Should My Company Use Pinterest?
Launched in 2010 as a content curation platform, Pinterest has enjoyed a recent explosion of popularity. But what is the point of Pinterest, and how can companies use it to grow their business and improve their brand?
What is Pinterest?
Pinterest is a social media platform whose content consists of images, photos, and videos shared between users and to the world at large. Users share a piece of content on Pinterest by “pinning” it, create different pinboards (or buckets) based on topic, and follow users or brands whose content they like.
Who uses Pinterest?
Most Pinterest users are female, and most are between the ages of 25 and 54. Big brands like Whole Foods and Etsy have accounts, and it’s the newest and hottest way to plan your wedding.
Because of its visual nature, your company is more likely to do well on Pinterest if your customers are:
- Designers (interior, web, or fashion)
- Animal lovers
- Event planners (wedding, entertainment)
- Home sellers (thanks, Dan!)
With over 10 million registered users and 11.7 million unique visitors in January 2012, Pinterest is causing ripples that may soon become waves. If you’re interested in building your brand with a new audience, now’s the time to get in on the ground floor.
You should have an SEO strategy for every piece of content you create, including anything you add to Pinterest.
- Give your pin a keyword-rich description and tags. You can also use hashtags to categorize content the same way you can on Twitter.
- When a user clicks on an image you’ve pinned, they’ll be take to the original image. Pin images so they link back to landing pages that include conversion opportunities for visitors.
- When re-pinning another’s content, leave a keyword-rich comment on it.
Incorporating your pins into your SEO strategy can lead to increased visibility in search engine results, more visits to your site, and more customers.
If you’re interested in driving more traffic to your website or other social media platforms like Facebook or Twitter, Pinterest may be perfect for you. In January 2012, Pinterest drove more traffic referrals than Google+, LinkedIn, and Youtube combined.
Users who click on an image are taken to that image’s original location. If that image is pinned from your Facebook page or somewhere on your website, you will seen an increase in the amount of referral traffic.
You will likely also see an increase in your site’s bounce rate; users who like your images will not always be interested in your content. Make sure your pages are optimized for capturing visitors’ information, and focus your content on attracting and holding your target audience’s attention.
Why not to use Pinterest
Doesn’t fit your business model
As with any social media site, Pinterest is not ideal for every business. If you’re unable to find appropriate content to pin, or don’t have the resources (manpower or financial) to be moderating and updating an account, don’t start one.
Not connected to monitoring tools
Many companies use tools like HootSuite or TweetDeck as their base of social media operations and monitoring. These programs connect Facebook accounts and pages, Twitter accounts, LinkedIn accounts and more to a single interface so you don’t have to visit and post to each social media platform separately.
As of this writing, many of these social media monitoring tools cannot pull in a Pinterest account. Logistically this means that you will need to visit the Pinterest website and log in separately to interact; at a higher level, the fact that the creators of these tools have yet to integrate Pinterest shows a lack of belief in the platform’s staying power.
If you are planning to pin or re-pin content that is not owned by your company, you should be aware that Pinterest’s Terms of Service state that users must have explicit permission from the owner of a given piece of content prior to pinning it.
Pinterest is not the first platform to have this requirement, but it’s the one getting the most attention for doing so. If you’re concerned about posting copyrighted content, or do not have the resources to get permission to pin every piece of content you want, Pinterest may not be ideal.
What are your thoughts on Pinterest? Let me know in the comments!