Week 6: Develop Your Online Presence – Pinterest

Lecture

Some interesting facts about Pinterest:

Who uses Pinterest?

  • Pinterest has more than 12m US users.
  • 28.1% of Pinterest users have an annual household income of at least $100,000.
  • There are more than 200,000 active Pinterest users in the UK.
  • 29% of UK users are in the highest income bracket.
  • Pinterest is now the third most popular social network in the US in terms of traffic.
  • Pinterest is retaining and engaging users as much as 2-3 times as efficiently as Twitter was at a similar time in its history.
  • The average Pinterest user spends 98 minutes per month on the site.
  • US users spend an average of one hour and 17 minutes on the site.
  • According to Repinly, the most popular category on Pinterest is ‘food and drink’ with 11.9% of pins, followed by ‘DIY and crafts’ 9.2% and ‘home décor’ (5.9%). However, looking at pinboards rather than single pins, home décor is actually the most popular category (11%) followed by ‘art’ (10.7%) and ‘design’ (10.3%).

So, clearly, Pinterest is worth our attention. And what is it, exactly? Pinterest is a social media site where you can “pin” images you find online and share them with fellow Pinterest members. They in turn can “repin” those images and share them. The result is beautiful and endlessly entertaining – be prepared to lose yourself down a wormhole of engaging images! It’s much more visually appealing than Facebook because, whilst most of the images are things you can buy, there’s no hard sales pitch.

The official Pinterest blurb discourages outright promotion but, as you’ll see if you search for ‘short stories’ as I did, the publishers’ PR people have posted plenty of book covers and blurbs but still, the result is appealing and interesting instead of the sometimes tiresome hard-sells on FB and Twitter.

You may be heaving a sigh at the thought of yet another site to update but take heart…if your audience is here you can establish a board in a few minutes which can then be connected to your personal Facebook page (but not a business page). So, as long as you’re not pinning too often, you can have your pins appear automatically on your personal FB page. (If you find you are pinning a lot of images to your board, you might want to disconnect from Facebook lest your FB friends get fed up with too-frequent posting.)

Why does Pinterest drive so much traffic? Well, it’s different from FB or Twitter. On those sites, I (and most likely other people too) typically read the headline that’s been shared, and then go on to the next one. On Pinterest, the “Pin”, or image, is more of a visual bookmark. If I decide I’m interested in the “Pin”, usually I’ve got to click on it to find out more. And the content sits still – it doesn’t disappear in a flood of new posts the way it does on Twitter and FB. On top of that, when I find an interesting Pinterest page, I’m much more likely to want to see all that person’s content because the impulse for posting is often beauty or humor and the pay-off is higher than FB and Twitter (hence the wormhole!). Also, are you fed up with the way everything digital is so speedy? I know I am. There’s so little time to absorb and reflect. We’re deluged by emails, tweets, FB posts – everything comes at us at top speed, and Pinterest encourages a slower, almost nostalgic pace that calms things down and creates a little oasis of peace in the middle of the digital day.

Also, Pinterest sends (not too frequent) updates in the form of pictures; you can click on what appeals to you and spend a few minutes browsing your favorites – cute dog pictures, beautiful photographs of nature – whatever you love most. It’s fun, like a trip to a virtual art gallery!

One caveat: Pinterest does not allow posting of copyrighted material without the owner’s permission so, to be on the safe side, you shouldn’t post images you don’t own. Ask the owner – many will be glad of the free publicity – or, if you want to share a copyrighted image with friends, Tweet about it instead and link directly to the source page. You could also use Facebook – post a thumbnail (which is legal) and link to the source page.

Checklist:

Go to Pinterest.com. Spend ten minutes browsing the site and ask yourself, before I join and set up my board, what is my goal? What do I want to achieve with the content I will post? Schedule ten to twenty minutes to have fun pinning a few images.