Pinterest is a bookmarking site organised around the idea of pinboards. You find interesting things, you pin them to your board – geddit? The idea’s simplicity and the site’s ease of use is the secret of its fast-growing success.
Here’s the nutshell guide to Pinterest
- With your own Pinterest account, you can create pin boards (categories) and pin images and videos to those boards.
- You can create boards that can be managed by several people, allowing a group of people to grow your boards.
- You can follow other people, or just single boards created by other people. When you do, their pins will show up in the home page when you log in.
- You can add a “Pin It” button to your browser, making it easy for you to pin any web page you like while you are surfing the web.
- You can add a Pin It button to your web pages, encouraging your users to pin your content to their boards.
First things first, let’s talk about images
Before your content can be promoted on Pinterest, it needs to be compatible – that means it needs to have images (or it must contain embedded video Pinterest can read, such as YouTube video). When you pin a page to Pinterest it looks for images in the page. If Pinterest cannot find suitable images or video, it will not let you pin the content. Great images get shared on Pinterest, so it stands to reason that content without images isn’t going to get a look in.
Setting up your Pinterest account
Joining Pinterest is easy. Just click on the Join Pinterest button on the home page.
Curating content to grow your Pinterest audience
The best use of Pinterest is content curation. Even Pinterest accounts or boards owned by known brands tend to be full of related content that is pulled in from a wide range of sources.
One great example is Holstee, which is a retailer of creative lifestyle products. The Pinterest account for Holstee has pin boards devoted to nature, food, bikes, photos and more. When you look at these items, many of them have been shared from other websites.
Another example is Auto Europe’s Travel Ideas board. This features fantastic photos taken from the web pages of a wide range of websites.
The mechanics of a Pinterest post
A pinned item on Pinterest is rich in information. When you open the pin you see something like this. You can see who pinned it, when and from which website.
If you click on the source, or on the image, you will be taken to the web page featuring the image. You can comment on a pin (my thumbnail appears there because I am logged in). Because the description includes a price, Pinterest creates a flash in the corner of the image showing the price.
Underneath, you also see additional information relating to the pin.
Because Pinterest is very visual, and because it is quick to repin things and comment on them, user activity on the site is very good. To drive engagement though takes work, regularity and creativity. You should definitely consider it within your social media strategy.
Pinterest in your Analytics
One of the great things about Pinterest is that each pin has its own address, which means Google Analytics is able to record granular information about referrals. Compare this with Facebook, which sends all referral links through a single .php script, Google Analytics shows each Pinterest pin separately, so you can see how many visits you get to your website from each post.
You can also see how long each session lasted, how many pages the user looked at in the session and additional information about them. You can use this information to help you plan more shareable content.