanding volume of unique visitors. According to comScore, Pinterest was the fastest site to break the 10 million unique visitor mark in 2012.
In January 2012, comScore reported the site had 11.7 million unique users, making it the fastest site in history to break through the 10 million unique visitor mark. Pinterest’s wide reach helped it achieve an average of 11 million visits each week in December 2011.
Many can debate its long term value – However, given the traffic statistics it’s easy to justify Pinterest as a valuable marketing tool. You can use Pinterest to encourage one way traffic to your own site. Pin your own images and others will see them. Once people re pin your images they get added to the other user’s board. In the same way that Twitter works, the images spread and take on a viral effect…Through curiosity people will naturally want to find out more about where the image came from and venture to your site. The increase in the amount of referrals suggests there is no harm in jumping on the band wagon. Social media image sharing is becoming increasingly popular and huge brands along with a diversity of people are taking up Pinterest. It is not something you’d see anywhere outside of Facebook.
Of course most brands using Pinterest already have images of their brands, stores and products so it’s been an easy transition to use Pinterest for Fashion, ecommerce and media brands to create interesting, full platforms instantly…
Whilst there is no clear best practice, many brands are getting involved. Here are a few pointers of those already doing it. The way that Pinterest works is, when users find images anywhere on the internet they can “pin” it. You can then categorise all those pins into subject areas. When other users see the pins, they can click on the image and see where the image originally came from. Simple.
Create mood boards that display your brand, be it your products, your store or your staff. Personally I think a blog brand using Pinterest is Apartment Therapy. Their moto is “Saving the world, one room at a time” they create mood boards that showcase different products under different themes and the quality of their photos are always good.
The number of followers of this brand is impressive at 28,258. Many who follow them here will soon go to the site for renovation, inspiration and shopping ideas. Dulux have since followed and now display photos of their paint colours. If you fancy taking a look at room’s coated in sumptuous paints such as “polished pebble” and “lemon punch” go to visit Dulux on Pinterest.
Pinterest is as much about the brand as it is about the related content and the associated lifestyle.
One key thing to avoid is to only add your own brand images. People will see it as spammy and it can get dull. Cater to your own brand personality and your audience. There is a lot to be said for adding value through other associated content. There is a lot to be said for the value of lifestyle content marketing.
Maybelline do a good job of keeping their content interesting. The look and feel is colourful, fun and the themes reflect this. “Vintage”, “Pattern Play”, “Backstage Beauty”, “”Beauty looks we love” name but a few of their diverse but related themes. People connect with the trends, pictures and products.
eCommerce, fashion retailer Lands’ End recently ran a successful social media competition. The ‘Canvas Holiday Pin It to Win It’ asked follower to pin up to 20 images from the website then email the URL for their resulting board to the brands to win $250 gift voucher at Lands End. Whilst there were around 200 entries, this might seem like a low level of engagement but the viral; halo effect would include a larger network of interaction.
As you can imagine, there are a surplus of media and publishing brands on Pinterest as the platform suits the sort of media they cover. InStyle Magazine is a good example where the pins are more engaging, however the board displays full, inside coverage of the Oscars. There are 15973 followers and 19 re-pins on this board alone.
Pinterest is great for dividing up the interest of your brand. The grouping structure make it easier to digest what your brand is about. Unlike blogs, there is no need to skim through long lists of text.
Oxfam is a good example of a Pinterest page where the pins are less about products and more about their projects. There are boards with relevant books on “what we’re reading” and “latest projects”.
Whilst you don’t have to do everything online, Pinterest may be a platform that suits you. It’s quick, it’s easy and it’s focused. Pinterest is one of the easier platforms to learn about your audience. By pinning the product, lifestyle and aspirations of your brand you’ll tend to attract those who have similar interests. Making you brand as focused and representative of you will bring true and accurate responses from your audience, this is a natural way to observe, learn and interact with your followers.