What is Pinterest? If you haven't heard of Pinterest or logged in yet and you're using social media as a marketing tool, then you need to get registered on Pinterest as soon as possible because this thing is going viral.
Right now the majority of users, approximately 87%, are women. Pinterest was largely used as "scrapbooking tool" but it has rapidly grown into something much bigger. I'm predicting more men joining and more companies. Once social media fans know that this is a great marketing tool, then it will be like bees to a honey pot. When you see giants like Apple Inc., Mashable and marketing guru, Michael Brenner of B2B already on Pinterest, then you know it's something special. Find some companies/people that you respect and start following them (hopefully you'll follow Zestimedia on Pinterest too). Look at what others are putting on their Pin Boards and get ideas. Pinterest affords you an incredible opportunity to Brand yourself and grow a niche market.
The majority of users are a nice age mix - 80% in the 25 to 54 age range - and within that range the demographics are spread equally within the decades. That's unique - you are finally capturing multiple levels of social media users without having to ask permission to follow them. Baby boomers and older users will soon be flooding in too because it's an easy platform to operate.
So far, approximately 75% of Pinterest users are in the $25,000 to $75,000 income range. The numbers will change but that income level are shoppers and web users.
Pinterest reminded me of my first experience with Twitter it took me a year before I became more social media savvy and realized that certain platforms reach certain audiences and you need to have a social media strategy to cover as many platforms as possible. Pinterest visitors are staying on the site for 98 minutes per month - that's an extremely large amount of time for a new site and it means a captured/captivated audience. Watch that figure grow in the months to come.
Now here is the BIG item: REFERRALS. Pinterest drives more referral traffic than Google+, LinkedIn and YouTube combined, you want a Pinterest referral. Case in point: I posted an image with a link to a blog a few days ago and am astounded how many people have re-pinned that link and liked it. So what? Well, when you have a blog on your website and you pin the reference to the blog on Pinterest with a picture or flow-chart, etc, then every time someone clicks to find out more, they are linked to your blog i.e. arrive at your website and raising your rankings for SEO! SWEET! Now before you go and do a happy dance, remember you need to create a blog which is of VALUE to your readers, you are providing a service. If you make it all about you then get ready to lose your audience - no one wants intrusive marketing, egomaniacs or people selling snake oil - no followers and no revisits. You need to become an expert and a source of information for your visitors. How long do you think it will be before Apple is launching a new product through Pinterest?
Many people are concerned about Pinterest and copyright and you can bet Pinterest is concerned about it too. They have clear rules on copyright infringement and put it squarely on your shoulders. Credit those you got information from and read the rules carefully. I'm pretty sure that the U.S. Government had this in mind, when it recently tried to introduce SOPA. Companies like iStock, where you pay for images, have very clear rules on image copyright infringement.. don't abuse their policies.
Pinterest has created amazing hype, just like when Gmail got started. It's similar to standing in line outside a new restaurant with great reviews. Pinterest invites you to register and then you wait for Pinterest to email you to let you know you've been accepted, just like being accepted into a tribe. I love this approach and it creates curiosity and excitement. No matter what the reason that Pinterest is doing this, it works.. Pinterest is the fastest growing stand alone site in history, just having surpassing 11,700,000 U.S. users, up from just over 400,000 in May 2011 - that is truly remarkable.
I went to join the site and registered then waited a few days to be contacted - be patient. You can also ask a friend to invite you.
At first, it looked like Pinterest consisted of craft projects, fashion and cooking tips. But I soon realized that you could "pin" other items too and even YouTube clips. You make pin boards with names you choose but you can tie them into the Pinterest General boards, e.g. you're a health care provider that teaches women about breast cancer: put up a diagram about lump size on your own board and link it to your blog on self-examination - but you can also link it to the main "Health" board on Pinterest and get your diagram and blog found. If you have the words "breast self-exam" on it then when Pinterest visitors enter those search words, your diagram will be found too.
To place items into Pinterest from a website, log into Pinterest and go to the "About" button on the Pinterest tool bar. Press it and then go to the Pinterest "Pin It" button. You can drag the Pinterest Pin It button onto your browser tool bar. When you find something to Pin, it's as easy as pressing the "Pin It" button and it will link the page you are looking at to Pinterest, enabling you to place it into one of your boards.
Like any social media platform, have fun and get used to what it can do. Let Zestimedia know what you think - or if you have questions or need an invite, contact Zesti in the comment section below. In the meantime, Happy Pinning!