August 28, 2012

pushpinsHave you heard of Pinterest yet? Are you using it? If you’re not making use of this social network marketing channel, your business will shortly be left behind as your competitors who are using Pinterest surge past you in sales, customers, and online influence.

The concept behind Pinterest is fairly simple. You create what is basically an online pin board, to which you can pin pictures of things you like. These can be product photos, captured webpages, or photos of people or places. You can create multiple pin boards, each of which collects a certain category or theme of things that you like. People who follow your pin board are able to view the images you’ve pinned to your board, comment on them, and even re-pin the images to their own boards.

This is an extreme simplification, but it’s the general concept. At this point, you may be wondering how it can possibly be a useful marketing channel.

Where Pinterest differs from a standard pin board is in what happens when you “touch” one of the pinned images. On a standard pin board, you can pull out the pin and pick up the image it was holding – and now you have an image in your hand. On Pinterest, however, when you pick up an image (by double-clicking on it), you’re taken to whatever webpage the image is linked to. So for a product photo, you may be taken to an online retailer where you can buy that product. The captured webpage image would take to you that webpage. Photos of people or places may take you to a fan site or personal webpage for a person, and a tourism website or travel agency may be linked to the image of a place.

If the pictures are particularly beautiful, moving, interesting, or captivating, they will be re-pinned onto other people’s pin boards. You can add words and other graphics to an otherwise interesting image to make it even more likely to be re-pinned. All of these other people are then doing your marketing for you, because any time someone sees the image on their pin board and “picks it up” by double-clicking on it, they’ll be directed to the website you selected.

How many people are viewing these pin boards? There are 11 million Pinterest users, making it the fastest growing social network ever. It is the #2 social network (after Facebook), and has more users than Google+, LinkedIn, and Twitter combined. While the initial adopters of Pinterest were almost all women, as more and more people join, the ratio of men to women is trending toward parity. While it is an ideal way of reaching a female demographic, you can also use it to reach millions of men.





Sean McPheat

Managing Director

The Internet Marketing Academy

(Image PhotoMorgue)

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