Advanced Marketing Guide to Pinterest

Understanding social media platforms is the height of social success. As reported by the Social Media Examiner in the 2014 Social Media Marketing Industry Report, 88% of businesses are currently using social marketing strategies; while only 7% are seeing the results from their efforts.

Lets work on getting your business some real results; at least out of Pinterest.

Defining Pinterest.

When founder Ben Silbermann shared the unfolding of Pinterest, he sums up the platform this way; “I’ve always thought things you collect say so much about who you are.” He describes this childhood bug collection as Pinterest 1.0.

Pinterst 1.0, pinterest start

Although that is a simple explanation, a technical definition would sound more like this;

Pinterest is a lifestyle based social platform “that allows you to organize and share ideas with others”, by Tech Terms. 

If you’re still wondering what the core point to this booming platform is, an influential blogger put it in layman’s terms back in 2012. “You know when you’re browsing online and see something you love and don’t want to forget? What do you do — email it to yourself? Print it out and put it in a binder? Bookmark it on your computer? Now there’s a simple way to compile all of the great things you find online — from clothes to DIY home ideas to inspiration for your bathroom remodel — on Pinterest!”

It’s main mission; to inspire life beyond the internet, using photos.

History of the channel.

Pinterest has been a collaborative effort since Ben broke from the family tradition of become a doctor and decided to go to business school instead. Continuously unsettled in positions that left him feeling stifled in creativity, Ben applied at Google out of his simple love of the internet. His creative spark ignited as he was encouraged by the owners view to “thing big.” So, he did. He thought so big, together with co-founders Paul Sciarra and Evan Sharp, they began building their budding platform.

With a slow start backed by intense ambition and a few strategic investors; the first “Pin” was born.

first Pinterest pin in 2010

However it all changed In May 2010. A woman named Victoria helped organize a program called “Pin It Forward” – a “chain letter” where bloggers would exchange pin boards about what home meant to them. It was an inflection point.

From their home office,

first Pinterest office

suddenly people started using Pinterest in ways the company hadn’t expected.

Like this board: “Things That Look like the Death Star.” 

Fast-forward to the present, Pinterest helps its 70 Million users connect with the most important things in our lives.

Target Pinterest Users. 

With a user base of 70 million; 80% are woman.

3x more pins come from moms than the average user.

27% are generation Z.

27% are generation Y.

Thankfully some recent changes make the targeting aspects of Pinterest marketing much more streamlined. Marketing Land further explains this really neat October 2014 upgrade. “Pinterest Ad Plans Include Audience Targeting & Conversion Tracking” which should help brands further define their target markets

Technical and Conceptual uses.

There is a difference between a business and personal account on Pinterest. These steps describe how to complete a business account that ensures credibility.

Once your business account is set up, don’t forget to link Pinterest to your website in the form of social sharing buttons.

It’s easy to add “Pin” buttons to your WordPress site by simply installing a floating sharing toolbar such as Monarch. That little button does big things to unlock the power of Pinterest for your brand.

Wondering why you should get started with creating a community surrounding your business that is passionate about pinning your amazing content? Here’s a more in-depth explanation of the power of a Pinterest business strategy.

Built in analytic tools.

In 2013 Pinterest created an Analytical Feature that users can access with a business account to maximize the effectiveness of your efforts spent on Pinterest. This tool allows businesses to monitor and get insight into their website content and how it is performing; including the amount of traffic it draws to your site. You can see what people save, which pins and boards they love, your audience on Pinterest, as well as the devices your audience uses when interacting with your content.

Business Models for the channel.

Although it may seem that Pinterest doesn’t have a business model, they do need to generate revenue somehow in order to support their operations. When users clicks and follow a link to a product featured in a pin to the retailer’s website Pinterest gets paid. The use of Skimlinks allows Pinterest to carry out this money making process without having to disrupt its users with annoying advertisements.

Strengths and weaknesses

Strengths:

• Simple functionality- Pinterest is user-friendly and easy to join. Users can choose to connect through Facebook or email making the process hassle-free even for those who are not tech savvy.

• Brand and user equality- People and brands have access to the same features on Pinterest.

Mass audience– Pinterest is among the top social media networks of today with over 1 billion users.

• Format- The unique visual focus differentiates Pinterest from other social media networks because its users don’t necessarily have to read something to like or comment.

• Interactive and personal- Pinterest allows you to connect with others while promoting or sharing your interests and liked content. Through pins, re-pins, comments and likes it is easy to build brand and build relationships with interactions.

Weaknesses:

Spam– One of the features of Pinterest is that each pin is connected to a linked that can be found through a search engine, but this also leads to the opportunity for link and shopping spam.

Limited audience- The Pinterest user demographics include women, ages 25-54 with 80 percent of users being women. Whereas other social media networks appeal to both genders, the popular DIY, home décor and recipe sharing boards lend Pinterest to have a more narrow audience.

• Easy replication- Pinterest’s simple focus makes it easy for similar sites to come about. Gentlemint.com is the “Pinterest for men”.

So, Now what?

As it’s important to remember that a business should never just hop on and try any and all social sites; choosing the right one and making a plan is paramount to authentic success.

Have fun as you expand your marketing efforts using this dynamic social site.

Written as a group class assignment by Christina Bicknell and Sarah Stahl

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