Pinterest: A Natural Fit for Publishers
Ok, I’ll admit that I have been resistant to the Pinterest craze. The rush to pin seemed to me a symptom of insecurity—a need to be early to the next big thing. And as someone who has accounts on social media and content sharing sites that I can’t even remember the names of—is anyone still posting on Bebo?—I was unenthusiastic about the idea of embracing yet another.
But how long can you remain unenthusiastic towards the third most popular social media site in the world—one which has grown faster than any social media site ever? A site that users find to be intelligent, interesting, friendly, and funny; a site that sends more people to other websites than YouTube, LinkedIn and Google Plus combined?
Sending people to other sites is what Pinterest does best: in fact, what it is specifically structured to do. How can you resist a friend that makes such generous introductions?
Pinterest is about people sharing things that interest them; it’s about people who share those interests dropping by.
And, oh right, it’s about people buying stuff.
Pinterest pundit Don Crowther gives us these stats:
- Pinterest users are about 70% female
- Women control 58% of money spent online
- Half the women on Pinterest have bought something based on a Pinterest recommendation (compared to Facebook’s statistic of one-third)
- People who pin something are more likely to buy it
- Pinterest has a higher average order than Google, Yahoo, Bing—or Amazon
So it’s a site that has to be important both to publishers and their advertisers. How to use it effectively?
You start by making your own site pinnable. And that’s something we’ll soon all be doing, no doubt—but something many publishers are not doing yet. I just visited the sites of a dozen publications, and found “pin it” buttons on only two.
You can give away tips, recipes, patterns, ideas on Pinterest. If you provide good stuff people will pin it and share it. They will become your word of mouth marketing team.
Of course, that’s what we’ve all been trying to do with social media already, through Facebook, YouTube, and other sharing sites. But here there is a difference. On Facebook, you’ve got a lot of friends talking to each other. Marketers are there too, but they’re kind of hovering on the fringes of more intimate conversations, looking for an opening.
But on Pinterest, people are there specifically to share stuff—ideas, pictures, tips, consumer goods. You don’t have to interrupt. You only have to participate.
The convergence of powerful content and arresting images is the essence of a successful Pinterest posting. When a strong image is paired with interesting, sharable content, and supported with an invitation to pin, you have all the elements that make your site’s content pinnable.
Creating that convergence of image and editorial is what publishers do. The optimization of Pinterest is one easy step from there.
Linda Ruth, as president of PSCS Consulting (www.PSCSConsulting.com), offers communication companies worldwide the keys to magazine launches, search engine optimization and audience development online and at retail. She is a pioneer in the fields of Online Audience Optimization (OAO) and gamification for content publishers. Her books, "Internet Marketing for Magazine Publishers" ; "How to Market your Newsstand Magazine"; and "Secrets of SEO for Publishers" can be found on Amazon. Find her online at Google Plus, Magazine Dojo, LinkedIn, and Twitter @Linda_Ruth.