by UFSocial contributor Jen Soule
Looking to try a new recipe tonight? Go on Pinterest. Want some décor inspiration? Go on Pinterest. Need help with a DIY project? Go on Pinterest. Hoping to gain new followers and subscribers on your blog? Go on Pinterest. Trying to find motivation to go to the gym? Go on Pinterest.
Founded in 2009 by Evan Sharp, Ben Silbermann, and Paul Sciarra, Pinterest has become the go to web and mobile app for sharable content in categories including but not limited to DIY, fashion, fitness, and food. According to ComScore, Pinterest had 11.7 million unique U.S. visitors in early 2012 and that number has grown to at least 150 million active users monthly. Users can create a free account using their email address or another social media account such as Facebook and begin “pinning” images to boards (public or private) on their home page. Examples of boards you are likely to find on Pinterest include: travel, recipes, DIY, fitness, quotes, clothing, weddings, and photography. Though the content is typically in the form of a photo, developers are adding new features that will allow users to get “live camera” views of products they have pinned.
If you’re familiar with Pinterest, you’re probably thinking that it’s a site typically used by housewives, and I don’t blame you. However, the demographic is changing. Millennials, men, women, baby boomers, etc. are all turning to Pinterest for ideas, tips, infographics, and as a search engine. One of the major benefits to Pinterest is that you can search ingredients or brands and you’ll be given endless lists of recipes and products all at your fingertips, literally, if you’re using it on a mobile device. With its accessibility and user friendly buttons, Pinterest is on the rise in growth and revenue making it the next social media tool to watch.
Who Is Using Pinterest?
There a couple different types of Pinterest users. The first is the average user who is pinning content for personal use. For example, a 30-year old first time home buyer may use it to look for ideas on how to manage a mortgage, DIY projects, and what kind of questions to ask a realtor. This type of user is not seeking an increase in followers or engagement on their page, but is simply using it as a type of search engine to gain information. This is the type of user most people probably think of when hear “Pinterest”.
The new kind of Pinterest user is the one who’s using it as a marketing tool. With its user-friendly analytics tools, anyone can monitor monthly visitors and views and adjust their “pinnable” content accordingly. Bloggers especially are flocking to Pinterest to share their content in hopes of gaining subscribers, followers, and engagement. The idea is that you create clickable content that will direct viewers to your website. Then, if they pin your content to their own page, you’re able to reach a much larger audience. One of the reasons this tactic works so well on Pinterest is because content is being constantly share. With Snapchat, your pictures go away. On Instagram and Twitter, content eventually ends up at the bottom of your feed unless you have followers consistently re-posting. But, since Pinterest is an application designed for constant sharing – your content’s life-span will be much longer.
Pinterest Analytics 101:
Even if you’ve never measured social media analytics in your life and have no idea where to start, you will be able to figure out the built- in Pinterest analytics. And, if you still need a little help, there’s a step by step guide on the Pinterest help page.
With a free account, you have access to your average monthly and daily viewers and impressions and your average monthly engagements. Additionally, you can see which your pins in the last 30 days have had the most impressions, views and clicks. If you’re using Pinterest as a tool to promote your own business content, this is a great tool to find out which pins your audience wants to see more of. You also have the option to pay to promote one or several of your pins. By doing this, your pin will appear at the top of your followers’ homepage getting you guaranteed views for a period of time.
If you want to take your analytics a step further, there is a paid option to get bonus information. Or, if you want an outside resource to monitor your Pinterest analytics, there are several that will give you an in-depth analysis of your performance as a user.
Using Pinterest For Business:
Not only are bloggers using Pinterest to promote their content, but businesses are also using it to promote their products. One example of a retail company successfully using Pinterest to attract buyers and boost sales is J.Crew. Their Pinterest page has over 250,000 followers and over 332,000 pins.
Instead of simply posting pictures of clothes in stock, they are able to dedicate entire boards to categories like styling for the summer, stripes, prints, location based looks such as London, or event based styles such as NYFW (New York Fashion Week). This gives a little more value to their product because customers can get tips, ideas, and inspiration for new fashion styles instead of just seeing products in stores or online.
Each user can search for their preferred item of clothing without the distraction of sifting through all their items. For example, there’s a board for denim and men’s wear if that’s what you’re looking for.
If a user likes the pin, they can click it and they will be directed to the J.Crew website to buy that item.
Here are a few tips to use Pinterest for your business:
- Use keywords pertaining to your business in your board names
- Create your own content and always include a description along with it
- Make sure your photo links back to the page of the product or original post
- Allow influencers and popular pinners to contribute to one or more of your boards
- Post daily to maximize views
- Verify your website on your Pinterest bio
- Follow and pin from other users that align with your product
Should You Integrate Pinterest Into Your Marketing Campaign?
If you’re thinking about using Pinterest as a social media tool for your business or blog, here are a few key takeaways to consider:
|• User Friendly – Minimalistic approach to their design making buttons easy to use|
• Built-In Analytics – both free and paid for options to measure impressions and engagements
• Visually Appealing – Pinterest has limited text and mostly photo based
• Available as a web or mobile app
• Reach a wide variety of users – exposure isn’t limited to the people who follow you so your pins can be seen by all users
• Buying options available- the site now allows users to buy products through the site directly
• Plug-ins, buttons, and widgets available on most websites, blogs, and social media pages for easy linking to your Pinterest page.
|• Spam – some content links users to invalid web pages or inappropriate content|
• Creativity required – if you want to create your own viral content you should have some photography and editing skills
• Typically thought of as a site for women
Editorial credit: I AM NIKOM / Shutterstock.com