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Wednesday, 2 May 2012

Why Pinning Is In Your Best Interest

Source: Experian
Those of us who are early adopters of Pinterest will have noticed a dramatic rise in activity from this social media channel in recent months.  As the above chart from a recent Experian study shows, Pinterest has clearly captured the interest of global users and no doubt the developers GooglePlus are looking at this surge with some envy.

Pinterest has leapfrogged Google Plus and is now the third most popular social networking site behind Facebook and Twitter. There were 11.7 million visitors to the site in January of 2012.

It is in the top ten websites for Hitwise's Social Networking and Forums category and from January to February of this year its growth grew a whopping 50%.  Not a bad result for a platform that only started in March of 2010.

As Experian points out, this growth is part of a much wider societal trend. "Users are increasingly more comfortable with recommendations from friends or other users when they come through social personalisation".

The shift in social media is away from just linking with friends and more towards common interests.  This means that brands and retailers need to carfeully consider what boards they will deploy and what products or images they will pin.

Choosing a category that can be associated with your company's products and service, but is not necessarily produced by the company can be challenging but is not insurmountable. A provider of IT services and solutions might might choose to pin 'Gadgets as in the example here. Gadgets are one of the more shareable items on Pinterest.

The second thing to remember is that any image you choose to pin or share needs to be of quality and immediate visual appeal. Close-ups rather than distant images, good colour rendition and optimisation should all be considered when selecting.

If you pin 'quality' you will be associated with it and vice versa. And be positive in your comments section, making sure that you use the edit function for each image once you have pinned it to link back to where you want the viewer to go. Always credit your image sources.

When using Pinterest for marketing purposes it should also be remembered that:
  • Women use it to a far greater degree than men (68.2% of users are women - other studies put this figure as high as 80%). 
  • 50% of users have children
  • Home d├ęcor, crafts, fashion and food dominate the pin boards
  • Users spend far longer on Pinterest than they do on most other social platforms  - 15.8 minutes, compared to Facebook (12.1 minutes) and Twitter (3.3. minutes).  Only YouTube captures interest longer (16.8 minutes)
  • 25-34 is the dominant age demographic for Pinterest users
  • 28% of users could be termed well off, with incomes over $US100,000.
  • Sharing by re-pinning is by far the greatest activity rather than using a browser pin marklet.
Stats source: Modea

Remember that while Pinterest is a fast mover it still has a long, long way to go to make any headway against Facebook which will shortly reach 1 billion users and has 26.4% of all referral traffic (Pinterest, Google Plus and Twitter are all below 4%).

Finally here are some recent findings from Dan Zarella of Hubspot based on a data set of 11,000 pins. These can provide some guidance when you are aiming for maximum reach on Pinterest:

  • Descriptions about 200 characters long are most re-pinnable
  • Pins about food are very pinnable

  • Aim to write "likable" content rather than "commentable" content for repins
  • Taller images are more repinnable

Dan Zarella - Hubspot
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