I have just joined Social Retail. After studying Business Studies with Marketing at Bristol UWE, I have been involved with with several media companies each within niche markets. Since joining Social Retail I have specialised in Pinterest and come to recognise its potential. Many people still can’t come to grips with the power of Pinterest and don’t understand how you can gain so much more than merely monitoring and maintaining company reputation. Hopefully by the end of this blog you will have gained a new perspective into this new social media platform.
Pinterest was launched in March 2010 to a closed beta, by August 2011 it made the Top 50 Most Interesting Websites of 2011, according to Time magazine. Today, Pinterest has gone on to outrank YouTube, Reddit, Google+, LinkedIn and MySpace for percentage growth of total referral traffic in January this year, according to a Shareaholic study. Mashable has provided statistics showing that referrals from Pinterest are particularly lucrative with the average user being 10% more likely to make a purchase and spend on average 10% more than larger social networks.
So, what is it? Pinterest is flexible and friendly, with potentially enormous benefits for a great variety of business. It is a straightforward system, users pin images, videos or blogs to online collages around various topics. Here are some examples of Pins.
How is it different? Pinterest is a social network that offers a unique twist on sharing content. Other social networks focus on communication and connecting with people, whereas the vast majority of content found on Pinterest is visual. Where Twitter has tweets; Pinterest has Pins, and whilst just 1.4% of those tweets are re-tweets (at a similar point in Twitters history), over 80% of pins are re-pins. This demonstrates the remarkable virality at work within the Pinterest community.
The essence of Pinterest lies with building a collection of content that the users find appealing and aspire to be associated with, whether that be original content or pre-existing, and publishing it.
Users have their own set of “boards” (see below) in which they can “Pin” interesting content that they have found either within Pinterest or from another source that their followers can see and re-pin if they so choose.
Who’s using it? It is worth noting that Pinterest caters to a largely female audience and while reports on exact figures differ, most research shows that approximately 60% of Pinterest users are American females aged between 25-34. This said, there is nothing inherently female-centric about the site. Pinterest is growing in other areas of the world where the gender mix is quite different. In the UK Pinterest gets about 200,000 unique visitors each month, and 56% of those are male. The large female audience is replicated in the most popular categories being: Food, Fashion and Interior Design. Worth of Web, a website value calculator places Pinterest’s value over $330 million. Claiming the company has 13,320,000 million daily visits and 399,600,000 million monthly visits.Find below a chart published by Adam Sherk on 14 of August, 2012 showing total links from Pinterest.
How can it benefit you? Pinterest can be used to target any number of categories and engage with people who share a common interest. Food is the number one category of content on Pinterest with 57% of users interacting with food related content. This offers a unique opportunity for restaurants and take-aways to stir up interest and conversation around their brand. It is also a powerful addition to a SEO strategy through the use of optimising links, utilising content and implementing Keywords.
There are various ways in which Pinterest can be analysed to monitor the success of your online campaign. From keeping on top of your followers count, measuring the distance your Pin has travelled, keeping an eye on competition, deciding the best times to post content and which material is most popular amongst your target audience.
I conducted a brief study on the 9th of November 2012 to analyse search results for the keyword ‘Pizza’. I did so to understand the dynamics of the search feature for this category and propose suggestions or ways in which companies operating within this category can maximise the outcome of using Pinterest.
I found that when searching pins, the top results all repeated the word ‘Pizza’ in the description several times. The top results all shared a group of similarities, they were either home made, quirky or visually appetising pins of pizza related pictures. No videos – room for exploitation??
When I continued the search onto boards I found the same use of repeated words to reach the top of the search results. Each of the boards were posted by Pinners that have a large variety of different boards, mainly focused around food and fashion. However, none were specifically focused on Pizza.
The results received from searching pizza amongst pinners mainly returned people with Pizza in their name, with a few exceptions (Pizza hut, various American pizza companies)
The top re-pinned images for the keyword ‘Pizza’ were :
A photo of pizza bread with dipping sauce (26 Weeks) – 388 likes, 7 comments, 2516 repins
A photo of a rustic cheese and mushroom pizza (33 Weeks) – 348 likes, 15 comments, 1828 repins
A photo of mini quirky pizzas (1 year) – 1143 likes, 19 comments, 9274 repins
A Photo of a rustic pizza (26 weeks) – 122 likes, 5 comments, 633 repins
A Photo of pizza boxes (33 Weeks) – 58 likes, 1 comment, 386 repins
A photo of a man posing by a giant Pizza (25 weeks) – 175 likes, 42 comments, 343 repins
A photo of a pizza covered in mini-pizzas (13 weeks) – 86 likes, 11 comments, 217 repins
It is interesting to note that search results aren’t in order of most pinned. None of the highly re-pinned images are standard stock photos of pizza; each had a believable and lifelike quality to them.
Also not all the most re-pinned images are highly commented, but it seems that likeable content is far more re-pinnable. The chart on the left shows Pearsons correlation presenting the link between comments and likes to Repins.
For more information you can watch Ben Silbermann, the founder, tell the story of Pinterest. Just follow this link – Founder Ben Silbermann Tells Pinterest.com
So whether you sell bouquets of flowers or made to fit kitchen cabinets, Pinterest is the place to be. With so much more room to grow, and so many more companies to follow in the wake, now is the ideal time to get pinning.