It seems just like yesterday the question “Does Twitter matter?” racked the minds of busy marketers. Now along comes Pinterest — in like a lamb and roaring like a lion.
- AsTechCrunch mused on Feb. 17, “It seems like everyone’s discovered Pinterest this week.”
- Only a day earlier, the Wall Street Journal reported of Pinterest, “Traffic to the website has grown tenfold over the past six months.
- In January, the number of visitors on Pinterest.com was almost a third of that on Twitter.com.”
- At the time of this writing, Pinterest is a top 10 website (Source: C|NET article dated Dec, 2011).
- The Palo Alto, CA-based Pinterest says its mission is to let people “organize and share all the beautiful things you find on the web.
- People use pinboards to plan their weddings, decorate their homes, and organize their favorite recipes.”
- Needless to say, there’s gold in them thar pinboards. Marketers have quickly discovered the benefit of enabling these pursuits.
Bye “Like” Button. Hello “Pin It” Button
It seems that every piece of content on the internet these days has a “Pin It” button which must go well nicely with the hardworking people behind ShareThis. I remember when business owners would beg me (well, maybe gently persuade) me to “Like” their Facebook Page. Now it is all about “Pinning” their products onto my Pinterest board to share with friends, colleagues, and potential customers.
Pinterest is … well … surprisingly Addictive
I’m not going to lie … I am a Pinterest user and my activity has steadily increased since setting up my account last week. Despite only being on the site for a short time, I understand why people find it addicting and here are some of the reasons:
- The user interface is so easy to navigate, especially with topics organized into specific groups (Take notes, Facebook)
- It’s visual. Need I say more?
- I’m learning more about my friends and colleagues upcoming plans than I thought. There is something very yoyeuristic about Pinterest. Want to know if someone is going to remodel their bathroom anytime soon. Check out what they are pinning! Couple you know contemplating a trial separation. Check out what she’s pinning.
The data definitely suggests that Pinterest is hitting the dopamine centers of the brain. Pinterest users spend more time on the site than users on Google+, LinkedIn and Twitter COMBINED. For a designers’ perspective on why Pinterest is so addictive, check out this blog entry from Neil Spencer on Visual News.
Now that we have your attention, here is a short 1-2-3 of how Pinterest helps you drive clicks:
- Copy the URL of a graphic on your website or ecommerce storefront
Pinterest is not yet a mature product and it shows. It is supposed to figure out what is a “big graphic” on the page automatically, it turns out to be faster and easier simply to find the graphic you want, right click on it in Chrome, and then copy the link to the graphic.
- Go to Pinterest and “Pin” the URL
- Pinterest then embeds a link back the source page from which a graphic comes.
Is this social media or is this content?
Great question. When you create a pinboard on Pinterest, you are curating content you’ve found elsewhere on the web. The act of curation turns this into content, in my humble opinion. At the same time the people on Pinterest make it a very interesting place to make your content available, as the community is highly engaged. Already I am getting more comments back from my little flurry of Pinterest activity than I get from Twitter and I’ve been on Twitter since 2006.
So while companies don’t have to post their content everywhere, Pinterest is one place we really recommend, especially for brands where a bit part of their appeal is visual. (We have a lot of Architects and Interior Designers as clients here at Open Marketing). You can use Pinterest for thought leadership. Create a Pinterest board to showcase your thought leadership in a specific area (i.e. photos of great solar installations for a solar company).
Here are other ways Pinterest can enhance your marketing strategy
- Brand Identity
Place your brand in proximity to another high-status brand. We do this all the time for our clients. This proximity works to pull the “David” brand up in status towards the “Goliath”.
- E-Commerce Revenue
If you sell product, pin a hero shot for others to see from Etsy or your eCommerce storefront. Remember to pin up a shot of the product in the ecommerce store where you get the most margin … there’s no way of adjusting the link that goes with something you pinup, as far as we can tell.
- Drive Website Traffic/Get Link Love
Pinterest is growing in the Alexa Rankings like a weed … it’s Number 17 in the US at the time of this blog post. Users are pinning everything and anything, so why not try to insert your content into this wave to increase the odds of your site being linked-back?
Getting Started on Pinterest
Pinterest is still in Beta mode, which means you need to go to http://pinterest.com and request an invite. Or have someone on Pinterest invite you to join. The site is very quick in getting back to you with an enrollment, so this may be more about the illusion of exclusivity than anything else.