What is Pinterest?
Pinterest was launched in 2010; you can find the site at http://www.pinterest.com. It’s a Social Media tool, which allows users to bookmark favorite images, categorise them by pinboard and share them socially.
At the time of writing, Pinterest was rated as a PR7 site and it was the 38th most visited site in the world according to Alexa.
Pinterest currently has the 3rd highest amount of traffic for a social network in the USA. Many retailers have reported receiving higher traffic referrals from Pinterest than other social media networks such as Google+, Linked In, StumbleUpon and Digg.
How to use Pinterest?
The topic of “how to use Pinterest” could take up many articles. A brief guide is provided below. Really mastering Pinterest takes time and dedication, like most things in life if you practice you will become better.
>Get an invite – It’s a little bit of a pain but Pinterest is by invite only. This is easy to overcome though, speak to somebody who’s already on Pinterest and ask them to invite you. Alternatively type “how to get an invite to Pinterest” in Google. This guide from Mashable on getting a Pinterest invite is good too.
>Create pinboards people will want to read – This almost goes without saying but there is no point in creating useless content. If you want people to actually visit your Pinterest pinboards create meaningful, worthwhile content people will want to read. This is the way the Internet is going generally and was a major part of the recent Google Penguin update.
>Categorise your pinboards – Categorisation is important. Categorise at both a page and pin level for more people to see your pins. It’s straightforward if your page/pin is about SEO then categorise under SEO.
>Create unique content for Pinterest – Give people reasons to visit your Pinterest pinboard. If the content on your pinboard contains at least some unique material it is more likely to attract an increased number of visitors.
>Ensure your images are Pinteresting and attractive – This goes “hand in hand” with creating pinboards that people will want to read. Ensure your images are interesting (“pinteresting”!) and well optimised, i.e. not distorted, etc
>Add “Pin It” buttons to your web pages – To drive traffic from your site to Pinterest ensure that you add a “Pin It” button to each page on your website. This will drive traffic and interest to your Pinterest pinboard(s).
>Include your URL(s) for traffic purposes – Ensure you add your URL – Whilst Pinterest is not a miracle worker for SEO, URL insertion will drive useful traffic to your site(s).
>Participate in the Pinterest community – Have some fun, like/repin other people’s pins, follow other Pinterest users. The more you participate the more likely traffic is going to go to your Pinterest board too.
If you want to see a Pinterest pinboard on “how to use Pinterest”, http://pinterest.com/inetsuccess/how-to-use-pinterest/
Is Pinterest effective?
It appears that Pinterest is effective. Many retailers in particular are reporting large referrals from Pinterest. The effectiveness of these referrals is still being assessed by many, but the additional traffic is obviously welcomed. Many SEO Agencies are offering customised services to companies offering tailored Pinterest managed services.
As 83% of Pinterest users are said to be women, the site appeals more too female audiences and products/services which appeal to a female audience (e.g. clothing, jewelry, flowers, etc)
So to answer the question the topic set, “Should you be pinning your social media aspirations on Pinterest?”. The answer has to be “yes but only partially”. Pinterest is a valuable social media application to use in conjunction with others – Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Digg, StumbleUpon and others.
If you haven’t signed up to Pinterest yet, why not give it a try?