When it launched, Google+ seemed like it would be the next big thing on the social-networking scene. Internet marketers, techies, and bloggers everywhere predicted that it would topple Facebook, sending it the way of MySpace. But Google’s foray into social networking didn’t make so much of a bang as a fizzle, with most people ignoring it completely if not for the SEO juice that Google has given it. Instead, an unknown, niche upstart has shot up through the ranks and made everyone take notice. Pinterest is a visual bookmarking tool that has inspired “pinsanity” in users across the Internet. If you haven’t created an account yet, here’s why you should:
Pinterest is one of the fastest-growing independent sites in the history of the Internet. As in, it has grown more visitors more quickly than any other independent site… Ever. It now has over 10 million users (and the site is still invite only) and averages 1.36 million visitors daily. That is a huge market to leave untapped. Users are connected through Facebook and Twitter, creating extra potential to gain more followers on those accounts through your Pinterest followers.
Pinterest doesn’t just attract potential customers, it also actively sends them to your site. Referral traffic for Pinterest has outpaced Google+, LinkedIn, and YouTube combined, and falls just behind Twitter. When you are an active member of the site, you can help control what links you are putting out there, optimize them with keywords, and promote “repinning,” or sharing, to help your content reach more users and to grow your referral traffic.
All those inbound links are doing more than just referring customers to your site, they are also improving your search-engine ranking. You can optimize these links by ensuring that all pins you create include keywords in your descriptions and tags. You can also search for your items that have been pinned by other users and contact them to update the description with keywords or to add the appropriate link to your site. The more links you have to your site with the targeted keywords, the better your page is going to rank.
Photos dominate Pinterest. In fact, you can’t have a “pin” without a photo. All the gorgeous photos create a giant, visual shopping cart for potential customers. Every pin has a photo, information about the product or service (or even a blog post or article), and a link to the site where it is available. This is free marketing at its best. When they pin items and create boards (or browse other users’ pins and boards), customers are essentially creating wish lists or groups of items that they would enjoy. The only thing that’s left for them to do is follow the link and purchase your product or sign up for your e-mail list. There is significant conversion potential.
Thinking of introducing a new product? Interested in making a few design changes to an existing product? Pinterest can help you figure out what’s hot now. You can follow trends and figure out what the popular styles and products are. You can do this by browsing user boards — which group together items by categories such as “Stuff I Like” or “My Style” — or by looking at the top pinned items.
Pinterest is a fast-growing site with huge potential for customer referral and conversion. It is projected to be the “it” social-networking site of the next year as it continues to grow and possibly even open up its doors to users without an invite. Finding ways to incorporate it into your brand’s social-media strategy is critical to your overall marketing efforts.
About the Author
Charissa Newark is the resident blogger and the editor for AccountingDegree.net. After graduating from the University of Maryland with a B.S. in English in 2005 and unable to find a “9-5”, Charissa began freelance writing and doing research for various websites. A few of the current topics she is researching for accountingdegree.net include forensic accounting degrees.