The ever-changing world of social media has once again been pushed to the forefront of general marketing and promotion with the arrival of the virtual pin-up board known as Pinterest. Representing a change of pace from other social networks with its often stunning visual imagery, Pinterest offers websites and blogs a venue for self-promotion – if done correctly.
One thing that should be clear to the blogger trying to leverage Pinterest is the creative nature of the medium, itself. Because the competition consistently puts out high-quality photographs, anything subpar – no matter how good the information – will not perform as well as it otherwise might, given and enhanced visual presentation. Blatant promotion is of course a no-no on this platform; an effective alternative for the webmaster is to use her best images already on her blog and pin them to Pinterest to drive traffic – with the only caveat that the images are relevant to the subject.
Although photographs are the driving engine of Pinterest; there are other considerations for the blogger looking to break into the social image network. After crafting posts that are decidedly non-promotional (in a blatant sense), there should be attempts to make friends by scouring profiles for similar interests and share images with them. A healthy dose of further interaction involves comments, response to comments and the Pinterest-equivalent of ‘re-tweeting’ likable photographs to widen the growing social network. A blogger’s website should be intertwined with her Pinterest site, such that direct visitors to her blog can easily transition between the two. This makes a more seamless and natural look when she decides to post short blogs on the image-sharing website, itself; instead of looking like spam.
Reputable metrics show that Pinterest is actually more successful than the largest social media site in the world – Facebook – at generating click-throughs and sales, and brings more traffic than Google+, YouTube and LinkedIn combined to the websites of users. As such, one should incorporate their Twitter, Facebook and any other Web 2.0 properties into their Pinterest account; and possibly even focus the brunt of their marketing efforts at developing a social following there; and allowing it to trickle down to the rest.
Continuing the above strategy, a blogger should not neglect to place their website URL in their high-resolution images, as well as their Pinterest name for easy location, in case a particularly eye-catching picture goes viral. More than any other social media forum, the popular infographic method of business promotion works best on Pinterest, given the visual nature of the site. An especially good blog post that uses stats and comparisons can readily be turned into a picture-oriented infographic for placement on the virtual pin-up board; driving traffic back to the original blog.
For blogs that are largely informational and lack many of the visual bells-and-whistles of beauty, fashion of culinary websites, the blogger who wants to attract Pinterest traffic might have to get a little creative. For a technology-oriented or business blog, for example, a high-definition photograph of a computer set-up (three monitors, artful coffee mug, Android or Apple plush, etc) can catch many eyes, which can lead to increased traffic and click-through rates.
Just like Twitter, the use of hashtags is very important in Pinterest, because it helps users locate their topics of interest. It is an easily identifiable way for a blogger to notify the search engines of precisely what their post is about, so that they can be found both directly from the search engines, as well as within the Pinterest platform, itself. This is especially important because Google, in recent times’ has been given more importance and weight to posts coming from the pin-up social platform.
For bloggers with a specific brand that sells products or services, Pinterest offers a perfect forum for a two-fold approach at encouraging user-interaction. The visual nature of the platform means that contests can be fashioned that allow users to create content arranging pictures for comparison, with the winner dependent on comments and community ratings. For example; a furniture store might encourage followers to build their perfect living room using pictures from the company website, with the winner receiving the pictured ensemble. The dual-nature is evident: this user-generated content brings in more interested viewers because of the art, itself; and the contest encourages more participants.
With the ability to create video galleries, host contest and add friends and comments, a blogger really can’t afford not to try and leverage Pinterest’s many attributes in today’s increasingly-competitive business-space. If the metrics continue as they are, this visual social network may very well become tops over all the rest when it comes to website promotion.
About Author: This guest blog post was brought to you by Kara Taylor of Ink Technologies.