Pinterest 101


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  • "The things that you collect say a lot about who you are," Silbermann told CNN. "Our job at Pinterest is to help you discover people who have similar taste. It creates an online catalog where every item is handpicked just for you."Pinterest co-founder Ben Silbermann said what's most exciting about his website is how it helps you find new influences for things that you like -- and in turn lets other people with shared interests provide feedback on your pins.
  • Pinterest checks all the boxes: It's a visual social networkUnlike sites such as facebook, Pinterest is built on shared interests and preferences, not established relationships or friendshipsImages are organized by topic and Users easily can reshare content with just one click.
  • Similar to Google+ launch, Pinterest is still an invitation only site.
  • Can’t pin fromfacebookCan’t pin from flash based websites
  • Can’t pin fromfacebookCan’t pin from flash based websites
  • Users can follow an account (all boards) or only specific boardsyou can follow anyone, even if they aren’t following you back.
  • Users upload contentRepinning: Adding other users’ content to your boards. This is how content spreads virallySource links stay with the pin Original pinner receives “credit”User can edit (or add to) the description Pinning from the Web: “Pin It” button added to browser tool bar allows users to easily pin content while surfing the web.The source link is automatically pulled inThe image is immediately added to any of the user’s Pinterest boardsImmediately categorized and sharedSite facilitates users sharing content outside of PinterestFacebook and TwitterEmailEmbedding pins on their own website or blogRepinsare the “retweets” of the Pinterest world.
  • Legal issues re: copyright
  • Visibility Pinterest levels the playing field for smaller retail businesses that don’t have the budget or resources to compete in search results. If I search for jeans on Google Shopping, I’m going to see Levi’s and a bunch of other brands I already know sell jeans. “Discoverability” is a word I’ve seen thrown around a lot regarding Pinterest. Meaning, Pinterest helps people find new products/brands/styles they would normally not come across by plugging keywords into a search engine. Chances are, the people I choose to follow on Pinterest have similar taste to me. 2. Building Links Anytime someone pins something from your site, it automatically pulls in not just the image from your site, but also a link. There is a chance for that pin to be repinned multiple times (even hundreds of times, in some cases), building up a healthy amount of backlinks. Here’s a great post that makes the case for linkbuilding on Pinterest. You can see if people are pinningthings from your site by replacing “” in this link with your URL: Brand AdvocacyIf people love your products and they’re on Pinterest, they will not only pin your stuff, but they might dedicate an entire pin board to your brand.  True story: I have an entire board dedicated to Essie & OPI nail polish (again, don’t judge).How It's Being UsedPerhaps the most powerful business application is the ability to post images of your company's products on your Pinterest board and link them back to your website. It works as a sort of virtual store catalog.But remember that this is social media. If you simply display images of your products without contributing other content or sharing other users' pins, you'll likely find that people don't pay much attention. After all, no one likes a self-absorbed blowhard.Gather buyer intelligenceUse analytics to track leads backward to customer boards to gain insight.
  • When launching a new product, whether a new dress, dinner dish or cellphone, companies want to determine initial reactions to the product’s look and feel. Because of Pinterest’s commenting ability, it’s an ideal platform on which to introduce a new product and gather firsthand opinions. Because Pinterest’s popularity hasn’t reached the caliber of Facebook, brand managers can easily organize, analyze and determine sentiment from the results. As users Repin a photo, brand managers can gather more intelligence, and ultimately decide whether their companies should move forward with mass production. Think of it as a social media focus group.
  • Brands and companies can connect and build buzz among their audiences by hosting various types of contests on Pinterest. Contests can range from creating the “Best Board” to a earning the most Repins. (Pantone Color of the Year)Users could post photos of the best outfits they put together or of sculptures built from products bought at a specific store. Similar to photo contests on Facebook or Twitter, Pinterest offers a way for brands to build visually stunning interaction between themselves and their patrons. Check Pinterest’s terms of use to make sure that what you’re planning doesn’t violate their guidelinesUsers develop boards on their own account demonstrating what they love about the brand (think black dog catalog)Re-pin the top boards to your business account and let users vote for winner (crowdsource)
  • Lack of visual contentVisuals from blogsInfographicsChartsCorporate culturePhotos of customers using product / service (lifestyle)User-generated boards
  • Using your business Twitter account sign-in allows you to easily share content via the Twitter platform. Pinterest currently doesn’t connect to FB business pagesInclude your logo or an appropriate image that is strongly associated with your brandIn the settings, make sure that visibility is turned on to keep your Pinterest profile from being hidden from search engines. You want your profile to be indexed.
  • Not an attorney—keep in mind copyright issues. Give credit, link back to original sourceBoards can be based on a few key words that you are already using in your SEO strategy
  • You want people to be able to find your pins and boards—that’s the point.If you upload content (vs. pinning it from your site) include and appropriate link back to your site in the descriptionHash tags make content search friendly. Also, if you’re running a campaign, create a board around the campaign and use the same hash tags you’ll be using on twitter, facebook, etc. so that you have an integrated cross channel campaign.Influencers--and encourage them to follow you back and repin your pins by frequently sharing their pins. (fashion brand? Engage Nina Garcia)
  • Add a Pinterest icon Let your audience know you’re here by adding a Pinterest icon to your other on-site social buttons.5. Incorporate a “Pin It” button Even if you aren’t going to set up a profile on Pinterest, you can still get your brand involved by including a “pin it” button on your product pages or blog posts. You can also add the button to blog posts using the WordPressPinterestplugin.
  • In general, the more popular images are ones that help a person share something about themselves – not about YOU.
  • 1. Whole FoodsShopping at Whole Foods is a combination of the indulgent (Dark chocolate! $7 pints of ice cream!) and the commendable (recycling bins and cage-free eggs), and the brand's Pinterest presence revels in that dichotomy. Hence a "Sweet Tooth" board replete with cheesecake shots of, uh, cheesecakes next to a board for the Whole Planet Foundation, the company's charitable arm. 2. Martha StewartAfter a burst of activity this fall, Martha's site suffers from lack of attention of late (What, no Christmas board?). But previously, the brand seemed uniquely suited for Pinterest's smorgasbord approach to social media. 3. Better Homes and GardensMeredith Corp.'s venerable magazine title has adapted well to the social media age, creating a PInterest site loaded with information. At press time there were 45 boards with recipes, decorating tips and holiday tips. 4. Real SimpleWith 43 boards, Time Inc.'s Real Simple is no slouch, either. Like BHG, Real Simple's Pinterest presence focuses on recipes and decorating tips, with the brand's own Idiosyncratic take. (Tennis racket mirrors, anyone?) 5. west elmWest elm, which makes furniture, appeals to the would-be designer with boards devoted to various topics, including "globalist" and "creative reuse" that display how other people decorate.6. Bergdorf GoodmanThe retailer appeals to the shopoholic with boards like "Shoes that make us swoon," but also includes quirky stuff like "I have a weakness for..." that define the brand without necessarily pitching a specific product. 7. TodayThe only non-lifestyle brand featured, NBC's Today features a Facebook-like feed of news and images about people who've been on the show and some behind-the-scenes stuff, like "KLG and Hoda's favorite things," which outlines the likes of Kathie Lee Gifford and co-host HodaKotb. 8. Travel ChannelA natural for Pinterest, Travel Channel's boards outline both the informational ("Animals Around the World") and the aspirational ("Beaches.")  8. Style Me PrettyFocus: WeddingBoards: 40Our Favorite Board: Settings and BackdropsFrom mashable
  • Brand Management– to boost your search engine optimization efforts, secure the URL so that you show up for branded search resultsThen, follow interesting boards and individuals who post images that inspire you. Once you've done some pinning of other people's content for a week or so and attracted a few followers, create a new board of your products. Add descriptions and perhaps the price to the images. Make sure they link back to your website and start tracking as a referral source in your website analytics.Next, try creating an image of a special deal or coupon just for your Pinterest followers. Upload it to a new board for Deals. Perhaps offer a prize to the person who gets the most likes or comments on a re-pin of the coupon, and then see who shares it the most. Don't fret about creating multiple boards. People who follow you will see them all.In a month or two, see if you're getting referral traffic or sales. Depending on the results, you may need to tweak your boards with new images and words.
  • Pinterest 101

    1. 1. Eileen NewmanJulia TanenKCSA Strategic CommunicationsMarch 5, 2012
    2. 2. Table of Contents • What Exactly Is Pinterest? • Social Media Landscape • Some Interesting Facts • How Brands Are Using Pinterest • Tips For Pinterest Marketing • Brands / Pinners to Watch
    3. 3. What Exactly Is It?• Social bookmarking tools – Easy to use• Users are “visual curators” of content – “pin” images found around the Web – Browser “Pin It” button – organize into categorized collections, or boards• Users can follow or be followed – Share content – make comments – tag users• iPhone and mobile apps
    4. 4. Social Media Landscape• Social media sites are becoming more visual• Sites are becoming less people-focused and more topic / interest- focused• Sharing is becoming easier
    5. 5. Social Media Landscape Social media sites are becoming more visual Sites are becoming less people-focused and more topic / interest- focused Sharing is becoming easier
    6. 6. Pinterest combines twoof the most compellingelements of social media: visual contentand sharing who you are.
    7. 7. Who Is Using It?• Approximately 65% of users are women between 25-45 yrs. old – Most are seeking inspiration – Content on Pinterest can influence their buying decisions
    8. 8. Some Interesting Facts• Rapid growth – Unique visitors increased 429% between September and December 2011 – December 2011 had 7.21 million unique visitors. – In December 2011, the site entered the top 10 social networks according to Hitwise data with 11 million total visits per week• Fifth largest driver of referral traffic, behind Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and Yahoo!, respectively.• Drives more visitors to third-party websites than Google+, YouTube, and LinkedIn combined• Awards – Included in Time Magazine’s "50 Best Websites of 2011" column – Named the best New Start-up of 2011, by Tech Crunch
    9. 9. How Does It Work?• Invitation only – Possible to request invite directly from the site – Users can invite others• Log-in using Facebook or Twitter account• Intuitive interface• Set-up process – Users specify interests – Pinterest chooses some top users to follow – Install “pin-it” button to browser toolbar
    10. 10. Pins • Pin: an image or video added to Pinterest – From a Web site or uploaded by user – Includes user defined description – Prices can be included
    11. 11. Boards• Board: where pins can be organized by topic – 32 categories – Pinterest starts users off with default boards – Users can allow others to collaborate on specific board(s)
    12. 12. Following• Users build a list of people or boards to follow and their content appears on the home page• Asymmetrical following (like Twitter)• Pinterest chooses an initial set of pinners to follow based on the user’s interests• Facebook / Twitter sign-ins help to find friends using Pinterest• Users discover pinners to follow by: – Using the search function to find pins on certain topics – Seeking out users behind interesting pins – Discovering who else is following those pinners – scanning pins in specific categories
    13. 13. Adding / Sharing Content• Users upload content • Pinning from the Web: – “Pin It” button• Repinning: – The source link is automatically – Source links stay with the pin pulled in – The image is immediately – Original pinner receives added to any of the user’s “credit” Pinterest boards – User can edit (or add to) the – Immediately categorized and shared description • Site facilitates users sharing content outside of Pinterest – Facebook and Twitter – Email – Embedding pins on their own website or blog
    14. 14. Pinterest EtiquetteThe guidelines below are based on collective input from people using Pinterest. These are suggestionsto help keep our community positive and to ensure that every pin is useful to other people.Be Nice• Pinterest is a community of people. We know that tastes are personal, but be respectful in your comments and conversations.Credit Your Sources• Pins are the most useful when they have links back to the original source. If you notice that a pin is not sourced correctly, leave a comment so the original pinner can update the source. Finding the original source is always preferable to a secondary source such as Google Image Search or a blog entry.Avoid Self Promotion• Pinterest is designed to curate and share things you love. If there is a photo or project you’re proud of, pin away! However, try not to use Pinterest purely as a tool for self-promotion.Report Objectionable Content• We do not allow nudity or hateful content. If you find content that is objectionable or violates our Terms of Service can submit the content for review by pushing the “Report Content” link.Tell Us How to Make Pinterest Better• Were just getting started, so there are going to be bumps here and there. Let us know whats working, whats not. We take your input seriously. You can get in touch with us anytime:
    15. 15. How Are Brands Using It?• Brand Exposure – content is shared across its category and each pinner’s network, extends reach• Brand Affinity—associate the brand with specific themes or attributes• Shopping Discovery –shift from search to discovery; Users are finding products and services they were unaware of• Search equalizer• Brand Advocacy – as images are shared, users express their support for the products and brands depicted• Promotion of brand “lifestyle”• Link Building – every “Pin” and “Repin” creates a link back to the image source• Gather Buyer Intelligence—use analytics to track leads backward to customer boards to gain insight.
    16. 16. Focus Group / Crowdsourcing
    17. 17. Contests
    18. 18. Overcoming B2B Challenges
    19. 19. Guiding Principles• Pinterest marketing is not about YOU• Pinterest is a vehicle for your customers to show and share their enthusiasm for your company and its products and / or your specific niche or category• Your job is to help them express and share their passion
    20. 20. Best Practices for Brands• Use Twitter sign-in• Profile – Include logo – Describe who you are • what you do? • Tell about your company • Tell what your company sells • Share info that builds credibility – Describe what you will pin • What will users find on your pinboards? – Include links to your website, FB page, and RSS• Make sure “Visibility” is turned on
    21. 21. Best Practices for Brands• Pins and Boards – Pin from the original source and permalinks – Give credit and include a thoughtful pin description – Link to your web site and landing pages – Pinning from various sources rather than one specific site; (Remember, Pinterest is not about self- promotion) – Create boards that cover a broad range of interests, rather than maintaining a single board devoted to one topic (i.e. your company) – Show facets of brand personality or values – Showcase the lifestyle that your brand promotes
    22. 22. Best Practices for Brands• Descriptions – Include links to website – Use hash tags• Following – Engage with other users – Follow, Repin & Like others – Identify and engage with influencers
    23. 23. Best Practices for Brands• Promotion – Add a Pinterest icon to your other social media pages – Add a “Pin It” button to your web or blog pages so users can easily share your visual content – Offer to invite your existing FB / Twitter followers to follow you on Pinterest – Leverage other communication channels to spread the word (blog, newsletter, emails, etc.)
    24. 24. Best Practices for Brands• Content – Share content that is relevant and valuable (not overly promotional) – Analyze what content is or isn’t getting ‘pinned’ or ‘repinned’ or ‘liked’ or ‘commented on’ • Dreams or object of desire • Convey emotions (like love for a cute puppy) • Favorite things • Quotes or statements – Make a visual statement that helps the user to convey something about themselves and their interests.
    25. 25. This Not this
    26. 26. Brands / Pinners to Follow1. Whole Foods2. Martha Stewart3. Better Homes and Gardens4. Real Simple5. west elm6. Bergdorf Goodman7. Today8. Travel Channel9. Style Me Pretty• From mashable
    27. 27. What Is The Potential?• Site is still in Beta• Users and Pinterest are still evolving the platform – Opportunity to innovate – Platform not yet stable• Brands that fit the platform can connect with customers in new and interesting ways• Probably not a good idea to invest significant resources without a lot of testing
    28. 28. Next Steps• Secure the URL• Start to follow interesting boards and individuals• Create several boards for your account• Identify influencers and start engaging• Track as a referral source in your website analytics.• Depending on the results, you may need to tweak your boards with new images and words.