The Pinterest Pendulum
Do I really have time for another social network? That’s the question I ask myself almost daily. There are literally thousands of social networks introduced each year. Few make it to the point of relevance. Pinterest has. Pinterest allows you to express your interests and desires through pictures and images (and video more and more often.) It is fundamentally an image sharing stage where members ‘pin’ links of web pages to their ‘boards’. This can be whatever you want – it can be haphazard things that you just have a curiosity in and want to share or it can be numerous images related to a specific topic of interest to you. For example, you could have a passion for 1960’s British roadsters, old company logos, classic men’s watches or even a holiday home you really need to rent out. As a member, you are able to look through many ideas and if you notice a board that you’re enthralled with then you ‘follow’ it in the same way you do on Twitter and you will be alerted whenever any new photos are uploaded to the board. You can also give comments and join in discussions on each of the images that appear on the site.
But what about the business angle? If you run a business with a website promoting products or services then you need a Pinterest plan. For starters there are certain business types that will benefit from image sharing – visual products such as clothes, photography, lodging and artwork to name a few. Pinterest is a terrific opportunity to create some boards and push your business because your photos have the chance to go viral and create huge traffic to your site. But what if you are not a terribly visual business? Well, every image has a link back to the webpage you are trying to promote. If you don’t know, Google absolutely loves links on Pinterest and will reward your website with higher search rankings even if that links doesn’t bring direct traffic. But the most valuable long-term approach from a sales viewpoint would be engage the community spirit of Pinterest for a little while prior to ‘hard-selling’ your products. For example, ‘pin’ some non-business pictures and then over time add your stuff.
An example: If we take the holiday rental I mentioned earlier, it might be that somebody owns a home they want to rent out in Key West for the eight or nine months of the year it’s not being used by them. They have a problem on Google because the first 4 or 5 pages of results are dominated by the large agencies. So they get a board on Pinterest and fill it with nice pictures of the house. They also upload images of the surrounding area, beaches, local places of interest, etc. Next they start searching for other Pinterest users who have posted images of homes in Key West and follow and re-pin their material. Eventually other Pinterest subscribers will come across the board, follow them, re-pin their images and ultimately the website featuring the home for rental gets lots of new traffic. And of course, the Google rankings for the site will start to climb as well.
Pinterest has some good hype right now. It’s hard to say if they will become the next mega network but they are very relevant and valuable for marketing. What we know for sure is that many of our clients are seeing real traffic gains from Pinterest. The Pinterest pendulum is in full swing so we recommend coming along for the ride.