Leveraging Pinterest for Your Business

by: | March 5, 2012

Just when you thought that social media had nowhere left to go, here comes Pinterest kicking in the walls of your cozy social universe. Pinterest is taking the web by storm. From what began as a niche site is quickly becoming the new “it” platform.

Pinterest is basically a visual bookmark tool that allows users to create pinboards for different subjects like fashion, travel, or anything they like. Users can then use the bookmark app that is added to a browser’s toolbar to “pin” a URL to one of their specific boards. The catch is that the content must have an image or video embedded in the HTML in order to be saved. The result is an extremely engaging and interesting boards\ filled with images and brief descriptions that allow users to comment, like, or re-pin your bookmark to their own boards.

If a user is aggregating a wish list of products to compare, then a simple click on the image brings them to the original site, so they can purchase or do more research. It is beautiful in its simplicity.

What Does Pinterest Mean For Webmasters?

First, it puts emphasis on rich media. All posts, articles, and especially products will need images or video. And not just any images, but powerful, well shot images that look good enough standing alone on people’s boards to make other “Pinners” want to like, re-pin, or click through. Pinterest will not recognize images embedded in Flash or served up by JavaScript. This is another incentive to build clean and accessible web pages, beyond pleasing site users and search engines.

Next, it should make website owners revisit their sites’ information architecture, usability, and check out process. Pinterest provides an opportunity for a completely new set of users to visit your site. Pinned pages/images are getting circulated rapidly through the Pinterest community, which is driving traffic to the original sites. Make sure that checking out is easy and obvious for curious shoppers. Also, use the website’s design to intuitively move these new patrons through your site to pin more, or even buy more, products.

What Does Pinterest Mean For Businesses?

It means there is another social media platform out there that could possibly facilitate connecting your business with a new subset of the online population. Pinterest is growing at an incredible pace with 10.4 million users as of the writing of this article. The more remarkable stat is that the user base grew by 429 percent between September and December of 2011. Women currently account for 97 percent of the users on this platform! You might see these numbers even out slightly, though, as I personally see a handful of male Facebook friends beginning to follow me with every passing day on my Pinterest account.

In addition to connecting with a new demographic, Pinterest offers SEO benefits for your web pages. Pinterest is creeping up to other platforms as a leading referral mechanism on the web. It is responsible for 3.6 percent of all web referrals, just behind Twitter at 3.61 percent. In addition, businesses can link their pins to Facebook and Twitter to maximize their pins’ coverage.

The biggest SEO component for Pinterest is the link-building capability, because as Pinterest grows in authority, so will the links coming from it. By pinning content from your business pages, you gain another mechanism spreading your content across the web to capture various users and drive them back to your pages (just like Facebook, G+, Twitter, blogs, SEM, Flickr, and more). You also gain the ability to create external web pages with links to your website.

Pinterest is yet another social media channel that offers businesses a way to connect with people in a simple, content-based manner. It allows people to talk about your content and share it within the community. Pinterest also gives you an excuse to create better content and better assets in the form of video and images.

Because Pinterest is so new for business, it is open to interpretation. Experiment with pins beyond sharing your own products. Reach out to the community by letting business stakeholders like sales teams and other members create pinboards and pins to share company culture through their personal tastes. Learn by having fun, and get pinning!Marketing Zeus

Posted in: B2C, Banner/Display, Campaign Development, Content, E-Commerce, Lead Generation, Link Building, Mobile Advertising, Optimization, Rich Media, Social Networks

About the Writer:

John Prinzo is a Rollins College graduate and has an MS degree from Full Sail University in Internet Marketing. He began his digital career as a Project Manager for Lightmaker in Orlando, FL – a renowned digital agency. He is currently the Digital Marketing & PR Specialist for Orlando Health. John is an avid music fan and writes and photographs as a freelance music journalist. He collects his music coverage on his Orlando music blog, Kisses & Noise. His focus is on project management, digital strategy, copywriting, SEO, social media, blogging, and rocking out.

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