There’s a new online playground to bookmark these days. Pinterest is an invite-only ‘virtual pinboard’ that focuses on two main aspects of social media: sharing and organizing. So what? Well, any trendy new toy in the social media space that has almost 5 million users and is growing at a rate of 50% each month should definitely grab the attention of marketers and strategists everywhere. If those metrics haven’t sold you on the new platform, consider that Pinterest is now driving more referral traffic on the web than Google+, YouTube, Reddit,and LinkedIn combined.
Regardless of all the hype surrounding Pinterest, the engagement strategy rule of thumb stays the same – engage primarily on platforms that accentuate your brand’s strengths.
the fine art of printing
Naturally when any hot new social media platform starts making headlines, there are the usual questions – should my brand be on this? Would my business benefit from having a presence on this platform? The social media world has a trigger finger mentality to declare that ‘if your brand isn’t on ____ platform, you’re missing out!’ But the experts know better.
Look to the examples of successful early adopters and discern thoughtfully whether or not a Pinterest presence can benefit your brand.
- Nordstrom was the earliest adopter, starting a profile back in March of 2011. The retail chain’s boards feature more than 300 pins and have accrued over 10,000 followers. Nordstrom Pinterest boards’ top benefits have been real-time user feedback (based on how many likes/re-pins their content receives) and building referral links to the Nordstrom website. Another great example of pinning with a purpose – Pinterest images link back to their webpage of origin.
- Another great example comes from a trail blazed by handmade and vintage marketplace Etsy. With more than 57,000 followers, Etsy’s Pinterest presence is a great model to follow in terms of board organization. From Fashion to Holiday Décor to Valentine’s Day Love, Etsy has categorized their boards such that they come across organized and uncluttered. They even have dedicated boards to the individual countries to which Etsy markets, understanding that Pinterest users have the option to subscribe to individual boards or the entire set, depending on their level of engagement.
getting the goods
When used right, Pinterest provides an especially noteworthy SEO boost. Up until recently, 100% of the links on Pinterest carried the ‘do-follow’ SEO value, meaning that images pinned from your brand’s website or blog counted as backlinks within your site. This works wonders for your Google ranking when coming from a heavy-traffic site like Pinterest.
In late February, Pinterest had to begin curbing the dangerous potential of these backlinks to prevent users from “spamdexing,” or abusing the Pinterest link juice to deliberately manipulating their website’s prominence in search engine results. Even with this necessary adjustment, there is still valuable SEO traction to be gained from using Pinterest.
The maximum potential of this virtual pinboard tool can only be realized when all your online tools and marketing channels work harmoniously with one another. Before you start pinning away, think about:
- How a visual, image-based platform could possibly accentuate your brand or product’s strengths
- How you can best appeal to your target audience using this platform
- How Pinterest can be complemented and integrated into your overall social media strategy
Hot new social media platforms don’t always stick, but for the time being, Pinterest appears to be growing stronger each month, and pulls together the best parts of Facebook and Twitter to create an interesting new social bookmarking platform that could be here to stay.