2012 was the year of Pinterest, given that this new social media player gained much strength and fame by attracting nearly 10 million users. It has already entered the league of other social networking giants like Twitter and Facebook, and has been deemed to be a potentially lucrative platform for business owners and individual establishments. Digital marketeers and webmasters opt for a creative image strategy to optimize their websites for Pinterest. Not only does this increase traffic and improve conversion rates, but it also enhances the influx of referral traffic, from other social networking sites, like Facebook.
The Power Of Pictures
The basic aim of Pinterest is to remind the user that “pictures matter”. Many a times, it has been seen that images and videos go viral on the Internet, rather than a blog, or any particular text thread. People find it much easier to click on the “share” tab and circulate the particular video, rather than type an intelligent or witty comment in the box. Pinterest is a platform that allows active participation by allowing members to pin and re-pin pictures of things they like. This leads to the next step, that is, the optimization of websites for Pinterest. The tactics involved are more-or-less similar to the methods of optimizing a text. This entire process is known Pinterest Image Optimization, commonly abbreviated as PIO, and rests on the simple tenet of pictorial optimization.
Pin It With Pinterest
Websites that have been optimized for various search engines host a bevy of icons that represent various social networking sites, such as, the “Like” button of Facebook, a Google+ tab, a button for Tweets etc. Webmasters can also incorporate the “Pin It” tab in the layout of the website. It is relatively simple to install, and it looks and functions like any other tab that has been launched by social media networks like Twitter and Facebook.
This is only the beginning of the PIO campaign. Following the installation of the tab, it is necessary to create an account on the picture-sharing network. If there is an existent account already, then it can be easily converted into a business account. There is ample information on the site that informs users about its best usage. The images of products, workplace and employees that have been pinned must be of very good quality, and the more interesting they are, the better are their chances of getting shared and circulated. The images should not have an excessively overt advertorial intent, as Pinterest is not an advertising platform. It is a social media platform that harps on creativity, and hence to flourish on this network, the images need to be interesting and quirky.
In addition, website owners should have regular Google News Alerts that inform them about the progress and developments made by competitors in the particular field of business. This information can then be used to publicize the story and thereby attract greater amounts of traffic to the primary website in an indirect fashion. Let me give you an example. During the Sandra Fluke-Rush Limbaugh controversy last year, certain national companies had barred their product advertisements from being aired during the Limbaugh show. The liberal blog, ThinkProgress made a jest of the whole situation by pinning the names of the companies on their Pinterest board, and narrating the story by using comic strips.
Business owners can tell the stories about their establishment by using such creative means on Pinterest. Images can be organized in a photographic manner that depicts the passage of time, the inception of ideas regarding services and products, the process of conceptualization and the first sales. An image of the first client, or first customer will help to build a sense of trust in the brand name. Moreover, the individual client or customer will be more than eager to participate in the endeavor, as it is always a lucrative proposition to have one’s picture advertised, and in this way, the company can proceed towards building brand advocates.
Pinterest can also be used to encourage followers and customers to generate content. Promotional campaigns with small prize amounts can be launched to encourage people to “pin” content and circulate images that are related to the specific business venture.
Moreover, photography competitions that ask members to contribute poignant and unusual images can also be launched, for, in such cases, the images need to be loosely related to the products of the business, as the process of “sharing” is more important.
Pinterest can be used as a platform of advertisement for persons owning a retail business where there are seasonal sales. Pictures of products that have been put on sale can be advertised, with regular updates being made about the success of the stock clearance session. Catchy tag lines can also be used to attract more customers and improve sales.
If there is an official company blog, then a Pinterest board image can be embedded beside the blog posts. This will increase the flow of traffic to your blogs and attract new readers as well.
The Pinboards should be as attractive as possible. They should be creatively designed to arouse the interest of the visitor, and thereby engage more people to generate content.
Points To Remember
Images that have been uploaded should be linked to the original website and the folder containing the image must have the targeted keywords.
A short description should accompany the uploaded images. However, care should be taken to make these descriptions as short as possible.
By commenting on other people’s pins and boards, it is possible to expand one’s own client base.
The more the number of images, and the better their quality, the greater are the chances of flourishing on this social networking website.
Pinterest is all set to conquer new territories. Shareaholic’s recent report on referral traffic attests to the advantage that Pinterest has over other websites: it drives a greater percentage of referral traffic than LinkedIn, YouTube and Google+ combined together. Given the positive market analysis of the impact of Pinterest, it is only wise that businesses should harness the power of this website as quickly as possible.