Pinterest – Are You Buying Via It? [SURVEY]

Pinterest is the current darling of the social media world. Many reports have stated it is driving more traffic to sites than the likes of Google Plus and Facebook combined. Traffic is all well and good, but what is happening when a user lands on the product page for the image they’ve just clicked on Pinterest? Are people just virtually window shopping? At this point we turn to you, the wonderful readers of The Social Penguin Blog to give us all some insight into the world of Pinterest. Please answer the following questions in the comments section below this post. These questions are just a guide, please feel free to answer in whatever way you feel appropriate!

1 – Do you regularly click on an image on Pinterest in order to be taken through to the original site?
2 – Have you made a purchase once clicking? If so, did you do it within that initial visit?
3 – Is Pinterest really a route to buying for you or is it just a way of sending some time looking at cool pictures?
4 – Is Pinterest something you see as being a long term feature of your online time?

We await your views and are sure they will be very Pinteresting. Oh dear lord. For more reader opinion, see our popular post on the merits of Klout.

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Why Social Media Imagery is More Important Than Ever

A picture is worth a thousand words. A video perhaps even more. As the social media channel matures, there is a clear increase in focus on the use of imagery, both still and video, across the established and emerging networks.

The Instagram and Pinterest Effect

I’m not going to talk about the rise of Instagram and Pinterest, don’t worry! The reason they are included as a key part of this post is the clear and rather obvious fact that they are built upon a foundation of imagery. The people that partake in these networks see an image as their first interaction with a piece of content, yes there may be comments attached to the image but it is the photograph (or video in the case of Pinterest) that grabs the initial attention. That image then (hopefully) compels the user to take an action. This could be as simple as a ‘like’ or a deeper action such as clicking the image on Pinterest in order to visit the site that it originated from. What happens then can clearly range from an actual product purchase to a further share on to another network via social sharing buttons – Twitter or Facebook for example. Both of these actions are highly desirable for a brand or business. This all points to the fact that images are becoming an essential on-boarding function.

Facebook Timeline

March 30th is looming and any brand on Facebook better have their Timeline in order. What is one the key components of the Timeline? Yup, a big fat ‘cover image’ that sits a top your TL (that’s what the cool kids are calling it) like a beacon in the night. Your cover image may well be the first impression your business makes on the Facebook audience. If it sucks, they may not proceed any further. If it catches their eye and puts across something special about your brand, it may well be the start of a beautiful relationship. More on-boarding. When it comes to user Timelines on Facebook, images play a huge and attractive part of them. If a user takes a snap on Instagram and shares it via Facebook (on to their Timeline), said image is placed in its full size glory slap bang in the middle of their Timeline. There is real potential there. I’m saying no more, you clever people can work out how to make use of that!

Credit - http://www.zazzle.com

Words Are Still Important!

This blog post will contain over 450 words once complete. It will also include an image. There is a fair chance that that image will offer you very little in the way of information. The real value (assuming you have gained any from it of course) is in the good old fashioned collection of letters, words and punctuation. Blogs and well-written web copy should still play an integral part of your digital communications mix.

What Next?

Be sure to consider how imagery and video will feature in your activities now and in the future. When you are planning your social media content, take the time to work out what activity will allow you to create and make use of great (emphasis on great!) imagery. If you aren’t already considering how photo-based networks like Pinterest could play a part in your strategy, then give it some time ASAP! Imagery works well across all key media consumption platforms and especially mobile. If that doesn’t sell it enough then nothing will.

How are you using imagery across social media? Have you seen great results?

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Great Pinterest Cartoon – ‘Maybe They’ll Pin Us’

We love this cartoon from the great Tom Fishburne, we feel it sums up the urgency/pressure that some businesses feel to jump onboard with a new social media platform – often seeing the latest contender as the last great hope! It ties in very nicely with our post from last week – ‘Warning Social Media Overload Imminent’ that looks at the issues surrounding the use of too many social media platforms. Anyway here is the cartoon, enjoy!

Courtesy of http://tomfishburne.com

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Rapid Response – Is Pinterest Over – Hyped?

I’m currently sat on a bus, I tweeted out asking people for a topic they would like me to try and cover before my journey ends in 45 mins… Fraser Bedwell (@fraserbedwell) asked – ‘@mike_mcgrail a topical one given your most recent tweets – is Pinterest over-hyped?!’ I now have 41 minutes…

Pinterest. If you haven’t heard of it by now, you must have smashed up all of your web enabled devices in a futile attempt to live an unconnected life. The fact that is that you can’t look at a blog or Twitter without seeing it mentioned at least 72,493 times. Per minute. Hype much? Please note, that fact is completely made up. But the hype levels are bigger than a banker’s bonus (before it was taken away)

Let’s Look at The Facts

  • Over 10 million users in the USA – achieved in the fastest time of any independent site in history
  • 12 million unique monthly visitors
  • The hype has meant that since the start of 2012, daily users on site have increased by 145%
  • It is generating more referral traffic to sites than Google +, YouTube and LinkedIn combined

That last fact is one that appeals to me most as a digital marketer – the ability to very easily post relevant images to a site that has an engaged and growing user base and drive traffic back to the home site so effectively is a pretty attractive proposition.

Is it Right For All Businesses?

In a word, no. First things first, you need to have great and relevant imagery to share, as without it, you will never get interested eyes on your pics and in-turn zero ‘re-pinning’, comments or indeed clicks back to your site. It’s very consumer and lifestyle orientated – if you aren’t playing in those areas, I believe its best to avoid right now. The figure has ranged wildly from 60% to 97%, but ladies make up a massive proportion of the user base (recent reports have said that in the UK, there are more men using it than women, I may put that down to hype within the marketing/tech industry and guys signing up to see if its useful or not) and putting all sexism aside, if your product isn’t on the female radar you may struggle to gain serious traction. As with all social media platforms, you need to take the time to assess its potential value, and if you are going to use it, make sure you have the time to do it properly. Of course, you can benefit from Pinterest without having an actual presence for your business – install Pin buttons alongside your social sharing options and you may well see your customer base doing some work for you.

Are There Any Issues Surronding It?

Yes – there has been a lot of discussion this week about copyright issues, afterall, the site allows people to easily take any image and post it on the platform. Pinterest have now released a code that site owners can install that will stop this from being possible. Scottish photo journal app, Blipfoto yesterday took this measure and now any images held within it cannot be added to Pinterest by a third party. This approach could cause issues.

Believe the Hype?

It’s growth has been rapid, businesses are seeing great traffic (and sales) stemming from it and the train doesn’t look like slowing down, so yes, don’t ignore the hype without assessing the opportunity for your business first.

Facts from – http://www.mastercom.me/2012/02/pinterest-facts-and-figures-infographic/

Phew, made it just in time! Written in Evernote on my iPad, excuse any auto correct fails! Keep and eye-out for future Rapid Response posts! 

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10 Reasons Why You Should Be Using Pinterest For Marketing

Pinterest. Possibly the prettiest of social media platforms. But perhaps not just a pretty face? I believe it could also prove to be of brilliant benefit to many a business.

A simple but effective concept, Pinterest proclaims to be a ‘virtual pin board’. A visual platform on which you can organise and share images from anywhere across the web. The images that you share are called ‘pins’ and organised into ‘boards’ which can be created on any topic. Make as many boards as you want, and pin away! You can also follow other people’s boards, like and repin their pins and link your account up to your Facebook and Twitter. Anyway, here are ten reasons why Pinterest could be the next big thing in online marketing:

(1) Pinterest is a visual platform. Marketing campaigns often focus on visuals to grab a potential customer’s attention. Put these two together and you are on to a winner, receiving great exposure for your products and services.

(2) Pinterest has lots of visitors a month. And by lots I mean LOTS! According to site analytics at compete.com, it has over 3.2 million unique users every month. That’s a lot of potential customers

(3) You can add prices to your pins. Simply put the price in your comment (i.e. £30/ $30) and it will come up in a banner across the corner of your pin. Brilliant for promoting products by creating a sort of online catalogue as you can arrange different products into different boards by category.

A Typical Pinterest Post

(4) This site gives you links! Pinterest links every pin back to its original source, and they are followed links at that. Not only will you be getting link juice left right and center from any pins from your site, you could seriously increase your traffic!

(5) What is your target customer base? A quick look at the user base shows it is mainly women at the current time that are making use of Pinterest. A brilliant way to target female clientele.

(6) Looking at the boards that people create, Pinterest is home to lots of inspiration and ideas. Desired holiday spots to the planning of a wedding are all commonly discussed and inspiration pinned on the site. These types of projects are often where people make their biggest purchases so if you can get your products out to these people it could definitely increase sales.

(7) Are you a smaller retail company without the budget to compete with the big boys? The beauty of Pinterest is the scope to discover new and exciting products and websites, a brilliant way to showcase your merchandise without having to spend a penny.

(8) Pinterest has a real community feel to it. You have to request an invite or be invited by a current member to start pinning, although you can browse freely without being a member. For a business looking to showcase their products and engage with their customers this is a perfect platform.

(9) The Pin It bookmarklet from Pinterest is a great little tool. On any site, if you spot an image you like you can pin it quickly and easily. If your site has some interesting and pretty visuals then someone may very well pop it on their boards. And easy link and promotion for your company with very little work on your part. You can also get a button to include on your site to encourage people to pin.

(10) Pins are often repinned, the most I have seen is over 4000 times! Every time a pin is repinned you get an extra link to your site and your product will be all over the pages of anyone that follows those boards.

So, as you can see there are some brilliant benefits to be found for your business from using Pinterest. They discourage too much self promotion so ensure your pins are in keeping with the feel of the site and engage, follow and repin other users. I am very excited about the marketing opportunities that Pinterest presents so enjoy…. and get pinning!

This post is by Lianne Froggatt, Digital Marketing Manager at IdeasByNet, a UK promotional gifts distributor. Interested everything online marketing, and especially social media. She would love any feedback or comments you might have so find her at lianne.froggatt@ideasbynet.com or tweet her @Lianne_Froggatt.