Pinterest - Are You Using it Properly? by Beverly Barker


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  • Most small business owners know they should be engaging customers on social media but, beyond setting up a Facebook page, are unclear how and where to focus their efforts. 
    Perhaps surprisingly, photo site Pinterest is now the fastest-growing platform for online content sharing, according to a new report from online content distribution service ShareThis. The report analyzed the millions of monthly shares made through ShareThis in the third quarter across more than 120 social media channels and two million websites. 
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    Content sharing on Pinterest jumped 19.2% in the latest quarter, and LinkedIn sharing grew 15.1%. Facebook saw content sharing rise 14.7%, while sharing on Twitter fell 7.6%.
    The new data offers a reminder that businesses should look beyond Facebook and Twitter when managing their social media outreach, says ShareThis CEO Kurt Abrahamson in a release. "The more advertisers understand how consumers are using all social channels — beyond Facebook and Twitter — the more effectively they can use social media to augment and improve campaigns," he said.
    Small businesses can capitalize on the Pinterest and LinkedIn surge to market their products and grow their consumer base. Pinterest, a highly visual medium, gives businesses a chance to catch the eye of consumers with compelling images and colorful infographics that promote deals and new products. Pinning pictures of employees could also help customers identify with the people who work at the company, putting a face to a name. Meanwhile, LinkedIn can provide a more professional forum for blogging and sharing posts to a targeted audience, as well as collecting positive recommendations and reviews of your company. 
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  • Pinterest has a few clear advantages: It is undoubtedly the best social media platform for showcasing products and driving commerce, because of its focus on “things,” rather than relationships and messaging. At BI Intelligence, we’ve likened Pinterest to a multi-platform digital catalogue. A Georgia Tech study of June 2012 activity on Pinterest found that the most common verbs on the social network were “use,” “look,” “want,” and “need,” highlighting its potential as a shopping tool. It can be particularly effective for brands that target women. Pinterest users are five times more likely to be women than men. They also tend to be well-educated and have high income.
    But reach and gender tilt are issues: Pinterest has a relatively small audience of 48.7 million users globally (admittedly it is continuing to expand at a rapid rate). Its clear gender tilt is an advantage from one angle, since women tend to control household spending decisions, but plenty of gender-balanced and male-focused brands will need to focus on platforms where men aren’t significantly outnumbered.
    As is a lack of flexibility: There’s also some lack of flexibility on Pinterest. The image-centered pin format is a bit more rigid than Facebook posts, or tweets. There are fewer features available to pinners.
    So, is Pinterest right for your brand? Design-forward and women-focused large brands, as well as major apparel brands and retailers, should have a Pinterest presence. For smaller brands in these same niches, Pinterest might also be a good place to focus their efforts. But smaller brands and brands focused on services should not prioritise Pinterest.
    Because Pinterest is unique among social networks in being a product and image-driven environment, where brands are embraced:
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  • interest seems to be on its way to becoming the first tablet-first social network. That isn't a bad place to be considering that tablet penetration still has room to increase while the smartphone market is getting saturated in the most developed economies. 
    Pinterest's mobile dependence is easy to glean from comScore's recent multi-platform audience data. 
    Let's first look at total mobile audiences — visitors who access the site on smartphones or tablets but may also do so on desktop and laptop computers. 
    In February 2013, Pinterest had 23 million mobile unique visitors or UVs. In the next four months, Pinterest grew that audience 10% to 25.3 million for June 2013, the last month for which data was available.
    So, mobile visitors now account for 55% of Pinterest's audience. 
    Now let's look at mobile-only visitors— users who accessed the platform only via a mobile device. 
    Pinterest had 18.2 million mobile-only UVs in June 2013, 28% more than it had in February; mobile-only now represents 35% of Pinterest's audience. 
    (For comparison, mobile-only represents just 21% of Facebook's audience.)
    ComScore does not break down its mobile data between tablets and smartphones, but according to a recent ShareThis study, Pinterest accounts for 48.2% of all social network-sharing on iPads, more than any other service, including Facebook. It's clear that tablet usage is driving a robust portion of Pinterest audience activity.
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  • Pinterest revealed it is raising a Series E round of funding worth $225 million, to bring its total funding to $564 million since 2010.
    On top of this, the latest valuation sets Pinterest as a $3.8 billion company. 
    Along with this news, Pinterest also shared a few new stats:
    It's mobile audience has grown 50% during 2013 and now makes up three-fourths of total Pinterest usage. 
    Pinterest's international audience grew 125%, and the company plans to launch in 10 more countries before the end of the year. 
    They will expand their monetization program from test phase into a global program.
    With mobile usage soaring, it would behoove Pinterest to target its mobile platform first when expanding the next phase of its monetization program. Pinterest also struck another beneficial deal for its mobile platform — Latin American and European carrier Telefonica will pre-install Pinterest on all Google Android phones sold in those regions
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  • This data was provided by AddShoppers, which relies on tracking code embedded on thousands of retailers’ websites worldwide to determine whether sales revenue can be attributed to a referral from a social media site.
    In the grand scheme of things, social still represents a small source of direct e-commerce traffic. However, we know that social does play a very important role in multi-touch attribution, as 74% of consumers rely on social networks to guide their purchases, according to Gartner.
    Facebook may be phasing out physical goods it allows users to purchase via its Gifts service because of poor sales performance, but its ad retargeting platform (FBX) now accounts for more than half of all retargeted ad clicks on the Web. So Facebook clicks are clearly working for some e-retailers.
    Twitter, on the other hand, recently hired its first head of commerce to figure out a way to let users shop via Tweets.
    Visual and product-oriented Pinterest is a natural social platform for e-commerce, and its rise in sales attribution is probably correlated to the growth of its user base.
  • So what are the takeaways for communicators?
    To start with, this explicitly indicates that Pinterest is a good platform to drive traffic, regardless of whether or not you're a publisher. And when you think about it, it’s logical because rich media has become explosively popular within social.
    What’s more, communicators rely on publishers to spread their message through both paid and earned media coverage, thus Pinterest is an important channel to boost impressions, engagement, and brand lift.
    With that in mind, here are four other things to keep in mind when it comes to Pinterest.
    ▪Pinterest is an excellent platform for commerce as it visually showcases products that can then be shared by users rather than by marketers.
    ▪Pinterest allows you to repackage existing content in new ways.
    ▪Pinterest can be optimized for search and is a great back door for using long-tail keywords.
    ▪Pinterest has its own unique culture that can expose your brand to a new audience, or engage and reinforce relationships with existing stakeholders
    Welcome to Shareaholic’s Social Media Traffic Report. Our findings are based on 13 months of data collected from our 200,000 publishers who reach more than 250 million unique monthly visitors. It’s been nearly a year since we last released a report, so we are looking forward to hearing your thoughts!
    We tracked 8 of the most popular social media platforms to see how they were driving traffic to our network of publishers. Here’s what the numbers mean.
    1) Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter are dominating. These three social media power players collectively accounted for 15.22% of overall traffic last month. Given their community and share-friendly nature, it’s no surprise that they top the list in traffic referrals and have grown more than 54% each in share of overall visits. Facebook grew 58.81%, Pinterest by 66.52% and Twitter 54.12%. Pinterest’s growth is especially interesting now that the company is flirting with paid advertising.
  • Pinterest users already love sharing images, and unlike Facebook — where photo-sharing revolves around family, friends, or funny pics — pinners already tend to share photos of products and objects.
    Retailers and brands are already a well-known part of the Pinterest landscape, and many host popular pinboards.
    Pinterest already is a top referrer to e-commerce sites and drives high-value orders.
    Pinterest has debuted advertising in the form of "Promoted Pins," which we believe will be extremely effective for a range of e-commerce companies, retailers and brands. Pinterest brand pages in general are also more effective than other social media in driving sales volume and value. Why? Because Pinterest is unique among social networks in being a product and image-driven environment, where brands are embraced:
    Pinterest also offers an extremely attractive demographic: Women are 84% of Pinterest users in the United States, and most of them are on tablets. Women control the holiday purse strings.  
    Pinterest users already love sharing images of products, and unlike Facebook — where photo-sharing revolves around family, friends, or funny pics — pinners already tend to share brand images and shopping ideas. They'll gladly share your posts onward.
    Retailers and brands are already a well-known and accepted part of the Pinterest landscape, and many host popular pinboards. "Related Pins," a new feature launched in late October, will help audiences find your stuff. 
    Most importantly, Pinterest is a proven sales driver: Pinterest already is a top referrer to e-commerce sites and drives high-value orders.
    These holidays will be the first major test for Pinterest and Instagram ads, and brands are revving up for the challenge. 
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  • Right now, there are five types of Rich Pins: movie, recipe, article, product, and place. To get started, you’ll need to prep your website with meta tags, test out your Rich Pins and apply to get them on Pinterest. If you’re not technical, you might want to ask your developer or site owner to help get you going!
  • Pinterest has had an incredible year. In February, it was found to have attracted 10 million unique viewers faster than any other standalone site in history; in May, it became the third most popular social networking site, trumped only by Facebook and Twitter.
    Seasoned Pinners probably noticed that with the influx of new users came tons of pixelated photos, uncredited images, spam, even service outages. Nevertheless, new users continue to flock to the pinboards where slick images and creative new ideas flourish.
    Whether you're an expert or a noob, everyone can appreciate pinning done properly. But what turns us off is regular flaunting of the site's etiquette. With that in mind, we've pinned down (sorry!) a set of guidelines for pinners old and new.
  • Pinterest - Are You Using it Properly? by Beverly Barker

    1. 1. *Conditions apply Digital Marketing Show Special Offer… 10% off selected IDM training courses!   Go to for more details
    2. 2. Pinterest - Are you using it properly? Presented by Beverly Barker, FIDM, FHEA
    3. 3. Addictive behaviour
    4. 4. High traffic generation
    5. 5. 2nd largest referral site
    6. 6. High value referrals
    7. 7. What can you do?
    8. 8. Great brands sites
    9. 9. Promoted Pins
    10. 10. Pinterest
    11. 11. *Conditions apply Digital Marketing Show Special Offer…   10% off selected IDM training courses! Go to for more details