Navigating the choppy waters of a new social networking site can be challenging as a marketer. The latest social media site to have marketers buzzing these days is Pinterest. Experian Hitwise finds Pinterest is the new No. 3 social site on the web (total visitors), just slightly ahead of LinkedIn.
Massive growth and popularity prove Pinterest is a wise avenue for your next marketing dollars. But how can you use it?
Pinterest: A Guide for Marketers
One of the first things you need to understand about Pinterest is what the heck it is. The site is “A content sharing service that allows members to "pin" images, videos and other objects to their pin board.”
Pinterest allows users to create customized themed boards to pin their images, video and other objects to. The board and theme are as creative as the individual and for marketers this can be ripe ground for our talent.
Hitwise classifies Pinterest users into three categories:
- Boomers & Boomerangs: Boomers and Boomerangs are a contemporary consumer segment consisting of baby boomer-aged parents and their grown-up children living under the same roof. In these upscale households, most of the parents are in their 50s and early 60s while most of their children are teenagers and young adults in their 20s.
- Babies & Bliss: Babies and Bliss represent the premier lifestyle for large families in America. With a majority of households containing at least five people, this segment is a haven for large broods living in new suburban subdivisions. Parents in this segment tend to be in their 30s and 40s.
- Families Matter Most: A fast-growing segment, Families Matter Most consists of young, middle-class families in suburban locations leading active, family-focused lives. Nine out of 10 households have kids (nearly two-thirds have multiple kids).
As far as gender goes, a large percentage of the users on Pinterest are women. Google Ad planner shows Pinterest with an 80 percent female and 20 percent male demographic, ages primarily 25-44. The site caters to their interests so there’s no surprise there.
Men, however, are slowly migrating to the site and finding interest in their own ways. Sports teams have even created Pinterest boards for their male audience.
The information shared by Hitwise and Google Ad Planner can help marketers to see exactly who makes up the user base on Pinterest and what industries may do well. What marketers should understand here is that women are the core audience right now.
Research shows that women make the online purchasing decisions for roughly 75 percent of American households. This highly coveted demographic can be worthwhile for your marketing dollars. Don’t forget, however, that the site also has its appeal to other demographics as well.
There are many benefits to using this new social networking site for marketing a brand. Just like any other social site, brands stand a chance to reap the rewards of reaching more customers, driving more traffic, and selling more products.
According to Shareaholic, Pinterest sent more referral traffic to websites than Twitter did in February this year. The site still doesn’t beat out StumbleUpon as a referral traffic source, but is slowly climbing the ranks becoming a contender.
Over the summer, Pinterest became the top social media referrer for MarthaStewart.com and MarthaStewartWedding.com. The site is sending more referral traffic than Facebook and Twitter combined.
Cooking Light magazine’s website shows Pinterest as the second highest traffic referrer behind Google. The most popular topics that seem to drive traffic are in the wedding, arts and crafts, culinary, décor, design, and fashion industries.
For Etsy store owners, Pinterest has proved to be a boon to their success. The site caters to the creative and interesting, the unique.
Users are encouraged to share the prices of items in their pins, by placing a “$” prefix before the price. Attractive prices can certainly garner a click through and potential purchase.
Pinterest recently updated their Terms of Service and took out their pin etiquette statement that requested users not use Pinterest for self-promotion. Concerns about self-serving promotion restrictions are seemingly over.
While we certainly don’t recommend promoting the heck out of your products, adding boards to showcase your products that in turn can help sell them is a good idea.
If people love your products, there’s a good chance you’ve already debuted on Pinterest. Here’s a trick: Check for yourself by going to pinterest.com/source/yourdomain.com to see the users pinning your photos. You may find that customers pin many photos, have photos that get re-pinned or liked, and even have some Pinterest followers comment on their pins. These are all opportunities a brand’s name is spread and the reach is expanded.
Marketing on Pinterest: Quick Tips
- Legalities: One of the biggest concerns with a site like Pinterest is the copyright and trademark violation liabilities. When you pin content that doesn’t belong to you, you run the risk of infringing on the rights of that content. While some opt to tearfully delete their inspiration boards, others act more cautiously when utilizing the site. Post content you own the rights to or share content from others who own the rights.
- Stay Relevant: Pinning photos that relate to your brand and are organized in the proper board is suggested. Random photos that aren’t relevant to the themes and topics on Pinterest may not fare as well. Stand a chance at getting your pins seen by tailoring them to the topics popular on Pinterest. These popular pins show on category pages that receive many more Pageviews and can result in traffic and expanded reach.
- Optimize: A recent infographic put together by Pinnable business, illustrates the important optimization areas for your images in order to cater to Pinterest. From file naming to description length, each of these areas are important to understand and optimize. Additionally important is optimizing each pin description. Remember to add a call to action when applicable and you can even drop a link.
- Become Pinteresting: Simply adding a few boards and pins to Pinterest aren’t going to cut it. Find ways to create your own niche on the site. Garner a following; get known as the expert in a specific niche or topic on Pinterest by sharing interesting content. (Image via Agbeat.com)
- Hashtags: Pinterest understands hashtags, so use them. Use categories or keywords as hashtags, or even joke around with them to add some humor just like on Twitter.
- Add $: Remember, adding the “$” in front of a price will automatically add the pin to the Gifts section on Pinterest. When applicable, remember to add “$” to your pins.
Understanding how to use Pinterest and what marketing potential the site offers requires diving in and getting started. Test, measure, and track your efforts. Brainstorm with your team and look for opportunities outside the box. Continually tailor your efforts until you find the groove that works for you.
What are you waiting for? Get started today!
Etsy Image Credit: Design Style Guide