Social Media Alert! – There’s a new kid on the block – Pinterest is here and gaining followers fast. It may surprise you to know that at the time of writing, Pinterest is the 3rd largest social network in the world with Facebook and Twitter being 1st and 2nd respectively.
To say that Pinterest has snuck in under the radar of most people is an understatement, Google+ developers must be crying into their beer right now as the newest newcomer to the scene leap frogs them to a place on the podium. It looks like Pinterest is going to be the biggest thing in social media since… Well, the last big thing.
So what is Pinterest and is it worth our digital marketing time to get involved in yet another social media land grab?
Pinterest is basically a virtual pin-board, you could call it a social photo sharing website.
You post pictures you like to a pinboard, similar to facebook you have a wall which displays friends updates (in this case pinned pictures), you can ‘like’ a pin, re-pin someone else’s pin to one of your boards and you can follow other users pinboards to see all of their updates.
The idea behind Pinterest is for you to have an online space to organize and share the beautiful/funny/worth-remembering things you find on the web.
You can browse pinboards that other users have created to discover new things and get inspiration from people who share your interests.
Pinterest is currently invite-only, but its not hard to get in. You can be invited by someone who is already a member of Pinterest, or request an invite from the website.
So what use is this to small business owners/digital marketers?
Pinterest currently has 11 million visitors each week spending an average of 15.8 minutes on the site each visit. Those users are pinning pictures of products they like, designs, art and crafts they are interested in, recipes of things they want to cook and photo’s of places they want to visit.
Pinterest is becoming a serious contender as a source of traffic for some big brands, with reported referrals out performing Twitter, Facebook, G+ and Myspace.
The main demographic of Pinterest users is Women ages 25 to 34, mostly women use the site but in the U.K its almost a 50-50 ratio of males to females.
Could Pinterest be a worthwhile digital marketing strategy for your small business?
Heres the real reason Pinterest could be great for your business: Every time someone pins something from a webpage, the link to the webpage goes with it, including everytime a picture is re-pinned.
So its a great way to build up back-links for SEO and gain click through traffic to your website.
If you are selling products that in anyway are visually appealing or have great images on your website then you could see a benefit.
Baring in mind that most users are young to middle age women, businesses in the following niches would probably see a good return from getting on board with Pinterest.
Crafts and Arts
Food / Drink / Restaurants
Health & beauty
Anything to do with lifestyle design
Important points to consider before getting involved with Pinterest
There have been a number of articles published recently discussing the copyright issues of using other peoples pictures. It does state in the terms of service that you are responsible for the copyright of pictures you pin.
However, when pinning a photo from a webpage, you are effectively creating a link back to that website, and possibly creating a new traffic source for the website owner so I cant see that many webmasters will chase you for copyright royalties if you are helping their SEO, but it is something to keep in mind.
Pinterest terms of service don’t say that you can’t solely self promote, they more encourage you to mix self promotion with community engagement.
A good strategy would be to pin your own pictures and mix occasionally with relevant pictures from other sites and re-pin/like pictures from other users to become involved with the community is the best way to avoid being labelled as a spammer.
Are you on Pinterest? What do you think? Have you seen an increase in traffic or search rankings from it? – I have
Digital marketing is the use of new Internet technology such as social networks, blogs, podcasts, video sharing sites and other digital media to reach new prospects, get them pre-interested, pre-motivated and pre-qualified to do business with you.