Pinterest: Everything You Need To Know Is In This Massive Post

Pinterest: The Ultimate GuideLet me guess, you heard about Pinterest. Or more like, you can’t spend 15 minutes online without hearing about it…

And now you’re thinking, “should I jump on the wagon too?” or “another social network to keep up with?” and on top of that, everybody is talking about using it for marketing and getting tons of traffic and, you just don’t see it.

Alright, I hear you. I’ll give you everything you need to know about Pinterest and a bunch of resources so you can decide if you or your business are ready to join the hottest trend online.

Let’s start with what it is…

Pinterest is another way of collecting and organizing stuff (images) you find online. Think visual bookmarking, publicly and with a social network in it. Some see it as a vision board, some as a catalog and others as a great way to promote your products or generate traffic to your site/blog.

This content is organized in “Boards” that work as categories you create and the images you pin in them are called… yes, “Pins”. See how fast we’re moving here. Pins are like posts on a blog or a Tumblr and other people can “repin” them or comment on them, as well as like them or tweet them, of course.

You can follow people and they can follow you.

Some Demographics

Some think the majority of the users are females, they’re right. According to data Ignite Social Media collected on Google Ad Planner, only 20% of Pinterest users are men. That’s pretty one-sided, don’t you think? This tendency gets started by how Pinterest presents itself to the market, which I personally think you should totally ignore.

But there are other interesting numbers in this data, for example that the biggest age groups are between 25 to 44, 60% of its users have some college and largest percentage of household income is between $25 to $75k. In case you see your target market waving at you here.

How big is Pinterest

I understand, you need to know if it’s worth putting some of your marketing energy into something before you jump in. Here goes, according to a study conducted by ComScore back in November, Pinterest had already joined the big leagues in Unique Visitors with 4,855 million right behind Google+ and it takes the 3rd spot on Time Spent on Site with 88.3 minutes only behind Facebook and Tumblr. That’s pretty impressive.

Leading social networking sites

Then in December, Compete reports that Pinterest reached 7.2 million visitors in the US only. Experian Hitwise on the other hand, reported 11 million total visits during the week ending December 17.

Pinterest Unique Visitors

But Pinterest is really rising eyebrows for becoming one of the highest referral traffic sources. I can tell you for personal experience, just so you don’t think this is only for brands and retail websites, that with just a couple of Pinning sessions, it has already started sending traffic to SocialMouths and in the last week, it’s actually in my top 20 traffic sources (overall).

Update Feb 3: Just ran a traffic report for this blog, Pinterest is the #7 traffic source in the last 2 days above StumbleUpon and LinkedIn. That’s not including traffic from “m.pinterest.com” (mobile), which is #30.

Update Feb 8: ComScore announces Pinterest just became the fastest standalone website EVER with 10 million Monthly Unique Visit, only in the US.

Just a couple of day ago, Shareaholic published a report on Referral Traffic from Social Networks, the big surprise: Pinterest is referring more traffic than Google+, LinkedIn and YouTube. Combined! And it’s now breathing on Twitter’s neck.

Referral Traffic Report from Shareaholic

I’m adding an infographic at the end of this post for other related and fun facts.

How do you get in?

Request an invite for Pinterest

Pinterest is still on an “Invitation Only” stage. Some people have told me they have been waiting for a while so at this point you have better chances to get in if you ask a friend to share an invite with you.

How to use it to promote your business or website

You need to get passed the idea the site is only a collection of wedding gowns images to get creative on how to promote your business, website or blog. Chances are you can already find brands and competitors using the network, find them to see some examples and get inspired.

Here are a few ideas entrepreneurs and brands are already implementing and some of the benefits you can leverage from:

Promote your products

Create a specific board for your own products, each pin should link back to that product page on your website. When you add a price in your description, make sure to use the $ character because Pinterest generates a price label on your image.

It’s pretty obvious here that depending on your line of work or services, there is more or less potential to do this, a photographer or a cupcake ninja can really do something interesting here with portfolios.

Content Marketing

This could also be good to integrate in you content marketing strategy and how you distribute blog content as well as creating exclusive Pinterest content. If you’re a chef, how about creating special recipes for the Pinning crowd.

Another form of content is “user-generated”. You can set a board to accept content from other users, meaning they can also add pins. Although it can be tricky and you’ll have to expect to run some kind of moderation, this can be fun for your followers.

Content Curation

This is probably one of my favorite things about how to use Pinterest. We all know content curation can be a very powerful way to build authority around a topic. Select a couple of topics related to your industry and create boards to curate all kinds of content around them.

If you are a heavy user of any of the other networks, chances are you already curate content at some level. Do a test and bring some of that content you already share on Twitter or Google+ and start dumping it into a board.

Promotional

As soon as we talk about showcasing products on specific boards, the next step is pretty obvious, you can run exclusive contests and promotions for Pinners or you can use it to complement existing campaigns.

Market Research

It’s nature also provides a great environment to conduct all kinds of market research for future products and services. Imagine the possibilities for crowdsourcing or focus groups.

Network

Connect, comment, like and repin others, this is a s-o-c-i-a-l network after all. Interact with others as you do on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram.

You can also expand your reach by getting out and sharing Pins on other networks. Or promote specific boards. Pinterest is also ready for frictionless sharing on Facebook’s environment, in other words, you can set your pins to go automatically to your timeline.

Humanize your Brand

This is a great opportunity to humanize your brand or really take your personal brand to the next level. Think about how to add lifestyle to your brand, you can’t be strictly business all the time.

With the rise of visual-centric and timelines in the social web, we are presented with great potential for storytelling. Don’t miss this opportunity.

SEO

When you pin something, specially from your own site, make sure to leverage that description box below the image. Use it wisely to write a keyword-rich description. Think of it as the meta description on your blog post.

Smart use of images

The next time you are searching for a good image to use on your post, wherever you get your images from or if you create them yourself, think of how they will be posted on Pinterest to maximize its potential. Your images are becoming more and more important with this kind of image-centric bookmarking.

How to Pin Content

Pin It! Button

The easiest way to pin content is through the “Pin It” browser bookmarlet. You can just drag and drop the button provided here to your Bookmark bar.

Pinterest for iPhoneMobile

Another way to create and add pins is through the iPhone app, where you can Repin, Like and comment on existing pins or you can use your camera and add location to your images.

You can stay tuned for news regarding other platforms on the Pinterest blog.

Good Examples of Pinterest Use

I’m adding a few examples here, of course I’m not showing Redbull, Whole Foods, and the rest of the usual suspects but rather smaller businesses and personal brands so you get to see real examples.

P.S. – I made this…

P.S. I Made This on Pinterest

University of Pennsylvania

University of Pennsylvania on Pinterest

Chobani

Chobani on Pinterest

Evan Sharp

Evan Sharp on Pinterest

Integrate Pinterest into your Website

“Pin It” Button

Obviously one of the best ways to make your content “pinable” is to add the “Pin It” sharing button on your site or blog. This is as easy as choosing the kind of button you like and grabbing the code from the “Goodies” page.

If you use a sharing floating bar such as Sharebar or Digg Digg (now owned by the guys at BufferApp), you can add the button through the plugin (like mine). If you use the Thesis Framework on your WordPress blog, Derek Halpern has a great tutorial on how to add the Pin It button on their User’s Guide.

Pin It button for websites

Follow Button

If you want to take it even further, you can also add the “Follow Me on Pinterest” button. Same thing, head over to the “Goodies” page and grab the code from there to place wherever you want on your site. I added mine here so you can see it:

Follow Me on Pinterest

This is clearly missing a shiny Infographic

The post couldn’t be complete without the shiny Infographic. And since I know you’re not going to read anything below it, I’ll add my closing before.

Over to You

It’ll be awesome if you participate in the comments by sharing how you are already using Pinterest or any new ideas you’re planning to implement as well as any questions you have.

If you want to connect with me on Pinterest, here is my profile: pinterest.com/francisco << Check out my profile URL, a clear sign of an early adopter (virtual high-fives!)

Happy Pinning evrybody!

Pinterest Infographic

Infographic courtesy of Monetate.

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  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1387772285 Mary Morse Larson

    Thanks for the update – wow!! It’s truly amazing, but not too surprising – I knew Pinterest was a great thing a long time ago. ;) Oh, and I had a pin I uploaded go viral last night on my personal Pinterest, and that is fun to watch!

  • http://benjaminlang.com/ Ben Lang
  • http://twitter.com/thelondoneer The Londoneer

    This is great – I just got my beta signup so I’ll make best use of it. Just as a thought – with all that extra cash they’re going to have lying around fairly soon, any bets on whether Pinterest might become a new Facebook ‘feature’ at some point in the future? It would be a good addition to their current feature set…

  • http://www.struggletovictory.com/ Kari Scare

    I’ve been dabbling in Pinterest recently and trying to use it as a way to promote not only my blog but also the principles and ideas behind the blog. You have given me several good tips I’m going to try and incorporate. It’s somewhat less overwhelming now.

  • http://www.facebook.com/alex.litz Alex Litz

    I joined Pinterest at the suggestion of my sisters. At first, I recognized the site’s niche as a trendsetter for humorous content and source for fun recipes. After really exploring it, I’ve realized the potential that it has as a marketer. I work for a resort and we’re using amazing pictures from all over our community and sourcing them back to our webpage. We’re following our repins down rabbit holes and finding our pins end up on the dream vacation boards for people all over the country. The potential for this site is very exciting and I recommend it to all of my friends and colleagues!

  • http://www.socialmouths.com/ Francisco Rosales

    Nice post Ben, and congrats for being on TechCrunch!

  • linus moran

    A great article explaining it all very clearly.  I have been using Pinterest for some time on my blog, but have not really explored all the marketing possibilites.  Top post !!

  • http://awholelotofnothing.net Angie [A Whole Lot of Nothing]

    Great comprehensive rundown of Pinterest! I recently wrote an article on some success stories and how Pinterest is affecting bloggers: http://awholelotofnothing.net/pinterest-success-stories-and-tips-for-increasing-blog-traffic-from-pinterest/

    While I’m super happy to have the DiggDigg update with the PinIt button added to the mix, I noticed your PinIt button not pulling images like mine doesn’t. I’m hoping to see a fix for this from Buffer soon.

  • http://www.learningpavilion.com/ Sheri

    I started reading your post as I sat down to lunch today.  When I got to the part where you said “Do a test and bring some of that content you already share on Twitter or Google+ and start dumping it into a board.” I stopped reading and eating immediately and went to my fledgling blog and began pinning posts I wanted to showcase on my blog board–where previously I had only three pins.  By the time I was finished with your article (and my lunch), I went to gmail and already had 17 emails with multiple pins–repinning my pins. (Does that make sense? LOL) Anyway, I am just a “little” blogger and am thankful for your info because I am getting traffic to posts no one ever bothered to look at before. Thanks so much for your challenge statement that opened my eyes!  Anyone else up for the challenge?

  • paul stickland

    Very interesting, I’ve been on Pinterest for nearly a year now and it is amazing how it and our use of it has developed. I was using it purely for visual reference and promotion of my art but it has great possibilities for affiliate marketing and for blogging too. I have used it a lot for promoting my g+ profile.  http://pinterest.com/paulstickland

  • Stafford Sterner

    As always, you nailed it with this post Francisco. I am awaiting my invite and will follow the suggestions you outlined here ASAP. 

  • http://twitter.com/sammyh Samuel Hughes

    great post, Agree with a lot of it! Although Pinterest’s etiquette pages says please don’t use for self promotion. The potential for brands to move into the space is colossal, but it seems as though Pinterest wants boards to be used for the things you love, not the things you are trying to pedal.

  • Candace Marquette

    Wow dude, you know your stuff! Thank you so much for helping people like myself.
    I dream of having  5,000+ followers. Don’t laugh, I only have 12 but I have a feeling in the next
    6 months to a year, with your expertise and knowledge, I can get there!

  • Therese

    I love pinterest! I’ve just published an ebook http://www.precinctpress.co.uk/pinterestmarketingpossibilities.php
    Pinterest is such a fun site to use it was a pleasure to put it together :-)

  • Christopher

    Great article! It helped stir up some ideas. Thanks!

  • Chuck

    I’d like to see more musicians taking advantage of Pinterest. I think there could be some really interesting ways for bands to build their brand. Not only could the their songs from Youtube, SoundCloud etc, but they could also start boards of the music that inspired them. 

  • http://mbagmatprep.wordpress.com/ Mini

    Useful insights. It’s amazing how Pinterest has, within a short span of time, emerged as a popular social networking site.

  • http://www.miss905.com/ Carolina

    Hi Francisco, great post – I am a new follower of your newsletters, and I have learned so mmuch from reading your posts.  I humbly request an Invite to Pinterest — have been waiting weeks for them to let me in.  Thanks in advance

  • http://www.souloyster.com souloyster

    Great information! I love Pinterest. Not only am I addicted but its a wonderfully creative way to market your business and express your interests.

  • Gwphoto

    Please advise your audience regarding the legal implications of posting photos that they do mot own.

  • SSBimini

    super informative post Francisco, love to have an invite.

  • http://twitter.com/xcnic87 Nicole Schmidt

    :  Initially I read
    this article because I was new to Pintrest and have been reading anything I can
    about the site itself.  Something that
    stood out to me that I think is very important is number 3.  It is important to see different points of view.  A lot of times, people get caught up in
    selling and lose sight of what the consumers want and are looking for.  Taking a step back and realizing how the
    consumer is viewing the company is very important to sales and popularity.  This post really showed me how Pintrest is used and hopefully I can get organized with it a little better.

  • Sbonesz

    Great article! Here are my thoughts on why Pinterest is growing so fast. We all know how popular Twitter is, and if a picture is worth a thousand
    words, and Twitter allows about 23 words per post, then a pinterest
    upload is about 43 times more powerful than a single tweet.

    Math aside, I think most folks love the simplicity of Pinterest. I
    always hear non social media people complain that they don’t use it,
    because they don’t know what to say. Pinterest allows you to say it with
    a pic!

    You might like this Pinterest spoof my friends and I made. http://www.screenflex.com/videos/pinterest/

  • http://www.cyberlinkmedia.com/ DanceF

    Pinterest is now the 3rd most popular social network in the U.S. in terms of traffic.

  • Nitapipkins

    This was a great overview with excellent examples!

  • Nita Pipkins

    Thank you for posting Jennifer’s blog link.  I really enjoyed it, and subscribed to her email list. 

  • http://www.socialcubix.com/ Facebook App Developers

    Pinterest is clearly driving much more traffic than Google+, LinkedIn, and YouTube combined, but I wonder over time if it will prove to be qualified traffic that turns into leads and customers, and ultimately higher brand loyalty. I suppose time, studies, and more infographics will tell.

  • http://www.facialplastics.info/ Rashidarick

    and on top of that, everybody is talking about using it for marketing and getting tons of traffic and, you just don’t see it.

  • Max

    Great post. I’m new to this. Question: When I go to
    Pinterest Home, there is an “Everything” tab at the top, in the drop-down for
    that tab, there is a category called “Humor”. If I am on IcanHasCheezburger and
    I want to pin a funny cat photo, how do I get that pin to appear on the “Humor”
    page of Pinterest? Thanks for your help.

  • http://www.victoriaflowers.info/ victoria flowers

    That content is successful in reaching its goals or has even been put out there with a business goal.

  • http://arlington-va-movers.net/ arlington mover

    Or more like, you can’t spend 15 minutes online without hearing about it…

  • http://lyndeutsch.com/ Lyndeutsch

    Thank you for this!  So informative!

  • http://www.foliobay.com/ Madieray

    Alright, I hear you. I’ll give you everything you need to know about
    Pinterest and a bunch of resources so you can decide if you or your
    business are ready to join the hottest trend online.
     

  • http://www.alwayscalljodie.com/home.html Babara

    Alright, I hear you. I’ll give you everything you need to know about
    Pinterest and a bunch of resources so you can decide if you or your
    business are ready to join the hottest trend online.

  • http://aadponline.com/ aadponline

    I am pleased to say that this blog raises the belief of those reading it. 

  • http://www.websanova.com/ jquery plugins

    Tumblr and other people can “repin” them or comment on them, as well as like them or tweet them, of course.

  • https://twitter.com/_VHClarke Vincent H Clarke

    We are doing the same thing, pinning other products that complement ours (that aren’t from our competitors) on this board 
    http://pinterest.com/usbmemorydirect/custom-flash-drives/  with some success. One of our biggest challenges has been getting followers too. Our follower count was pretty stagnant for a few weeks but now it’s starting to gain a lot of momentum. Good luck with your own Pinterest campaigns!

  • http://surebetfinder.info/ Surebetter

     I’ve seen some success with Pinterest – a page of a site mentioned in a pin starts ranking better. I am yet to explore all other benefits of Pinterest… thank for the article.

  • annabelle

    um, i requested an invite and was accepted the next morning… so yeah, it’s not actually that hard. i find pintrest pretty boring actually. it was fun at first but…

  • http://www.kingcakeheadquarters.com/ Cammie

    And now you’re thinking, “should I jump on the wagon too?” or “another
    social network to keep up with?” and on top of that, everybody is
    talking about using it for marketing and getting tons of traffic and,
    you just don’t see it.

  • Lottie Nevin

    A briliant and informative post. I joined pinterest a few months ago and to be honest I’ve done almost nothing with it. Reading this has inspired me to get cracking and use it for all reasons that you give above. Thanks!

  • Marysella

    This is more than words. I like that you share the graph. Statistics always tell more. http://pexwall.com