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Pinterest for Business

March 21, 2012

What is Pinterest?

Pinterest is a pin-board styled social network for sharing images and links on the internet.  It’s akin to an online, sharable scrapbook or bulletin board.   The website allows users to create and manage theme-based image collections. The site’s mission statement is to “connect everyone in the world through the ‘things’ they find interesting.”

How does it work?

Users can upload, group, share, and broadcast any image that is interesting or inspiring to them.  An uploaded image is called a “Pin.” Users customize themed boards to place their images or pins on. People can create any type of collection they wish – recipes, home décor ideas, exercise and fitness techniques, social media – anything that can be conveyed via an image.

Like Twitter, you can follow anyone, even if they aren’t following you back. You have the option to follow all of another user’s boards, or you can just select certain boards to follow. You can sign up using your Twitter or Facebook account, which makes it easy to find all of your friends already using Pinterest.  You can also tag other users in your posts and re-pin other people’s pins.  Repinning is sharing an image pinned by someone you follow or found while browsing Pinterest, and then adding it to one of your own boards. Repinning gives credit to the person who first pinned the image. You can also edit the description when you repin something.  Any picture that’s posted also contains a backlink to where the image was originally found and remains there regardless of how many times the image is repined. Repins are like the “retweets” of the Pinterest world.

Pinterest also allows you to add a “Pin It” button to your toolbar or bookmarks. Clicking on your “pin it” button lets you pin a picture to one of your boards from anywhere on the internet.  Once you pin something to one of your boards, you have the option to mention your post on Twitter and Facebook for even more exposure.

Facts and Figures

Although Pinterest has been around since 2009, its growth has exploded in the last year.  In May 2011 Pinterest had less than 2 million unique visitors.  However in January 2012 11.78 unique visitors spent an average of 97 minutes a day on the website.

Pinterest users:

  • tend to have a higher income – 27% earn over 100K
  • 68% women – 17% 18-24, 27% are 25-34, 22% 35 to 44
  • 50% have children

The attraction of Pinterest is that it combines two of the most powerful elements of social media – visual content and sharing.  People are using it to find inspiration whether it be wedding planning, home furnishings or what to make for dinner. Consequently, they are using Pinterest to guide their buying decisions.  If a user finds a pin interesting, they will likely click on the source link and perhaps purchase the product.

How can this help your business

If your product suits Pinterest’s demographic, then it could be a great tool to increase visits to your website.  Currently, this social network is best suited for retail, lifestyle, food, home decor, design, publishers, and travel brands.  Only brands that have visually appealing content are suited for Pinterest at this time.


Discoverability – Pinterest is a great tool for helping you to get found.   Users find new pins on Pinterest by typing in search phrases into the search engine, which exposes them to new products. Results change as new pins are added.

Link Building –Anytime someone pins something from your site, it automatically pulls in not just the image from your site, but also a link. There is a chance for that pin to be repinned multiple times (even hundreds of times, in some cases), building up your backlinks.

Brand Promotion – When someone likes your pin, it’s likely that they will repin that onto one of their own boards, helping to promote your product or brand.  Some users have boards devoted entirely to their favourite brands.

Other points to consider

If you’re going to use Pinterest for your business or brand, make sure it’s a fit.  It’s also important to integrate your other social networks – promote your Pinterest boards via Twitter and Facebook, for example and ensure that there’s a Pinterest button on your website.  Last but not least, as with all social media, engagement is paramount! So don’t forget to promote others and share their pins so that they will share yours.

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