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    The Power of P interest

  • 2013 4imprint, Inc. All rights reserved

    The power of P interest

    It was less than two years ago when the social media team at Sony Electronics

    began discovering the power of Pinterest. While many of the team members were

    using Pinterest for personal use, the company had not adopted it as a business

    platform aimed to drive sales.1 But all that changed thanks to unlikely social

    media mavericks, and soon, a beautiful relationship began between Pinterest,

    Sony and its 30,000 Pinterest followers.2

    You may be wondering, how did Sony do it and what made it so successful? Sony

    started with research. Sony found what many brands can only dream ofthey

    had a massive community of loyal fans already pinning, not just Sony products,

    but other brand-related images including ads, logos, photographs taken with

    Sony cameras, even brand-inspired tattoosyou name it.3 Creative expression

    seemed to be the game and Sony was the name.

    Figure 14

    Sony took the logical next step and launched a brand page consisting of about

    ten boardsmostly repins of what others were already sharing, hoping to drive

    more sales to its website, increase brand affinity and grow the Sony community.

    Within the first six months of its launch, Sony gained more than 2,500 followers,

    increased Web traffic from Pinterest to the stores website by an astonishing

    1 Julig, Louise. How Sony Became a Pinterest Rock Star.Social Media Examiner RSS. N.p., 29 June 2012. Web. 13 May 2013. .

    2 Pinterest. N.p., n.d. Web. 17 May 2013. .3 Ibid4 N.d. Photograph. Social Media Examiner. Web. 25 May 2013. .

  • 2013 4imprint, Inc. All rights reserved

    800% and received more than ten times the clicks from the sites Pin it button

    than from its Tweet this button.5 Nothing short of amazing!

    So, you may be asking yourself, how do I find out more? What is all this Pinterest

    stuff about anyway? And, how do I sign up? Keep reading to find out more.

    What is P interest? Simply put, Pinterest is a virtual pinboard with a social twist. Think gigantic

    bulletin board filled with anything you find interesting from arts and crafts,

    recipes and fashion to home improvement ideas, must-read books, favorite

    movies, etc.the list goes on. The twist is that you share the content with friends

    and followers.

    Pinterest is one of the fastest growing online social networks, lagging only

    behind Facebook and Twitter, which is pretty telling considering it is

    just three years old.6 Of all adults online, 15% are using Pinterest and that

    equates to 1.36 million people logging in each day.7 And, whats more, 28%

    of users have a household income of $100k+.8 This social bookmarking site

    exists to connect the world through things that they love.9

    Pinterest terminology

    Before we dive deeper, lets start by defining Pinterest terms, because as most

    social networking sites do, Pinterest has a language of its own.

    Pin: A pin is an individual image or video that is linked to the website

    in which it came from that you add or pin to Pinterest.10 For instance,

    you can pin an image of a business book youd like to read or a helpful

    blog post.

    Rich Pin: A rich pin looks very similar to a regular pin; the only difference

    is that it automatically pulls additional information from the originating

    website that is then placed below the image on the pin. There are three

    categories of rich pins: products, recipes and movies. To achieve this,

    companies embed metatag information into the backend of their website

    5 Pinterest. N.p., n.d. Web. 17 May 2013. .6 Mashable.Mashable. N.p., n.d. Web. 14 May 2013. .7 Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram Social Media User Demographics 2013 [INFOGRAPHIC].- AllTwitter.

    N.p., n.d. Web. 24 May 2013. .8 Mashable.Mashable. N.p., n.d. Web. 24 May 2013. .9 How to Use Pinterest for Business.Hubspot. N.p., n.d. Web. 14 May 2013. .10 Ibid

  • 2013 4imprint, Inc. All rights reserved

    so that when an image is pinned from the website, additional information

    (ex. recipe ingredients, cook times and serving information) will register on

    the pin.

    Pinboard: A pinboard describes a set of theme-based pins.11 Think

    a pinboard entitled Industry Resources. And within that Industry

    Resources pinboard you may find that business book and interesting blog

    post you pinned or other resources such as white papers or data charts.

    Pinning: Pinning is the act of visually sharing content on Pinterest.12 In other

    words, when you added the image of the business book to your Industry

    Resources Pinterest board, you were pinning it.

    Repin: A repin describes the act of reposting somebody elses pin.13 So, if

    you found the business book on a companys website and pinned it from

    there, it would be a pin. If you found the book on somebody elses Pinterest

    pinboard (or within your Pinterest newsfeed) and added the image from

    there, it would be a repin.

    Pin it button: This is the button that you see on websites that enables you

    to easily pin content to Pinterest. The nice thing about using the Pin it

    button is that it links the image back to the site it came from.14

    Figure 215

    Pinner: A pinner is the person doing the sharing or pinning.16

    Like: By liking something, you can add an image to your Likes tab

    without having to choose a board to pin it to.

    Secret pins/boards: If you dont want the entire world to see what youre

    pinning, you can choose to pin it to a secret board. This option allows you

    and anyone you invite to see the board without having to share it publicly.17

    11 Ibid12 Ibid13 Ibid14 Ibid15 N.d. Photograph.Pinterest. Web. 25 May 2013. .16 How to Use Pinterest for Business.Hubspot. N.p., n.d. Web. 14 May 2013. .17 Mashable.Mashable. N.p., n.d. Web. 24 May 2013. .

  • 2013 4imprint, Inc. All rights reserved

    Note: You are limited to only three secret pin boards per account. The point

    of Pinterest is to share your ideas, so they wanted to limit the number of

    boards that were closed off.

    Pinterest dr ives Web traff ic

    Did you know that Pinterest drives more Web traffic than Google+, YouTube

    and LinkedIn combined?18 If your business relies on driving a high-volume of

    website traffic to increase its sales, Pinterest may be for you.19

    Take pet insurance company PetPlanSM for instance. The PetPlan brand prides itself

    on being a thought-leader, focused on delivering high quality content for those

    who want to provide the very best for their pets. PetPlans flair for providing

    compelling and relevant content made Pinterest a logical choice. After some

    due diligence and research relating to pet topics and trends, PetPlan developed

    Pinterest boards that visually displayed its knowledge while conveying its brand

    personality. PetPlans boards contained captivating images, health tips and even

    breed-specific content for its followers viewing pleasure.

    Figure 320

    18 Mashable.Mashable. N.p., n.d. Web. 14 May 2013. .

    19 How to Use Pinterest for Business.Hubspot. N.p., n.d. Web. 14 May 2013. .

    20 N.d. Photograph.Pinterest. Web. 25 May 2013. .

  • 2013 4imprint, Inc. All rights reserved

    In only a few months, Pinterest became PetPlans second-highest social

    network referral source. It increased its page views by 69% and saw a 97%

    increase in the time spent on the website. PetPlan took it up a notch by

    adding the Pin it button to the website, the Pinterest Follow buttons

    to its email footers and social campaigns, and they optimized the website

    content for Pinterest. By the following quarter, PetPlan saw an 87% increase

    in unique visitors, a 35% increase in page views and a 12.5% increase in

    requests for quotes.21 This is the power of Pinterest!

    Pinterest bui lds l inks

    Pinterest links are considered no-follow links. What that means is that search

    engines will not pick up on these links and therefore there isnt a boost to your

    SEO. Because of this, there is incentive to pin quality contentcontent that others

    will want to repin. And the more links you have pointing people to your content,

    the easier it is for them to find it. After all, what good does it do to produce great

    content if people cant locate it? If you can start to think of Pinterest more so as

    a community than a tool, you are getting it.22 The point is to generate excellent

    content that people will want to sharea give and you too shall receive sort

    of philosophy. This philosophy holds true for rich pins as well. When a company

    optimizes its site for rich pins, the pinners are in turn supplied with additional

    information (AKAbetter content) making the pin more likely to be repinned

    based on the quality content provided.

    Gett ing your business started with P interest

    Has what youve read caused you to stand up and take notice of Pinterest?

    If youre ready to get started, read on.

    Sett ing up a business P interest account

    Setting up your business Pinterest account is really as easy as 1, 2, 3. Pinterest has

    simple-to-follow steps to help you get started:

    Step 1: Create an account. In this step youll be asked to provide basic

    information about your business and create a profile. Be sure to keep

    your business keywords in mind and incorporate those into your

    company description.

    21 Case Study: Petplan Insurance | Pinterest for Business.Case Study: Petplan Insurance | Pinterest for Business. N.p., n.d. Web. 14 May 2013. .

    22 Column: Search & Social.Search Engine Land. N.p., n.d. Web. 14 May 2013. .

  • 2013 4imprint, Inc. All rights reserved

    Step 2: Verify your website. Once your profile is complete, you simply go to it, and click the pencil in the bottom, right-hand corner of the name box. You will then be asked to verify your Web address. Verifying your website shows pinners that you are a trustworthy source.

    Step 3: Add the Pin it button to your website or blog by what you want people to share. This is the button that makes it easy for people to pin your content.23

    Setting up your account is only just the beginning.

    The dos and donts of P interest

    Once you have your Pinterest account, youll want to make sure to follow the basics of Pinterest etiquette. Pinterest reminds us to pin with care and to be kind, be respectful, and be yourself. Pinterest states, We think authenticitypinning things that express who you really are and what you really likeis more important than getting lots of followers.24

    It is important to remember that Pinterest is not for blatant self-promotion. Rather it is a means to convey the lifestyle that your brand promotes.25 Take Chobani Greek Yogurt, for instance. Chobanis pinboards dont just show mouthwatering pictures of its yogurt, they contain motivational quotes, workout inspiration, recipes that incorporate their product and a slew of Instagram photos. Chobani doesnt just pin products, it pins a lifestyle that aligns with the

    Chobani brand and its core values.26 Chobani truly provides value to its followers.

    Figure 427

    23 Set Up Your Business Account | Pinterest for Business.Set Up Your Business Account | Pinterest for Business. N.p., n.d. Web. 14 May 2013. .

    24 Pinterest. N.p., n.d. Web. 24 May 2013. .25 How to Use Pinterest for Business.Hubspot. N.p., n.d. Web. 14 May 2013. .26 Case Study: Chobani OnPinterest.Angela Swenson. N.p., n.d. Web. 15 May 2013. .27 N.d. Photograph.Pinterest. Web. 25 May 2013. .

  • 2013 4imprint, Inc. All rights reserved

    You also want to be sure to credit your sources just as you would any other

    time you are using content that is not your own. And in turn, be sure your

    pinnable content includes a tag so that when people pin an image from

    your site, your companys name, a description of the image and the URL will

    follow it. This makes it easy for those who pin your content to find you.

    Use keywords to increase the odds that your content gets displayed when

    people are searching for it. For example, if you are a clothing retailer and

    would like to add your new summer line of cropped pants to you Pinterest

    page, name your board Cropped Pants for Summer instead of New

    Summer Line. Think of what terms your customers will be searching under and

    incorporate those into your board names, board descriptions and pin descriptions.

    Be sure your pinboards and pins contain content that people want to follow. This

    is accomplished by providing value to your followersvalue that is in the form of

    information, inspiration or entertainment.

    With the dos, come donts. Dont repin pins without a permanent and relevant

    link. For example, if you pin an image of a product you are selling, make sure

    the images URL takes users to the page where they can find out more or buy the

    product, not a home page, or worse yet, a broken link. And of course, dont pin

    content that you dont have permission to pin. If there is a Pin it button on the

    website youre pinning from, chances are good that the content owner wants you

    to pin it. If however, there is not, you should ask permission before pinning. And

    last but not least, make sure you are not repinning spam. Check your URLs and

    ensure you are not reposting any malicious content.28

    Pin guidel ines

    When pinning, here are guidelines to follow:

    Pinnable image size: There is no maximum image size; however, the

    minimum size for an image on Pinterest is 81 pixels long by 81 pixels wide.

    Image shape: Pins with images that are longer in length tend to grab the

    eye more and garner more repins. That being said, images should be no

    more than three times longer than they are wide.

    Image restraints: If your image is more than 554 pixels wide, it may appear

    distorted. Either crop the image or choose another one.29

    Image description: Include a description for all pins. This will increase the

    likeliness of it being repinned.

    28 5 Things Not to Re-Pin on Pinterest.Momcomm. N.p., n.d. Web. 24 May 2013. .

    29 Quick Guide to Pinterest Images.Pinterest. N.p., n.d. Web. 15 May 2013. .

  • 2013 4imprint, Inc. All rights reserved

    And remember, just because you build it doesnt mean people will come. You

    need to promote your Pinterest presence through other channels. Include the

    Pinterest Follow button on your website. Promote your presence on Facebook,

    Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+.30 And perhaps, most important of all, join the

    discussion. Get followers engaged by being engaged.31

    Pinterest and your market ing strategy

    Now that you have a good understanding of the basics, and youve created a

    Pinterest presence with great pinboards containing great pinswhats next?

    Before you can use it to drive sales, it may help to really flesh out how you will

    incorporate Pinterest into your overall marketing strategy. Here are some things

    to consider:

    Brand presence: The visual elements of Pinterest make it a great place for

    branding. Showcase your companys colors, style and values to bring your

    brand to life within your pins.32

    Getting the right followers: Put the focus on quality rather than quantity

    when it comes t...