Have your business’ social media marketing efforts hit the wall?
Have your Facebook and Twitter campaigns started to stutter? If that best summons up how your business is faring at the moment, then maybe it’s high time you started to diversify and reach out to a new market. Maybe you should be taking a look at the fastest-growing social networking site of the moment – Pinterest.
So what exactly is Pinterest?
Well, Pinterest is an extremely popular pin board-sharing social networking platform. Launched originally back in 2010, Pinterest perhaps isn’t yet widely used by business even though it currently hosts in excess of 12 million visitors each week. Why has this platform slipped under the radar of many businesses? Well, the simple answer is far too few marketers have so far failed to see a role for, or the potential of, a theme-based image collection platform for campaigns, link building and brand advocacy. Businesses, it seems, have yet to be convinced about the pedigree of this social media ingénue, but it’s worth remembering that the same businesses were less than enthusiastic about platforms like Facebook and Twitter when they first launched. In fairness both of these two social media networks haven’t done too badly since, have they?
How does Pinterest work?
Pinterest is a social bookmarking site used to “pin” media found around the web to categorised boards. Pinterest shares certain features in common with other social networking platforms like Facebook and Twitter. Members can pin and re-pin items onto boards that they name, and follow people by choosing to see all of their posts or only posts from specific boards. This sharing increases the sense of community and helps to build brand advocacy through social bookmarking. Pinterest has been described as a mix between Tumblr and Delicious, because it’s heavily biased towards graphics, but it’s also worth remembering that it also has the functionality and organisation of a bookmarking platform.
Although is has all the essential elements of any other social network, Pinterest seems to attract a different sort of user. People tend to use Pinterest to find and nurture inspiration, and that makes it extremely useful for businesses. Visitors don’t flock to the site sheep-like simply because their friends and family are on there: they intentionally go on the site to find the things that interest and engage them. The network has become particularly popular with women, who use it to share different forms of web content.
Why is it proving so popular?
Pins can easily go viral.
When users pin something, their pin goes on their virtual bulletin board for all their followers to see. Followers can then re-pin anything on your boards that interests them. They can also ‘like’ your pin in a similar sort of way to Facebook. Experts say that 80% of pins are in fact re-pins, so that shows you just how quickly and easily a pin can become viral. It’s pretty obvious to see the potential here for internet marketers.
Visual interest and engagement.
Pictures, as we’re all-too-well aware, paint a thousand words. We’re all more attracted by visual stimuli, and can process and retain visual images more easily. Pinterest’s popularity hinges on visual appeal. Pictures and images can transcend nationality, language and culture: in fact a good image can have global appeal. Any internet marketer who can come up with a clean, clear and engaging image could quite easily reap substantial dividends from this.
It’s currently estimated that 33% of all marketers use Facebook for campaigns and brand advocacy and 28% use Twitter. Pinterest might only be the new kid on the block, but it has unlimited potential for marketing purposes. It’s also currently an exclusive network at the moment: access to the site is by invitation only – a little like Google + was when it first launched. Potential users are either invited by a friend who is already a registered user, or have to wait for an invitation from Pinterest. This exclusivity makes it seem even more rarified and special, and just adds to the buzz that currently surround the site. In many ways it can make users feel like VIP guests at a party.