No doubt we need not tell you that social networks are here to stay for the foreseeable future as an avenue to reach your client base/readership. We would also make the assumption that you’re well aware that Facebook and Twitter continue to dominate as the market leaders. However, of all the social platforms available, Pinterest is currently building up enough momentum to not necessarily challenge the other two (or others), but complement them. It’s time to pay attention to the many benefits Pinterest can have for your business or ventures.
The Pinterest Concept
For those of you who have yet to experience Pinterest, here it is in a nutshell. Pinterest allows users to share images they’ve collected around the web in a virtual scrapbook. Each image a user shares is called a pin which is displayed on a board. Boards can be labelled and tagged and shared with the rest of the world. Fellow users can either ‘like’ the pins you have made or re-pin them to their own boards to share with their own follows. At the time of writing, there are in excess of 70 million users on Pinterest. Not a bad user base at all, considering it’s just approaching it’s 4th year anniversary.
Your Target Audience
It’s important to note who your audience is and how to cater for them. From a recent study that you may have or may not have already seen, the majority of Pinterest users are women. You may have also read that as much as 80% of the people who use Pinterest are women. While this is true, the market is always changing and with the renewed interest Pinterest is currently receiving, it is important to cater for both male and female audiences of all age groups.
You might be pleasantly surprised how often Pinterest users share in comparison to other social networks such as Facebook. In order to appeal to their interests, you need to carefully monitor trends in the Pinterest ‘sphere’. Is your product related to their interests? How can you appeal to their needs? If these power users are not your target audience, find a way to encourage them to share your content with their followers. They don’t have to be interested in your product or services for themselves, but if it’s likely to appeal to their own followers or produce more attention to their own boards, that can be an incentive to reach out to a broader audience.
While Pinterest is largely a female audience, don’t underestimate that it is an exclusive platform for women only. The statistics are always changing, so ensure you cater for a wide audience when appropriate.
You can target particular users by having multiple boards. There’s no reason why you can’t have variations of a product or service that target multi demographics. There are no limitations to the amount of boards you can create. Just make sure you keep them organised – as you would a physical scrapbook – ideally, at least!
It’s a Visual Thing
We all know that a picture paints a 1000 words and in the case of Pinterest, that applies here too. Pinterest is a scrapbook/board to display for all to see. It’s about presentation, catching someone’s eye and generating enough interest to gain some exposure and receive some shares. In this case, re-pins.
Pinterest is not about sharing your ideas or thoughts through text alone. Of course you could produce imagery with a mission statement, quote or way of life and present it in the form of an infographic, hand lettering piece or using a graphics program making good use of a selection of typefaces. Typography and quotes are actually one of the biggest draws to Pinterest, but aside from writing a piece of text that captures the imagination of your viewers, you will need to make it visually appealing to stand out.
Besides, Pinterest is about visuals, so if you want to share a particular quote of statement with your followers, perhaps use an alternative like Facebook or Twitter or even a blog post if you have the facilities. Ideally you’ll need to know which social platform works best for the task at hand. Pinterest handles infographics with ease!
Incomplete Descriptions Do Not Guarantee Results
Simply sharing a few images and re-sharing others in the hope of getting a wealth of traffic may not bear fruit as fast you may hope. It’s quite surprising just how many Pinterest users that don’t add text to their pins. Sure, the image speaks for itself, but how are they going to find it other than word of mouth or through re-shares on others’ boards?
Entering a few keywords that relate to the product, service, feature etc… plus a relevant description that will help people find your pins should suffice. Once people find your boards, the chances or your content finding the right audience is greatly increased.
The majority of fresh content is re-shared – in this case, re-pinned. Produce great content that appeals to a broad audience and you’re likely to get seen. Ensure you write the right descriptions for your pins in order to be found on user searches.
Don’t just limit your boards to your own pins however – re-share others’ pins – perhaps your customers or peers if necessary. Pinterest is a social network and should not be interpreted as a one sided affair.
Pinterest isn’t solely dedicated to the confides of the application – Pinterest exists outside of the platform so add ‘Pin It’ social buttons to your content so that your audience can share and help drive traffic to your website.
Knowing When to Use Pinterest and When Not To
Sharing the same content over a variety of social accounts won’t necessarily appeal to your audience. If they are following you on Facebook, they probably don’t want to see the same post from Facebook plastered across their Twitter, Google + and Tumblr feeds. Instead, break it up. Share a thought on Twitter, a link with your thoughts on Facebook, perhaps an infographic on Pinterest and an up and coming product release on a platform such as Instagram.
There’s no reason you cannot link to each social account in one way or another, but repeating across each network without acknowledging the strength and weakness of each one could all be in vain.
As touched upon in the introduction, Pinterest won’t necessarily replace yours or your audiences choice as their one and only network, but it will complement the other platforms they use. For example they may use Twitter and Pinterest, Facebook and Pinterest, Google+, Tumblr, and so on and so on. However, Pinterest cannot be overlooked as a very viable market for marketing and connecting with your user base – regardless of your field.
Why not take Pinterest for a test spin; add some content, like other’s boards and connect with an audience who you intend to sell/provide a service for? It’s a very simple platform to see almost immediate results. Or, if you’re looking to share with like minded people, you may just be in your element as Pinterest has a wide range of categories to delve into and the user base to match.