Why You Should Use Pinterest
Pinterest is a pinboard-style social photo sharing website that allows users to create and manage theme-based image collections such as interests and hobbies. Users can browse other users pinboards for inspiration, ‘re-pin’ images to their own collections and ‘like’ photos. You can connect your pins with Twitter and Facebook, which allows users to share and interact with a broad community.
Pinterest is not about self-promotion but about promoting your brand values by sharing a visual link. Each image has a link back to the site that it was pinned from and so should help to drive traffic to their websites. Pins can be re-pinned by other people and so reach a bigger audience.
You pin by adding a link to a website or uploading an image, or you can install the ‘Pin It’ button from Pinterest. Pins are grouped into boards which you name like photo albums and should be themed eg architecture, cars, fashion, weddings. You can edit pins and move them around your boards
Fifty-nine percent of its “pinners” are women between 25 and 40 years of age. Women also make up 58% of its unique visitors. But men are increasingly using Pinterest and this is set to increase.
The most obvious companies that would use Pinterest are those with ecommerce sites that would pin images from their sites. Prices can be added by including them in the description. However many other companies and businesses would benefit from this visual aid. Pinterest is a visual social discovery network and the point of Pinterest is to explore and discover new things. Diversity and eccentricity is appreciated and encouraged For example a language school could pin images of places and food from the countries of the languages they teach. A beautician could show celebrities looking radiant. A farm shop could show images of farms, animals, and crops as well as images of cooked meals. A builder could show work they’ve done as well as the type of work they could do. The opportunities are endless. Infographics are a great way of getting your message across. You can commission them, or create your own using websites such as www.visual.ly
Websites can let customers know they are on Pinterest by adding the icon button to their sites and they can encourage pinning and sharing activity by adding a share tab to images. In fact Pinterest pins are on 9% of the top online retail sites (60% have facebook likes). Websites can opt out if they prefer not have their images used by contacting Pinterest.
Pinterest is easy to use and requires little time commitment as there are no dates and times of posting associated with pins, unlike most of the other social networking sites. It is now the third largest social networking site with 104m users after Facebook (7bn) and Twitter (182m) (Feb 2012).
A note of caution – when you are pinning your brand’s photographs, it’s clear you are not infringing anyone else’s copyright — they are your images. But when you add images from across the web, you don’t own that content and you must make sure you include the link to the website the image came from. The easiest way is by using the ‘Pin it’ button.