Why You Should Use Pinterest in Your Social Media Campaigns

If you haven’t been putting the power of Pinterest to use for your business, now’s the time to do so.

This isn’t the first time we’ve talked about it, but Pinterest is worth writing about again since it has broken into the top 50 sites. According to ComScore, Pinterest was the 50th most visited site in the U.S. in September, with about 25 million visits.

Not that this should be much of a surprise. The growth of Pinterest over the past year or two has been enormous. Image sharing is definitely in, which explains why Instagram and Tumblr took spots on the list, too.

So the question is: Are you taking advantage of it? If your site or business is of interest to women and you aren’t on Pinterest, you are definitely missing out. Big time. Almost 20% of all the females on the Internet are using Pinterest.

What is Pinterest?

Pinterest is a hybrid social bookmarking site where users can post (“pin”) photos and videos of just about anything to a “pin board.” Anything pinned to these boards becomes publicly or privately viewable, depending on settings. It gives users a simple, clean way of sharing anything that people find visually interesting.

Users are finding lots of ways to make Pinterest useful, from planning a wedding, to saving a favorite recipe, to redecorating a home.

From an SEO standpoint, Pinterest is a great tool for link building; every image pinned can be hyperlinked to any destination URL.

Even though Pinterest is still in its infancy, it already has lots going on:

  • Pinterest has received tens of millions of dollars in venture funds, which says a lot about the confidence that the investors have for the company
  • Unique visits to Pinterest increased by a staggering 429% from September to December 2011
  • Pinterest is only three years old, but it has become the top traffic referrer for retailers
  • In the entire social space, Pinterest is sixth on the scale for driving the most traffic to websites
  • Pinterest now drives more traffic than Google+
  • Pinterest also now drives more traffic than LinkedIn and Reddit
  • Recently, it was reported that Pinterest receives over 11 million monthly unique visitors from the U.S. alone. It crossed the 10 million mark faster than any other stand-alone sites, according to Comscore.

What should I do about Pinterest?

If you are running a business, it’s time to register a Pinterest account. You probably don’t need a tutorial on how to create one, as signing up for one is very simple.

Learn as much as you can about how to use Pinterest, its best practices, and learn from others about how best to use the site to share interesting things.

While it’s obvious by now that Pinterest is here to stay, businesses should use the site with caution. As with any website, Pinterest was created for real people with interesting things to share. It’s fine to promote things, but make a point of providing real value that other people will appreciate.

Pinterest Users Want to Buy

You might think that keeping your Facebook page up to date would be a higher priority than getting involved in a newer site like Pinterest.

But we strongly urge you to reconsider your marketing plan. To stay competitive, you have to evolve and stay on top of emerging trends. Take a look at the graph below (courtesy of BizRate Insights) and you’ll see that Pinterest users are much more plugged into buying mode than Facebook users.

Yes, there are many more bodies on Facebook and you should continue to interact with users there. But the number of Pinterest users and people who know what Pinterest is continues to climb steadily. In January of this year, Shareaholic announced that Pinterest was driving more traffic than YouTube, Google Plus, and LinkedIn COMBINED. See that report here.

Because Pinterest has become such an important site for brands and businesses to be involved with, there have been some interesting tools and sites developed to help you get the most from it. Here are just a few that can boost your marketing potential on Pinterest.

Staying Informed with Pin Alerts

You can view all the pins anyone has done from your site by entering http://pinterest.com/source/ and adding your domain to the end of that.

It can be tedious, though. PinAlerts makes it easy to know when someone pins something from your site. It’s still in beta, but it looks like a nifty little tool.

Not only can you use it to find out who’s pinning your stuff (helpful to see what’s being pinned, and to go and comment or thank them), but you can monitor multiple domains. So you could also use this to see what kind of content your competitors are using successfully and getting pins for.

How’s Your Influence? PinPuff Tells You

Want to know what kind of value you have on Pinterest? PinPuff gives you a reach score (what kind of reach you have on Pinterest), activity score (how active you are) and virality score (the likelihood of something you pin going viral). You can use this to monitor your own Pinterest account, but you could also use it to identify influential people in your industry so you can follow them or invite them to contribute to your board.

When someone becomes a contributor to your board, he or she can obviously post pins (contribute) to the board. But what’s awesome about this is that now your board will also show up on that person’s page of boards. If you can get several authorities in your industry to contribute and they happen to have a large amount of followers, this can quickly expand the number of targeted followers on your board.

When a user receives a request to become a contributor, the request appears at the top of his or her boards page (visible only to the page owner) like this:

Here’s an example of a board with several contributors. Notice there isn’t a ton of pins (fewer than 100), but more than 4,000 followers have linked to this board:

Monitor Pinterest Analytics with Pinerly

Pinerly gives you access to powerful analytics information for your Pinterest marketing campaigns. You can identify popular pins, schedule and follow your pins to see how much attention they get, find people to follow, or unfollow people.

Conclusion

Pinterest can be a powerful marketing tool if used correctly. The chance of something going viral is very high, since according to RJMetrics more than 80% of all pins are repins.

Timothy Carter