Finally, there is now a scenario where being called a “Pinhead” is not meant as an insult. Welcome to the world of Pinterest, the virtual pinboard to organize and share everything you love on the web, and the latest social media craze to hit the fan.
If you haven’t heard of Pinterest yet, you are likely not the 25 to 44 female demographic that has embraced this medium to do everything from plan a wedding to decorating a dream home. The concept itself is simple: Add a “Pin-it” button to your browser window and start bookmarking images, with a link back to the website where the pin came from. You can create and manage boards on any topic and add as many pins as your heart desires.
But what purpose does Pinterest serve for business owners and marketers, if any? Besides creating a board and following other people’s boards for inspiration, how can this social platform serve your goals and objectives? In short, how can it drive traffic and leads to your website?
According to recent data by Compete.com, Pinterest has increased its unique visitor traffic by 155 percent in only one month (from December 2011 to January 2012). To date, it remains the fastest growing social site on the web, surpassing both LinkedIn and Google+ as the #5 social network in the marketplace today (Facebook, YouTube and Twitter claim the first three spots, respectively).
But let’s get back to our point on why Pinterest matters. Hubspot recently released a study that makes the case for Pinterest. Here are the top reasons why businesses large and small should take note of #Pinsanity:
Any business that relies on high traffic volume to its website should consider Pinterest, which has demonstrated its effectiveness at referring traffic at a much more rapid rate than even Facebook. This is quite the competitive advantage that you should leverage against your competitors early in the game.
Every single “pin” includes a link back to its source. Although these are no-follow links and will not impact your overall SEO strategy much, the value they provide is still substantial for branding and referral purposes.
In early research, Pinterest has shown it can contribute to lead generation. We’ll be keeping a close eye on this one for future Blog posts.
Pinterest currently requires users to login with a Facebook or Twitter account. As such, this integrates both platforms with the Pinterest application. You can even automatically post new pins on your Facebook feed for others to see, but that functionality is still limited to Profiles only, not Company Pages. Of course, you still have the option to share your “pins” via Facebook, Twitter or email manually.
Just remember, Pinterest is a lifestyle product designed to showcase and curate creative homes, designs, recipes and more. To avoid being the self-promoting spammer at this party, couple your product “pins” with other related content that truly syncs with your business vision and your target audience. In short, make sure you use Pinterest to showcase the lifestyle that your brand promotes, using visual content to elicit readers to “repin” your work. Don’t be afraid to share your personality and make things #pinteresting!