Pinterest - Behind the Hype


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This White Paper from 2012 looks behind the hype of Pinterest to highlight the opportunities for brands, how they can harness Pinterest for promotion, traffic and SEO and what they need to consider for a successful Pinterest strategy.

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Pinterest - Behind the Hype

  1. 1. Behind the Hype. A look at Pinterest, the opportunities for brand promotion and business growth.  Directors Briefing February 2012 WWW.DIGITALTOMORROWTODAY.COM
  2. 2. Behind the Hype. A look at Pinterest, the opportunities for brand promotion and business growth.  Pinterest is a social network that allows users to categorise and share images in the form of ‘Pinboards’ and ‘Pins’ respectively. Users connect through Twitter and Facebook to connect with other pinners and see what is being pinned. One can then like, comment or repin the picture to your audience. A comparison would be the Facebook timeline, with the like and share functions opening up sharing to your network. What you see is is defined by what interests you want to follow. Jamie’s Pinterest follows combine design inspiration, fashion, travel and a lot of infographics. The people Jamie follows are a combination of existing social media connections (through Facebook & Twitter) and ‘Pinners’ who have shared interesting content. Content for Pinterest initially comes from ‘the web’ through the use of a Pinmarklet (bookmark in the browser toolbar) that allows the user to share any image found on the web. WIth these pins comes the opportunity [for Pinterest] to link back to the original source. This linking function is one of the key elements that has driven brand interest through the start of 2012. 02 / Behind the Hype.
  3. 3. Behind the Hype. A look at Pinterest, the opportunities for brand promotion and business growth.  Pinterest by the numbers If we look past the hype we can see some solid numbers. • • • • 12 million monthly unique users [Feb 2012] 10.4 Million Registered Users 9 Million Monthly Facebook Connected Userd 97% Female Audience Compare this to • • • • 174 billion unique users 168 billion unique users 8.3 million unique users 715,0000 unique users Three Simple Ways to Benefit from Pinterest 1. Brand Awareness for the Pinterest audience Brand content [images, ads etc] are being shared on Pinterest regardless of brand intervention.A search for ‘Chanel’ combines pinned pictures including photo shoots, website images and personal collections. A quick search for your brand name will help see what content is being shared and by whom. At present there is no automated function or RSS feed to make this process easier. (stats from The stats from Pinterest show a solid platform that is growing well BUT is nowhere near the scale of Facebook or Google. It is bigger than and FAR bigger than last year’s ‘Hot Site’, Quora. With a ‘white hot’ profile over the past two months, Pinterest has grown rapidly to the point consumers are signing up and brands are following suit. The Pinterest Potential for Brands The rapid rise of Pinterest makes us a little wary of jumping on the bandwagon. However, we are big lovers of Quora which, despite the end of their hype, has turned into a solid community of knowledge sharing. The comparisons end there as Quora is B2B and Pinterest is B2C. We believe, as we have always stated, that every platform/site/opportunity has value if managed in the right way to maximise both learning and return for the marketing time/investment. Any brand can proactively share their images by setting up a free account. These are [currently] the same as user accounts (there is no differentiation). Sign up & share! 2. Driving traffic to your site Using the Pinmarklet or the website ‘Pin this’ code you can encourage the sharing of your images. These sharing functions offer the added bonus of including a link back to your site. Any user clicking on this image will visit your weskit. Ergo the more pictures you share, and the more views the image gets, the greater potential you have for traffic generation. 03 / Behind the Hype.
  4. 4. Behind the Hype. A look at Pinterest, the opportunities for brand promotion and business growth.  3. Driving sales on your website An extension of the second point is the ability to showcase and sell products from the links on Pinterest. By simply adding the price (e.g. £14.99) to your image description adds the price label to the image. This tells users the product is for sale. Again, with the image clicking through to your website the extension is then to sell the product. [NB you can only do this with images you upload or share first.] Measuring Brand Exposure on Pinterest. At present there is no official ‘analytics’ for Pinterest so there would be no immediate measure of exposure for your new images. By monitoring the numbers of likes, comments and repins you will be able to get an idea of how well your content is being received but it will not be conclusive ‘quantitative data’ How to really benefit from Pinterest For a brand to succeed on Pinterst, they will need to do more than just join up and share photos. We believe there are a number of ways for brands to succeed. However, before we cover off these points do remember one thing. In this arena, your brand is only as good as your content. If you have poor quality photos or your content is not engaging, don’t expect great results from Pinterest. However, if you are ready to go... 1. Post Unique Content - Consumers are actively sharing brand content. If you can offer unique images or Pinterest specials then you will have become the ‘goto’ source for fresh and unique images. 2. Create innovative use of existing images and the Pinterest ‘Landscape’. PinClout is an unofficial third party app that claims to deliver ‘Pinterest Analytics’ - in reality it gives you a quick overview of your Pinterest activity. is also a similar service but very immature. We expect to see more of this type of API integration over time. This EasyJet example is a perfect example of how a brand can create engaging and unique experiences with the platform provided. 3. Ensure you add the Pinterest sharing function to your relevant images and websites. Check out 4 Take an active part in the pinning. Just like Twitter, make sure you share others pins that are relevant to your brand or business. Encourage your audience to share pins to grow the sense of community. Perhaps run a competition to allow others to repine their favourite products from your range and ask them to explain why. The best explanation wins… 04 / Behind the Hype.
  5. 5. Behind the Hype. A look at Pinterest, the opportunities for brand promotion and business growth.  Usually we would offer you a list of great brands using Pinterest. However, we have yet to see anything really standout yet. Brands, in the main, have been harnessing Pinterest for less than 6 months (more likely two months max) so there is little differentiation in the marketplace. Charities like Unicef and Amnesty are using it to combine the visual element of story telling aligning it to their message and encouraging website click throughs. Summary Pinterest is still a very young platform with a lot of brand interest. But if you dive below the surface you will find a lot of empty profiles both for brands and for consumers. Once Pinterest dies down it will offer great potential for a brand platform that could compete with Facebook Fan Pages (the timeline versions) with room for brands to share their visual story. Brands that are active on Pinterest now will gain from traffic potential and learning. As Pinterest grows watch out for the plateau - when lightning traffic growth slows and the headlines proclaim the end of Pinterest. This will be when it gets interesting as Pinterest looks to capitalise on its active users and brand opportunities. Happy Pinning! Fashion brands like Kate Spade are also active on the platform to promote their ranges. 05 / Behind the Hype.