Like Me? Follow Me.
Facebook and Twitter better watch out - there's a new player on the social media scene and it's driving more referrals than both Google+ and Youtube. Pinterest is an online pin board where users can post and manage collections of images and links that they find inspiring. It may sound simple, but this relatively new social networking site is changing the face of online retail. Like Facebook and Twitter, the entire concept of Pinterest is based on sharing and this has resulted in a significant rise in both users and referral traffic.
The site is now the fifth biggest social media referrer and its number of unique visitors rose by 329% from September 2011 - December 2011.
Pinterest & Your Business
Currently, Pinterest is only being used by a relatively small number of brands - something that I anticipate will change drastically within the next year. Here we have put together some tips to give you a taste of how Pinterest could work for your business:
1. Build brand awareness - Pinterest offers businesses the opportunity to curate a lifestyle, image and personality that compliments a brand. Pictures and products can be 'repinned' and shared with thousands of followers to boost brand awareness and visitors to your site.
US store Bergdorf Goodman inject some personality into its Pinterest account by showcasing a digital bookshelf.
2. Understand your market - Although Pinterest is primarily about interaction, it is also an effective way to gain a better understanding of your target audience. Use your account to ask questions, gauge reactions to products or simply investigate what is popular. This works particularly well for online retailers, such as fashion brands, furniture stores and interior design stores.
Above: One user highlights her style preference and offers brands an insight into what's popular.
3. Start a contest - Brands can launch contests for followers to encourage interaction and gain extra exposure across the site. Contests can include 'pin board creating competitions', where users can create a pin board based on a particular product range in order to win a prize.
Above: Lands End launch its 'Pin to Win it' campain.
4. Creative Interaction - Using Pinterest has the potential to cut out the usual clichés of marketing - giving your business a more visual and creative way to interact with potential customers.
Below the Travel Channel invite its followers to interact with the Travel Bucket List campaign.
Although it has a long way to go before it can truly challenge the likes of Facebook and Twitter, Pinterest is yet another example of how social media can offer more creative and engaging ways to drive traffic to your site.