The Pinterest Myth by Augustine Fou and Tugce Esener


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Instead of chasing the next shiny object in social media marketing by posting tons of images to Pinterest, marketers should use Pinterest as part of a digital ecosystem, and only if it is relevant.

  • Don't dive in without knowing if there are rocks under the surface.
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  • I (used to) love Pinterest too. It worked great in the past when genuine curators carefully picked out beautiful items and posted their pictures. This gave inspiration and also helped me narrow down my choices so i can more easily make a purchase decision. For example, an interior designer I like posting 2 sofa's to choose from makes it easier for someone to choose one and buy it than if they had to wade through several dozen from a Pottery Barn catalog.

    Now with the Pinterest gold-rush everyone is posting everything on Pinterest, and without any context or curation. So what was so valuable and useful about Pinterest (when it was small and pure) is completely drowned out by junk -- i.e. the user now has to pick through several dozen sofas without any context. And this is why Pinterest is no longer more valuable than just a Google Image search.

    Some users, however, like @wholefoods and @etsy ARE using Pinterest well and to their great advantage. Imitate these great ones and do something special on Pinterest; don't just rush into it.
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  • Refreshing perspective :)
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  • Fascinating! I HAD to have it because it was SHINY SHINY & I am a very visual person - then I lost interest..Esp. when I learned that it was frowned on to create galleries of your own images - I was going to use it as an alternate to my traditional electronic portfolio. Cheers!
    The Daring Librarian
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  • myth-buster, giant-killer
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The Pinterest Myth by Augustine Fou and Tugce Esener

  1. The PinterestMyth Dr. Augustine Fou Tugce Esener April 30, 2012.
  2. Executive Summary • Pinterest is the “media darling” of the moment; but that doesn’t mean all marketers should chase this current “shiny object” and waste dollars on it. • For certain brands and types of products, Pinterest is a great marketing tool; for others, not so much. • Let’s first dispel the myths, then talk about best practices, and identify ideal scenarios for brands to use Pinterest to drive marketing and business impact.April 30, 2012 2
  3. Reasons for the MythApril 30, 2012 3
  4. Pinterest Traffic Exploded 18M Unique Users /mo 911M Pageviews /moApril 30, 2012 4
  5. Media coverage as “TopReferrer” misleading The darling network of brides-to-be, fashionistas and budding bakers now beats YouTube, Reddit, Google+, LinkedIn and MySpace for percentage of total referral traffic in January, according to a Shareaholic study. Source: Mashable, Feb 1, 2012 “Pinterest is the fourth largest “Beginning this summer, Pinterest became source of traffic for Country the top social referrer for Living, up 150% from August to and the end of January, and accounts, sending more traffic for 3% of all referrals.” Source: Mashable, Feb 26, 2012 to both properties than Facebook and Twitter combined.” Source: Mashable, Feb 26, 2012April 30, 2012 5
  6. Dispelling the MythApril 30, 2012 6
  7. Pinterest compared to referrers only, ranks in top 5, but still small 26.4% Facebook 7x Pinterest 3.6% Google 3.6% Twitter 3.6% PinterestApril 30, 2012 7
  8. Pinterest compared to all traffic sources, is piddly 49% Google (search) 1% Pinterest 1% TwitterApril 30, 2012 8
  9. Pinterest is EVIL (unscrupulous) Auto-followed 274 friends upon Auto-followed strangers and sign up without first asking me posted to my Facebook timelineApril 30, 2012 9
  10. Pinterest siphons traffic When users end up on Pinterest instead of the brand’s website: Source: Google Image Search lower traffic and no analytics.April 30, 2012. 10
  11. Pinterest provide NO SEObenefit – rel=“nofollow”April 30, 2012. 11
  12. Users already losing (p)interest 4.5 Visits per user /mo 11 Pages per visit /mo Declining for 4 straight months 10 Average stayApril 30, 2012 12
  13. Users losing (p)interest Google Trends search volume on “pinterest” AppData monthly active usersApril 30, 2012 13
  14. Users losing (p)interest – April update Visits plateaued Pageviews declining fast Declining for 6 straight months 11 mins Average stayApril 30, 2012 14
  15. Kotex Pinterest Campaign Claimed: • “first Pinterest campaign in the world” • 50 kits sent to influential pinners • 2,284 interactions • 694k impressions Let’s take a closer look, shall we?April 30, 2012 15
  16. Kotex Pinterest Campaign, con’t No change in search volume for “kotex” No change in traffic to Kotex websiteApril 30, 2012 16
  17. Kotex Pinterest Campaign, con’t 0 Likes 72 Followers Only 62 “kotex” pins found, of which 4 pins were related to the campaign (8% of the 50 women contacted)April 30, 2012 17
  18. Kotex Pinterest Campaign, con’t Turns out others found the claims to be wildly exaggerated too. Source: Gavin Advertising April 2, 2012 What worked was free PR for Smoyz (agency) 16,000 google resultsApril 30, 2012 18
  19. Takeaways • Beware the agency(ies) that try to sell you Pinterest campaigns. • Question everything, especially the wild claims of success by the very agency that made the campaign • Look for suspicious things like the agency pitching bloggers and media outlets to write about them • Be sure to ask how the campaign will drive business impact for you, instead of free PR for them (agency)April 30, 2012 19
  20. Brilliant Pinterest ExamplesApril 30, 2012 20
  21. Etsy Followers: 79,845 Pins: 1,425April 30, 2012 21
  22. Martha Stewart Followers: 35,749 Pins: 132April 30, 2012 22
  23. Country Living Followers: 18,129 Pins: 1,365April 30, 2012 23
  24. Birchbox Followers: 10,641 Pins: 3,003April 30, 2012 24
  25. Whole Foods Followers: 26,574 Pins: 737April 30, 2012 25
  26. Michael’s (Arts & Crafts) Followers: 13,335 Pins: 919April 30, 2012 26
  27. BAD Example: Oreos Followers: 302 Likes: 48 • Nothing unique • No strategy evident (no clear path to business impact)April 30, 2012 27
  28. Top Categories of Interest: Food & Drink Source: SharedMost.comApril 30, 2012 28
  29. Takeaways • If your brand is content and visually driven (e.g. magazine) Pinterest is a great, additional free resource for promoting your content • You still have to add value and provide something unique; otherwise no one will follow you or “repin” (help spread) • Use Pinterest as just one part of a digital ecosystem to drive users to your website where you have far more detailed analytics.April 30, 2012 29
  30. Alternatives to Pinterest for MarketingApril 30, 2012 30
  31. Google Images is just as important for traffic (image SEO) Google (images, maps) Delivers traffic directly to your site instead of to Pinterest.comApril 30, 2012 31
  32. Victoria’s Secret Google Images PinterestApril 30, 2012. 32
  33. Burberry Google Images PinterestApril 30, 2012. 33
  34. Versace Google Images PinterestApril 30, 2012. 34
  35. So What? Instead of chasing the next shiny object in social media marketing by posting tons of images to Pinterest, marketers should use Pinterest as part of a digital ecosystem, and only if it is relevant. - Dr. Augustine FouApril 30, 2012 35
  36. Dr. Augustine Fou – Chief Digital Strategist Dr. Augustine Fou is an industry-recognized thought leader in digital strategy, search and social media marketing and former Group Chief Digital Officer of Omnicoms Healthcare Consultancy Group. Dr. Fou has over 16 years of management consulting and digital strategy consulting experience, advising CMOs, marketing executives, and global brands. He pioneered the application of the Unified Marketing™ framework to optimize marketing and advertising across traditional and digital channels. FORMER CHIEF DIGITAL OFFICER, HCG (OMNICOM) MCKINSEY CONSULTANT CLIENT SIDE / AGENCY SIDE EXPERIENCE PROFESSOR AND COLUMNIST ENTREPRENEUR / SMALL BUSINESS OWNER PHD MATERIALS SCIENCE (MIT 95) AT AGE 23 ClickZ Articles: LinkedIn: 30, 2012 36
  37. Tugce Esener – System Buster Strategist Tuğçe Esener is a system buster strategist for communication strategies in digital ecosystems. After working in the advertising industry in both traditional network agencies and several digital shops for 10 years as a copywriter/strategist/ account executive decided to start her own agency. SuperBeta is currently servicing several alcoholic beverage brands and beverages. Company: Twitter: @tesener Linkedin: 30, 2012 37