Trends tend to annoy my longtime man-friend. Keep in mind that he's an accountant for a construction company, so it's no surprise that he has a lack of appreciation for my fantastic, urban dictionary-style word uses like "rom-com" (romantic-comedy) and "whatev" (whatever), etc. When I recently described an item as "pinteresting" he finally surrendered.
For those of you not 6 months into a severe Pinterest addiction, here's the DL (down-low) on why a marketer should care that "pinteresting" has quickly emerged as an adjective that most of my female peer group can assimilate to.
Why should you care? Website Traffic.
In less than two years since Pinterest's launch, it now drives more referral traffic than Google+, Reddit, YouTube, LinkedIn, and MySpace... combined.
What is it? Crack.
"Pinterest is a social network that allows users to visually share, curate, and discover new interests by posting, also known as ‘pinning,’ images or videos to their own or others’ pinboards (i.e. a collection of ‘pins,’ usually with a common theme). users can either upload images from their computer or pin things they find on the web using the pinterest bookmarklet, pin it button, or just a url."
Thanks for the definition Hootsuite.
Impressed yet? It's a profitable startup.
Pinterest is making money. Through affiliate programs and partnerships, Pinterest is tracking the links clicked and products purchased from their site and visitors pinboards. Then, they're getting a cut of that product purchase price. Smart.
Introductory Next Steps for Marketers?
- Determine if Pinterest makes sense for you. Are you a lifestyle brand? Is your brand highly visual? A tourism supported community should not create a pinboard called "CVB partners" and populate it with pins of partner logos or pictures ripped from the latest rack card. Alternatively, a pinboard called "bliss" populated with pinned photos of tranquil locations in that community, combined with pins of luxury and unique products you can only find in that locale makes total sense.
- Request an invite and Pinterest will quickly grant you access. Not immediately, but don't freak out. You'll get approved. There is no need to harass a friend into giving you an "invitation."
- Create your profile. Once your account is activated, update your information under the setting tab. Use your brand name as your username, and complete your profile like you have done for all of your other social presence.
- Start creating pinboards and start pinning, but don't be blatant. You shouldn't be doing bullhorn marketing in any social space, but it is even more passé in Pinterest. From Pinterest:“pinterest is designed to curate and share things you love. If there is a photo or project you’re proud of, pin away! However, try not to use pinterest purely as a tool for self-promotion.”
- Drink the Pinterest Kool-Aid. Go forth only if your target audience is penetrated with avid "Pinners", your a highly visual lifestyle brand, you have no shortage of photography, and you have the resources to add Pinterest management and conversations to your social management and marketing mix. On the other hand, if your organization can't devote resources (time, money and people) to having the best boards on a specific niche topic, then don't waste a marketing message on driving people to your boards.
- Promote. So you've created some amazing pinboards around specific topics and unique differentiators of your brand. You are excited about the awesome photography already in pipeline for new boards. Great-it's time to promote your Pinterest presence. Like Facebook and your website, building it doesn't mean anybody's coming. Promote your presence using the Pinterest follow button on your website, in email campaigns, and maybe your email signature. Cross-promote your presence on your existing social presences on the other networks.
- Engage and build a community. Pinterest will become a part of the daily conversations you are already having on your other social pages. Like Facebook and Twitter you should: follow consumers that look like your target audience; answer questions; use hash-tags; be charming; engage with incentives like custom content and sweepstakes; and reciprocally drive sales.
In need of some inspiration? Check out the today's show Pinterest presence: http://pinterest.com/todayshow/