Content sharing site Pinterest is capturing the interest of social media gurus—and not just because of its rapidly growing user base. In addition to growing from 4 million users to 10 million users in less than two months, Pinterest is turning heads because of the potential value it offers advertisers to help promote their brands.
What is Pinterest?
Pinterest is a content curation site that allows users to share their favorite pictures and organize them on virtual pin boards. When a user finds something they think is funny, cool, interesting, inspiring or informative, they “pin” it to their pin board. People use Pinterest for a variety of reasons, including wedding planning, decorating, finding recipes, sharing inspiring pictures and posting favorite books, toys and clothing. This means that users are frequently sharing products, making it attractive to advertisers.
How Pinterest Works
Users can share an image in several ways: they can pin images using the special “pin it” tool, they can repin images that others have posted, and they can upload their own image. They can also “like” other pins and comment on them. When a user pins an item, they categorize it on one of their boards, which must fall under one of Pinterest’s many categories, like Design, Products, or Cars & Motorcycles, among others.
Users can also install a “Pin it” button on their bookmarks bar, which allows them to pin any image on the Internet that they find. Websites can also add a “Follow me” button to their website and a “Pin it” button to their product pages or blog posts.
How Pinterest Can Promote Your Brand Identity
Pinterest is generating more referral traffic than LinkedIn, Google+ and YouTube combined, according to recent studies. This is most likely due to Pinterest’s “Pin Etiquette,” which strongly encourages users to link back to their original source.
Brands can leverage Pinterest by adding the “pin it” button to their product pages. Companies should be careful, however, when they create their own Pinterest account, as Pinterest discourages self-promotion. Instead of posting pictures of their products, brands should use the content curation site to demonstrate the idea behind their brand and to provide a sense of their company’s culture.
Advertisers might also find Pinterest useful for market research. By examining what other items their followers are pinning, companies can discover other interests their fans have and use that information to target consumers on other social media sites, like Facebook. Companies looking to utilize Pinterest should also note that most users are female and should cater their strategy towards women.
As with any social media site, companies should use Pinterest to provide useful and engaging content that fans will like and enjoy. They should pin images that consumers will find visually appealing, compelling and interesting, and will want to repin to their own boards. Ultimately, Pinterest is about helping people find images that are inspiring. Companies who keep that in mind will be more likely to reap the benefits Pinterest has to offer.