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An introduction to Pinterest

What is Pinterest?

Pinterest is effectively a collection of online pinboards.

Users create a pinboard for a theme, and then “pin” images and videos that interest them to share them with other users.

It allows users to showcase their own images, and to browse other people’s images and “re-pin” them on their own boards. 


The rapid growth of Pinterest

Pinterest is one of the newest and fastest growing social media sites. It was developed in December 2009, and launched in March 2010. 

By the end of 2011 it was ranked as one of the top 10 largest social networking sites. 

In January 2012, it had 11.7million unique visitors and became the fastest site in history to pass the 10 million unique visitors mark.

By February 2013, it had 48.7million global users, and was estimated to have risen to around 70million in July 2013.

Initial users have been mainly from the United States, but it is now growing dramatically outside the USA, with the UK having the 3rd largest number of users. It has many more users than Twitter did at the same stage.


How can Pinterest be of benefit to businesses?

You can join Pinterest as a business – it is not just designed for individuals.

70% of people are looking for inspiration for things they would like to buy on Pinterest, which is more than 4 times the percentage of those doing the same on Facebook.

Users can add keywords to images and boards so that they can be searched for by other users, increasing their chances of being found and thus attracting the maximum amount of views.

A link to the website that the image came from is included with the image, or if you are uploading the image yourself you can add a link to it. This is a great way to drive traffic to your website.

4 out of 5 pins have been “re-pinned” from someone else, so a huge amount of sharing images takes place on Pinterest.

Users can like your image, re-pin it, share it and email it. Therefore, make sure your pins are good quality and well optimised, that you link your Pinterest account to your Twitter and Facebook accounts, and that you verify your website so that your Pinterest account links back to it. 

Businesses can create pin boards for a range of themes, for example:

  • Behind the scenes at the business
  • Meet the team photos
  • Helpful tips
  • Local area photos
  • Clients using your product
  • Your business at events
  • Charity photos
  • Inspirational photos
  • Related videos
  • Archive photos
  • Pets

You don’t even have to be on Pinterest for users to share your photos. Users can add a “Pin It” button to the bookmark bar in their web browser, so that when they are on a web page and see a photo they like, they can click it and pin it to their Pinterest account. 

Pinterest users spend much longer on the site per visit than on other social media sites – nearly quarter of an hour per visit. It is therefore a great way to engage with your clients and prospective clients, to tell them the story behind your business and to be creative.

Agree? Disagree? Do let James Hopkins know what you think by commenting below.

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