On social media we share more than mere status updates. We share moments, inspirations, and passions. The new network ‘pinterest’ helps us to put pictures to these.
Even though pics usually trigger more interactions within social media than just texts they were mostly neglected so far. Pinterest is closing this gap.
Officially pinterest is still in a beta-state only accessible via invites, but with four million unique users and a traffic increase of 4000 per cent in the last six months it already is among the top 10 of the social networks.
Pinterest is fascinating because on the one hand it’s the first platform that stages pics and videos as character references. On the other hand it offers a range of options for companies to promote themselves and get some SEO done.
Above all it is refreshingly simple. You can ‘pin’ content from any side via your browser or a mobile app (not for android yet). In the following I am going to describe how it works and how companies can use pinterest for their online reputation management and to generate traffic.
First you request an invite – either directly on pinterest.com or from someone who’s already using it (which might be much quicker).
Once you got the invite you log in – you can do that quickly by using your Facebook or Twitter account.
After logging in several categories are shown to you to pick some you’re interested in. With the help of a search you can alter them and add more later. Now you can start to pin stuff to your ‘boards’.
To do so you can either use content that you found on other websites, upload your own stuff or re-pin other people’s content. When you hover over a pic with your cursor on the top you’ll get show the options ‘repin’, ‘like’ or ‘comment’.
Via your profile (you find it in the upper right corner where your personal pic is) you can manages your boards, pins and likes.
You can install a ‘pin it’ button to your browser which allows you to pin from any website you’re on.
Pinterest for companies
That pinterest has the reputation of being for women planning their weddings, is really not considering the opportunities it offers for companies.
It is true that pinterest’s users are mostly female (which can be considered an advantage as the other social networks have more male users), but that does not mean that only home-deco and dresses work.
Comments do have to be supervised on pinterest, but otherwise it is mostly dominated by push-communication (but of course there are several ways to initiate interactions) as it is about creating a visual self-portait of brands and topics.
That’s why it says “pin what you know and love”. Exceptional, beautiful, funny, peculiar or personal pics are what it takes – not some run-of-the-mill corporate stuff.
There are many opportunities to spark interactions that exceed the pinning. I.e. you could ask users to pin pics that show them with you product. Or you start a little picture puzzle.
The biggest advantages of pinterest for companies are the seo benefits and on the other hand a potential use of it for ecommerce without being too pushy.
SEO and e-commerce through pinterest
Those two benefits are connected by how pinterest works. Pinned content automatically generates a backlink to the sources it was pinned from. Which means that the picture of a product automatically links back to the place of purchase.
Since the end of January those external links were set to nofollow and therefore they are not as seo relevant as they used to be. But the external links, which were placed on the profile and pin-board sites, are still relevant for search engines (dofollow).
This means that it’s no longer possible to generate hundreds of relevant seo links with basically no effort at all. But there is still a small benefit for seo left. Companies could use pinterest for employer branding efforts or to build up their reputation as experts.
However, it is important that companies remember the usual web-manners: you shouldn’t pin from just one source (i.e. your own website). Repins of other people’s material are very much wanted and that also builds up your network.
Also, you should tend to your profile and make sure it shows different facets. Meaning: don’t necessary keep the boards set by default, but create your own.
And now: happy pinning.
For invites please leave your email address in the comment section (or send me a tweet @steffisoehnchen).