Why You Should Care about Pinterest

I am still enjoying my vacation in Denmark. And today we’ve been to Legoland. It’s been amazing, and I have been enjoying rollercoasters for 10 hours along with my kids.

I’d like to introduce you to Heather Green. She has written a guest post about Pinterest. Let’s discuss it in the comments.

pinterest - why should we care

Pinsanity seems to have gripped the Internets. Millions of users are “pinning” photos and videos from their favorite sites and creating virtual pin boards that reflect their personal style, offer inspiration, or serve as bookmark dumps for gifts they want to buy, outfits they want to create, or crafts they want to make. So what does any of that have to do with your business? Perhaps quite a lot.

How Pinterest Works

Pinterest is essentially an online scrapbooking site. Users install a toolbar, and if they see something that they like while they’re searching the Web, they click a button to “pin” it. They can organize their pins by themed boards. Some common themes might include “gifts” or “my style” or “inspiration.” Pinners may bookmark items that they think are neat or interesting. They may pin items that they want to create themselves. Or they might create a board that offers visual inspiration for a project or a goal.

Other pinners can choose to follow you (like Twitter) or can comment on your pins (like Facebook). They can also re-pin your pins, creating potential for an item to go viral.

Fastest-Growing Network

Pinterest is still a young start-up, but it has been going through the mother of all growth spurts. According to Mashable, the authority on social media and Internet trends, Pinterest gained over 13 million users in just 10 months – and the site is still invitation only. Tech Crunch reported that the site had reached 11.7 million unique monthly U.S. visitors alone by early February, and that it had crossed the 10 million mark faster than any other standalone site in history. Google DoubleClick reports that it has 21 million unique monthly worldwide visitors.

Check out this infographic from Monetate for more information about the rapid growth that Pinterest has experienced since its inception.

Pinterest was named one of Time’s 50 Best Websites last year and was honored with a Crunchie award for Best New Startup. There is also a Pinterest app and a mobile version of the site.

Dominant Player

Besides its enormous user base, Pinterest also boasts one of the best referral rates of any social media site. According to a Shareaholic Study, Pinterest drives more referral traffic than YouTube, LinkedIn, and Google+ combined. Google and social media giants Twitter and Facebook still lead for referrals. (However, Google and Twitter generated only a fraction of a percentage more referrals than Pinterest.)

With such a large database of users and strong referral potential to leverage, Pinterest offers business another key outlet for marketing their brand or their products. Learning how to tap into that market is key to maintaining a successful social-networking strategy.

Businesses and Pinterest

Successfully leveraging Pinterest as a marketing platform requires more than just pinning your own products or articles about your services. In fact, such blatant self-promotion is often seen as tacky or even bad manners by the site’s users. However, there are many ways to engage users without trying to sell to them directly.

The key to using Pinterest successfully is to create a sense of your brand, whether you are directly promoting your own products and services or not. For example, Whole Foods has found great success by promoting other healthy products, sharing photos that inspire, and encouraging interaction with its charity. Retail businesses and companies that sell lifestyle products or services will have an easier time promoting their brand on the site.

Businesses that promote intellectual property, such as banks or consulting firms, may have a tougher time creating a brand on Pinterest. However, a little creative thinking can go a long way. For example, a bank could create an “inspiration” board for those who are looking to buy a home, including pictures of dream homes, families enjoying traditions together, or significant life events like marriages or births. Consulting firms can pin infographics or other articles of interest related to the types of services they provide. The key is to provide items of interest to your customers while also promoting the values and concepts that your brand encompasses.

Whether Pinterest is just another flash in the pan or is here to stay is yet to be seen. It could become one of the top social media players, perhaps even edging out competitors like Twitter. What is certain is that it is a key player on the scene now, and businesses need to find ways to leverage its influence to promote their brands and to stay relevant in the social-media network.

About the Author:

Heather Green is a freelance writer for several regional magazines in North Carolina as well as a resident blogger for onlinenursingdegrees.org. Her writing experience includes fashion, business, health, agriculture and a wide range of other topics. Heather has just completed research on online healthcare administration degree and online physical therapy assistant programs.

  • les

    Thank you for a very good article, will have to look into Pinterest and see how it can be of advantage to me.

  • logo items

    I’ve always see Pinterest as a girly site. I never knew it also branched out into some more niches that everyone is surely going to be amused. Thank you for this. I think I should join here too. It’s fun there.

  • Warren

    Hey Heather, enjoyed the article. I’m still amazed at how fast these guys are growing, but while I’ve created an account and pinned a couple of things I can’t help but feel like I’m being spread in too many directions lately.

    With my own blog, Twitter, Facebook, my fan page, email, stumbleupon, etc. etc it’s getting hard to devote the time needed to grow and learn how to maximize every network.
    Do you see any traffic coming to your site as a result of participating on Pinterest?

    Jens, the rollercoasters sound awesome! Enjoy bro! :)

  • Brain

    I have checked website of Pinterest from last 3 months and I seen amazing growth of website. There are so many users visit this website daily and share many photos. This is one of the most growing social media website so It is important to use Pinterest for internet marketing as Facebook and Twitter.

  • Joseph Mills

    Pin interest now is being more popular because of its unique features. The themes are fantastic with lots of choices that can meet your needs and wants. And its addicting..

  • Becca

    The ideas you’ve shared here are fantastic and no doubt so great and it may really improve the variety of individuals visiting your website.

  • Ashvini

    Hi Heather, Jens,
    Like Warren, I too think that this is going too much to handle. Every channel needs its own strategy and time to execute them.
    But it is an important source of traffic so it cannot be neglected. I am just having a minimal presence on pinterest. Maybe it will get more with time.
    Thanks :)

  • Val Adams

    Pinterest has a different kind of approach which attracts people to use it. Social media specialist also see this as a very helpful and powerful tool in engaging to other people.

    Great article Heather. Thanks

  • http://slymarketing.com Jens P. Berget

    Hey Les,

    I agree. Heather did a great job with it. I am using Pinterest, but I’m not very active.

  • http://slymarketing.com Jens P. Berget

    Thanks a lot for the feedback.

    I haven’t tried to get any traffic from Pinterest, but I have talked to many people who are getting tons of traffic from it… so I guess it’s time to do something different :)

  • http://slymarketing.com Jens P. Berget

    Hey Warren,

    I am not getting any traffic from Pinterest, but I’m hardly active at all. I add a few pictures a week, that’s it. And they’re not targeted, and not even from my blog. But, I’m thinking of doing more research to see how it can benefit me. I love images, and if it can help me get more traffic, that would be awesome :)

  • http://slymarketing.com Jens P. Berget

    Absolutely. Pinterest is an amazing website, and I have been using it a lot to see pictures and share pictures. But as a marketer, I haven’t had any benefit from it, at least not yet :)

  • http://slymarketing.com Jens P. Berget

    Hey Joseph,

    Absolutely.

    Thanks a lot for the feedback :)

  • http://slymarketing.com Jens P. Berget

    Hey Becca,

    I agree. Heather did an awesome job with the article :)

  • http://slymarketing.com Jens P. Berget

    Hi Ashvini,

    I agree with both you and Warren. I am struggling to find the right way to handle things when it comes to social media. I am using Facebook and Twitter the most, and G+, LinkedIn, StumbleUpon and Pinterest a little. I should do some more research in order to find the right way to spend my time :)

  • Jens P. Berget

    Hey Val,

    Thanks a lot for the feedback. Heather did an awesome job with the article.

  • Andrew

    I am still new to this and i dont really know what pinterest is so i am still learning and thanks to your post it has all the information i need to start understanding it. Thank you for sharing this post.

  • Sarah

    I still do not quiet know how i feel about Pinterest. For personal use i totally understand its like blogging sharing with your readers what inspire you . Pinterest in regards to business again depends on what type of business you are running. I personally have not signed up on Pinterest as yet but what i do know is that there is still a lot of great potential to come. Thank you for the great insight.

  • http://adriennesmith.net Adrienne

    Hi Heather,

    Welcome to Jens place and wonderful post. A topic everyone is embracing these days.

    I admit still not giving it my all but I have a good blogging buddy that decided to do a board of bloggers so we are all repinning each other’s posts to our own board and I am now starting to see traffic to my blog because of it. It’s slowly moving up in the ranks, Pinterest is now #14 on my list of referral traffic. So I do know that it’s not to be taken lightly.

    Thanks for sharing with us why we all should be paying attention to this site so that no one gets left behind.

    ~Adrienne

  • http://slymarketing.com Jens P. Berget

    That’s a great idea for traffic. I need to find a similar tribe :)

    Thanks a lot for the feedback Adrienne.

  • Warren

    Hey Jens, yeah I think there will be a little bit of growing and learning taking place. I don’t have the time to invest into it until it starts having the ability to flood my site with traffic! LOL

    PS. Did you get any notices from Google in your webmaster tools account? I got a PR penalty and an undisclosed violation. (Life would be easier if they just told me what it was rather than saying one or all of my 700+ pages don’t comply LOL)

  • Jack Sander

    Pinterest is really great and has brought me a decent amount of traffic, but unfortunately only several niches can fully benefit from its huge potential. In addition, you have to add new pictures continuously and build strong relationships with others. Without chatting a little with people with similar interests, I don’t see how it could work.

  • Ashvini

    Just to get more overwhelmed. There is a new network called as Floost.com and people say its awesome :)

  • http://www.slymarketing.com Jens P. Berget

    Hey Ashvini,

    That’s the first time I’ve heard of Floost.com – are you a member?

  • Ashvini

    Hi Jens,
    Not yet but it looks interesting. My friend wrote about it here http://www.aksindiblog.com/2012/04/another-pinterest-inspired-social.html

  • http://slymarketing.com Jens P. Berget

    I haven’t been logged in to my google webmaster tools account for a long time, so I might have received a notice :)

    By the way, do you use the webmaster tools a lot?

  • http://slymarketing.com Jens P. Berget

    I need to sign up and see for myself :)

  • http://slymarketing.com Jens P. Berget

    Hey Andrew,

    I’m fairly new to Pinterest as well. I have been testing it, and I love images, but I haven’t been using it to get social or drive traffic… at least not yet :)

  • http://slymarketing.com Jens P. Berget

    Hi Sarah,

    I use Pinterest mostly for personal use as well. And that’s why I really like it, because there are so many beautiful images. I don’t know much about driving traffic and building a community by using Pinterest, at least not yet :)

    Thanks a lot for your comment.

  • http://slymarketing.com Jens P. Berget

    Thanks a lot for the feedback :)

  • http://slymarketing.com Jens P. Berget

    Hi Jack,

    So you’re getting traffic from Pinterest? I need to start finding out what to do about it, because I don’t have a clue how to get targeted traffic from Pinterest :)

    But I do love images, so I’ll stick around to see what will happen.

  • Stephen Summner

    Pinterest, sorry to say, I don’t think serve any purpose for a marketer. It does drain your energy and even if you manage to get traffic, they are by and large unmanageable and do not add any VALUE to your website. I would prefer stick to facebook for that purpose.

  • Jack Sander

    Well, the traffic from Pinterest isn’t converting at all… but it’s still traffic, right? I don’t do anything interesting to bring traffic. I just have a lot of followers with similar interests and I post new images daily.

  • Alyssa Clarke

    Pinterest is a visual medium, which tends to be more popular. Its too early to say that I might pose threat to Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and Yahoo! since it has a niche that is to do with style, decor and such visual aspects; unlike the other four that are more broad based with many facets to them.

  • Rizwan Sultan

    Pinterest is good tool for monetizing images right now it provide dofollow backlinks from image so it’s also the big cause for it’s popularity. :P

  • Mercedez

    Great post and I was wondering if there was a way to track your websites pins….awesome….thank you.

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