Most brands and business not to long ago thought about Pinterest in the Context of Radio Caroline, the now infamous pirate radio station parked offshore in the English Channel sending out a stream of rock and roll that offset the boring pulse of the BBC.
Pinterest has morphed in the last eighteen months into a social media channel that delivers stellar marketing ROI in the form of traffic, incremental revenue and strong brand awareness – with a demographic rich target market comprising educated, sophisticated females with discriminating taste.
Pinterest is NOT another dare we say it flash in the pan Flickr (now a repository for aging images craving Marissa Mayer’s attention) – the hard numbers underscore the blistering growth (especially among creative females) Pinterest has been experiencing the last 18 months.
Pinterest is now the number two social network, right behind Facebook in terms of size and delivering more brand punch (read: traffic and engagement) than Twitter, Tumblr, LinkedIn, Google+ and even Instagram.
It’s estimated, based on Comscore’s most recent numbers, Pinterest is in high growth mode (blistering) with an estimated 34M users as of the end of Q-1 2013. And, Pinterest user’s spend money, with an estimated $170. per purchase, contrasted with $95. via Facebook and $71. via Twitter users.
If your brand is targeted educated women buyers (you’ll strangely find lots of boards via men devoted to more mundane images) Pinterest is where you want to be.
With 52% between the ages of 24-34 (boomers are MIA), 57% have a four year college degree and a 88% have purchased a product they’ve pinned, win an average 105 repins on each image shared.
Pinterest Jedi Tips and Techniques
If you want the plain vanilla basic platform review of Pinterest check out our marketing platform reviews for a more baseline review. Here are five critical marketing inflection points for brands that want to thrive on Pinterest.
Great Pinterest marketing is just content marketing and curation – (don’t overthink) and great content trumps everything else on Pinterest.
If your images are all self-promtional and product-centric don’t expect repins (brand amplification) or interaction with Pinterest Users.
You can log in to Pinterest and find terabytes of funky images with descriptions written by amateurs with high signal to noise ratio. They aren’t doing anything for the brand they represent.
Don’t replicate these mistakes! Spend time researching content – a good rule of thumb for image curation is 1-3 hours for a Pinterest Board with 10-20 images.
We engage with and support (not a client BTW) Pardee Homes via Twitter and Pinterest – their boards are a superb example of stellar content curated and targeted for home buyers in Las Vegas and L.A.
What makes their brand stand out on Pinterest? Their Pinterest Boards all have high quality images, with a good mixture of Boards featuring their homes and Boards with lifestyle content visually targeted for their customer demographic.
Our mini critique: Pin descriptions are too short, with no hashtags on their pins – long form descriptions drive SEO rankings and deeper engagement on the platform. Your brand will generate a much higher volume of Likes and Repins with well written Pin descriptions, potentially piquing the interest and social engagement of the viewer.
Pinterest is a black belt driver of search engine rankings for savvy brands – deep link into your web site (interior pages) with Pinterest images by creating multiple Pins based on an existing pages.
Note for SEO savvy marketers, incremental deep backlinks into your site from a top tier portal like Pinterest mean your brand will generate more traffic as an “authority web site.” Typically if you are a consumer facing brand you are going to get less bounces rates and more sales conversions linking visitors to an interior page about a specific product.
Don’t be boring on Pinterest with your brand – look at the Gucci’s Pinterest presence – it’s all magazine or print centric high quality images, with no soul, no personality or anything that generates brand impact. Boring and doesn’t engage.
This is an iconic brand no less and you would think they would invest a lot more in their digital assets – but their Boards are product and model centric, with the personality of a tree stump. Boring!
For another digital reference point, Forever21′s Pinterest Boards are just about as boring and mundane as Gucci. It’s just product centric images, with no real lifestyle branding components (videos!!? MIA); note the “like” count is low as well and not what you would expect this type of of a popular brand with a younger demographic well represented on Pinterest. The images are glossy, the models are fashionably draped but the brand resonance doesn’t move the meter much. Yawn IOHO.
Pinterest is a social platform just like Twitter or Facebook -many brands on Pinterest never get any traction – just using low cost outsourced labor to create funky images, go for volume marketing strategy (lots of Pins), with no Page or Board optimization (just bare bones titles) and of course, not realizing this platform is social in its DNA just like Facebook or Twitter.
These are flat profile accounts (throw them up and check it off the list) with no Following, posting comments, sharing other Pins via social accounts (“Pay it Forward”) and inserting “Likes” on quality images and videos. Not dynamic, with no compelling content. Meaning, no downstream engagement or real marketing ROI. Game, set, match!
If done properly, Pinterest is a great place for content syndication – this means repurposing all Infographics, Images, Staff, Company Functions, Events and Tradeshows, YouTube and Twine Videos, Blog images and don’t forget about customer supplied images.
See content rule #29: all images and videos should be shared on Pinterest via a Board with thematic content structured properly, optimized with hashtags and keywords in the Pin and Board titles and long form descriptions.
But, again, to underscore, content is expensive and it should be repurposed via Pinterest. And, don’t forget to share Pinterest content on all social media platforms – this will drive followers and social media engagement. And, enable “social sharing” via your web site.
Our 30K Foot Summary for Pinterest Best Practices
- Create high quality content comprising images that resonate with the Pinterest community (it’s competitive BTW)
- Don’t be a boring brand (no guts no glory
- Be social and engage with the Pinterest community – comment back on other Pins and Boards
- Refresh your account 3-5 times a week at a minimum
- Recognize success on Pinterest is content curation
This image below from our Creative Content Pinterest Board