Very Pinteresting

Very Pinteresting


Pinterest is a social network that allows users to visually share, curate, and discover new interests. It’s the virtual bulletin board of our haves and have-nots. That bucket list of things you want and need to do? Well, now you can inspire yourself and others by visually pinning those objects and goals to your chosen board.

Simple, easy to use with a visually engaging layout, Pinterest became the cool new social media kid on the block for 2012 and is set to grow even more in the new year. The platform visually focuses on the concept of a lifestyle, allowing you to share your tastes and interests with others and discover those of like-minded people. Pinterest is taking the old adage ‘A picture is worth a thousand words’ and putting it to work.

We’ve been here before though: social media platform launches, no one cares about said social media platform until  suddenly it reaches tipping point and officially becomes the next big thing. The first question that business owners and marketers ask is: how can I make money from it? Then they ask: how does it work and should I be incorporating it into our digital marketing strategy?

Driving traffic

Let’s start with some of the stats. Pinterest became the fastest website to hit 10 million unique visits. That’s faster than Google, faster than Facebook. Pinterest has three times the ability of Twitter to retain readership and engagement.

In 2011, in just 6 months, daily visitors went from spending 14 minutes on site all the way up to 98 minutes, an increase of 700%. That’s still way behind Facebook with roughly 440 minutes, but what’s become very interesting is that Pinterest drives more web traffic to other sites than Google+, LinkedIn and YouTube combined! That’s quite a claim to fame for a website that simply shares photographic images.

So should you and your business be on Pinterest, pinning for all you’re worth? Well, the first thing to do – as with any other social media channel – is to work out whether the platform would be a good fit for your business. If you are an e-commerce site or a charity, then this platform is made for you.

However, if you run a business that deals in numbers and statistical analysis, for example, then generating images for those numbers might be too much work and you’d be better off sharing that content and information on Twitter and Facebook.

Making good business sense

Having said that, there is a great demand out there for good quality infographics, a popular niche on Pinterest. The basic question to ask is: how visually interesting is this piece of content and is it giving my users an insight into my business?

Will people want to share it or pin it to their boards? Because the platform is based around a visually interesting and aspirational lifestyle approach, Pinterest strongly discourages blatant self-promotion.

It doesn’t want you simply posting 200 images of each kind of hat you sell, but rather of people wearing those hats in visually arresting poses or environments. You need to be creative and strategic with the pins and boards that you post to.

There are a few ways to do this:  publishing an external event’s videos and images to a special board; creating a pin board around a campaign or contest; allowing people to post pictures to your pin board of themselves using your products or services in fresh and different ways.

The right exposure

As with any social media strategy, Pinterest takes commitment and creativity. It may not be right for your business, but if you can take advantage of what it has to offer and learn to understand how it fits into your consumers’ lives, it can create huge exposure for your brand, increase content engagement, improve lead generation and improve your rankings with the search engines.

Now, will you just look at that new 2012 Lamborghini Aventador LP700-4 in matte black. There, I’ve just pinned it to my ‘Products That Would Make Me A Better Person’ board.

Grant Clark
Grant Clark has been in the digital marketing industry for over ten years. He has lived and worked in South Africa and the UK and has consulted for agencies such as Ogilvy, DDB, M&C Saatchi, AKQA and BBDO, amongst others. He has been running Springloaded Interactive for the past two years as well as, an online calendar of outdoor events around South Africa. Visit or email for more information.