Pinterest: Pinning Is Winning
What’s the super-hot social sharing network that everyone is talking about lately? It is clearly Pinterest. Creative minds, bloggers, moms and hipsters alike are spending countless hours on the platform, causing its traffic and popularity to skyrocket.
So what is Pinterest exactly? Pinterest is a virtual “pinboard,” or repository, used to curate, organize and share photo content. Users create these pinboards to plan their weddings, decorate their homes, inspire home projects and keep their favorite recipes handy.
Love a picture of a tangerine coffee table you found on a DIY website? Want to save that Elmo cupcake recipe for your son’s birthday party? In the past, users had to bookmark the web page or send the link to themselves via email. This was hardly efficient. Pinterest is the cure to this madness because it serves as a virtual filing system via the web, bookmarklet and mobile application.
Pinterest also connects people with similar interests and tastes. If you like a photo someone else pins on the network, you can officially “like” it or “repin” it on your own board. Pinterest’s appeal can also be attributed to good, old-fashioned vanity. Let’s face it, when someone repins a photo you found first, it is very validating.
Bloggers are all over Pinterest, too. One of a blogger’s hardest tasks is coming up with new, interesting content for his or her readers. Pinterest is the mother lode of content, making it incredibly easy for influencers to grab innovative designs, projects and recipes and present them as their own unique vision.
One question still remains. Is Pinterest right for brand advertisers? The answer is a definite maybe. In January 2012, Pinterest was reported as the fastest-growing site for referral traffic. The site drove more referral traffic than Google+, YouTube and LinkedIn combined. In addition, traffic is definitely on the rise (40 million unique visitors in December 2011), and average time spent on the site is notably high (15 minutes per user login). However, Pinterest’s reach is still limited. Only about 5 percent of audiences age 21-34 are active on the network. This could be because Pinterest is still by invitation only. Therefore, if a brand does not have a strong presence on other high-reaching social networks (e.g., Facebook), it may be best to start there and evolve into a Pinterest page.
Pinterest is, however, a great platform for brands that are social pioneers, have a creative flair and have a lot of valuable content to share. Whole Foods Market is just such a brand. With more than 11,500 followers and 19 pinboards, Whole Foods shares relevant content and pinboards including “Eat Your Veggies,” “Who Wants Dinner?!” and “Edible Celebrations.” Other noticeable brands on Pinterest include Real Simple, Martha Stewart, HGTV and The Gap.
If a brand wants to expand its social footprint onto Pinterest, it is key to start with an activation strategy. Just as with having a presence on any social network, there is no point to having a page if no one goes there. A brand must be open to engaging with the end consumer and influencers alike, liking their content and repining good ideas. There can also be rewards for followers of a brand page, such as pinning contest and parties. A brand must not forget to regularly pin new content to stay fresh and give followers a reason to come back and share further. After all, sharing is what organically grows the awareness of the page and brand itself.
The possibilities for a brand on Pinterest are plentiful. With enough dedication, resource time and creative backbone, a brand can make a true impact on a very savvy social audience. If that is not reason enough to hop on the site immediately, perhaps the recipe for “ready made mason jar cocktails” on my Pinterest page will be? Feel free to repin it, too. (Find my page here: http://pinterest.com/karenner7/.) Cheers!
comScore, December 2011
Experian Hitwise, December 2011