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Get to know Pinterest, the Visual Social Networking Channel

by Tim Rimington | July 17, 2012

The premise behind Pinterest is simple. Members create virtual pin boards (think of the old fashioned cork boards that you pinned photos and newspaper clippings to as a child), to which they ‘pin’ images gathered during their web surfing activities. Pinterest users can create multiple pin boards created and sorted by their content, and comments can be added to each board. Users can browse the various boards of other members and ‘follow’ their creators as well as ‘like’ images or re-pin them to their own boards.

Pinterest is also the perfect medium for promoting online shopping.

In short, Pinterest is a whole new world of social sharing of ideas and it’s rapidly growing. According to comScore it has had average growth of 52% from January to February 2012, and already boasts 17.8 million users!

Benefits of Pinterest

Your products have the potential to reach a massive audience. By pinning your products to their pin boards, Pinterest users begin to share your products with their followers, and their followers to theirs.

Drive traffic to your online store

Each time someone pins one of your product page images to their pin board, a link to the page that the image originated from is created from it. If your product images are attractive enough it’s more likely to attract attention and result in more clicks.

Unlimited potential in propagation

Pinterest users can spread the word to their own groups of followers each time a follower views their pin-board/s. In the context of promoting your new website, a Pinterest account can be used to promote your blog posts (and the photos of products or services within them) and your Facebook page (same as above). Once your website goes live, you can begin linking your Pinterest board product photos to their respective product or web pages.

5 ways to encourage users to pin your images to their pin board

1. Use quality images Make sure that your product feature quality, professional images and that the images are of a size that is readily ‘pinnable’.

2. Build interesting page layouts Make sure that your product pages are interesting and engaging. Tired looking web pages will do little to encourage Pinterest members to pin your images.

3. Make it easy for people to pin Activate the Pinterest pin button across your online shop and introduce it to your standard web pages as well.

4. Create a Pinterest pin board for re-pinning other people’s stuff This brings you up in people’s feeds and then they can choose to follow you, and view the rest of your boards.

5. Create competitions Start competitions for customers to create pin boards using your images. Get creative and don’t forget to announce any competition via your blog page, Facebook and Twitter account.

What happens after someone pins one of my images?

In a perfect world your image would go ‘viral’, a term used to describe a campaign that quickly reaches virtually every facet of social media and beyond (Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest, etc.) to hundreds of thousands – even millions – of people. Some images definitely seem to have staying power and show up over and over on the main walls of the Pinterest web site. Each time an image displays on the main wall, thousands of viewers are seeing it and deciding if they want to re-pin it to their own pin boards (which many Pinterest users love to do because it means they don’t have to go to the trouble of finding their own images to pin!). Better yet, if the picture intrigues them enough they will click on the image to follow it through to the website it originated from.

Is the power of Pinterest becoming clearer now?

Credit: This basis of this article was written by Tracy Hek, in-house trainer at SiteSuite.


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