Done? Good. Let’s get started.
As you have noticed, (or will soon notice) Pinterest is like an interactive magazine. Pictures are front and center. You can copy an article from a friend and pin it on your own board (it is called re-pinning). It is full of photos, cleanly designed, intuitive to use and viral as all heck. Early reports are showing incredible user engagement numbers for a relatively new site. But are we really surprised?
What makes Pinterest so darn sexy?
Pinterest seems to have successfully blended the fast-moving nature of Twitter with the social aspects of Facebook and the photo-centered approach of smarter retail sites. Let’s explore how…
- Photos – We know that video on a website increases time on site, significantly. It makes sense, after all, since you have to be on the site to watch it. But how do photos increase engagement? Photos draw us in. This is one thing that has not changed since the dawn of print marketing. The first page of a story always has an intriguing photo to draw you in, doesn’t it? Retail catalogs seem to be more and more about the photos and less and less about the text — remember the days of the Banana Republic catalog’s hand drawn images and text-laden descriptions? Yeah, neither does Banana Republic. We know that a picture is worth a thousand words and the world moves more quickly than ever.
- Sharing – The act of “sharing” content has become the cornerstone of social media sites. It has even created a “filter bubble” according to Eli Pariser — meaning we are more likely to see things we agree with since most of our content is now curated by friends. He thinks this might lead to a less well-rounded understanding of the world. But I digress…
- Speed – We don’t want to cull through an entire newspaper anymore. We want the news brought to us in digestible chunks. On Twitter, that is 140 characters (or an average of 15 words – hence the title of this post.) We like small bits of info that we can scroll through, clicking for the full read only when we are interested enough.
How is Pinterest succeeding in the highly competitive social media world?
The greatest barrier to entry for new social media sites is the need for a large audience quickly. You want to be where your friends are and vice versa. Pinterest allowed for a Facebook login so that it could post on your page and entice your friends. Then it used that access to your Facebook account to start automatically following friends who are users – that aspect caused some controversy in the arena of privacy. However, I bet that move helped to skyrocket its user numbers.
But the pièce de résistance is Pinterest’s user experience. Once you look around and start pinning, you just can’t stop (oh its the same darn thing as Pringles — once you pop…) So, it’s not going anywhere.
So, how can we best use Pinterest to drive traffic to our businesses?
- Begin by just looking around. See how people use it. See how small businesses use it. Make note of what they prefer to pin and what gets re-pinned.
- Create a theme or themes you will follow that suits your brand and business — this is the way to create a consistent voice in all of your social media. Then, make boards to organize your pins.
- Create keyword-driven blogposts and/or landing pages on your website with good images and pin them on Pinterest. See which of your items get re-pinned. Make sure it is GOOD ORIGINAL CONTENT — this will make it valuable to the consumer and to your site.
- If you are pinning retail items from Amazon or another site from which you can gain associate referral fees, be sure to include that info in the tag.
- Track the traffic from Pinterest to your website with Google Analytics.
So, that is the latest in the social media world. Give it ten minutes; it will change again. But, that doesn’t mean that Facebook, Twitter, Linked In and Pinterest are leaving. So, dig in and pin!