Pinterest: A Star Is Born! Must-Read Stats & Tactics from #SESSF

Day two coverage of #SESSF continued with a session on how to Generate More Pinterest: Getting the Most from the New Kid on the Block with Jennifer Evans Cario, President, SugarSpun Marketing and Founder of Avalaunch Media, Matt Siltala. Pinterest, the world’s social bookmarking darling, has taken the Internet by storm. Not just for arts ‘n crafts and fashionistas, this powerful-awesome site has much to offer any cunning marketer ready to take it on. Our panelists had much to share. Take a glimpse below for a full AIMCLEAR recap of the track!

Jennifer took the stage first with her presentation appropriately titled “Generate More Pinterest – Moving Past the ‘Ooohs’ and ‘Ahhs’ and Actually Leveraging It.”

So, what is Pinterest? Answer: A web-based inspiration board. Simple enough. It is not only that though. Pinterest is re-defining the way we bookmark the web. With Pinterest, you don’t have the problem of going back and finding the info you marked like you did in the past with other bookmarking channels. Why is that? Because Pinterest is visual, and not confined to text – like past bookmarking channels, making it easier and more user-friendly.

What else about this new kid on the cyber-block? Jennifer went on to talk about how Pinterest is reshaping how we do search and discovery. Results are curated to get ideas from other people. And there is an instant visual impact where it appeals to people and gives the choice to click through to the link or not. There is a little bit of difference with Pinterest compared to other social networks and that is that WE can set the expectation.

Next, Jennifer put some perspective around why Pinterest should last – here is a cool way to look at –

Social Media Explained

  • Twitter – I am eating a donut
  • Facebook – I like donuts
  • Foursquare – This is where I eat donuts
  • Instagram – Here is a vintage photo of my donut
  • You Tube – Here, I am eating a donut
  • LinkedIn – My skills include donut eating
  • Pinterest – Here is a donut recipe
  • Google+ – I am a Google employee who eats donuts 😉

Okay, but seriously, Pinterest should last because…

  1. It does something useful in a NEW way.
  2. It solves a problem – there is all this data out there you want to collect but you want to be able to easily go back to get it OR you want to collaborate with others.
  3. It appeals to publishers, curators, seekers and stashers – by the time the marketing industry caught on a lot of people had already been using it. Typically, it is the ‘tech’ people that find out about these sites at first, then with their stamp of approval share with the rest of the world. BUT not with Pinterest. That is what makes it unique.
  4. Segmentation of content
  5. Easy-to-use

Not satisfied? Want to know more? Check out these crazy statistics:

  • Pinterest is the fastest independent site to reach 10 Million users
  • Pinterest refers more traffic than Twitter, LinkedIn and You Tube combined
  • Pinterest’s primary audience is middle class women in the heartland, ages 18-34

Let’s give Pinterest some context.

  • The average amount of time spent on Facebook? 7 Hours
  • The average amount of time spent on Pinterest? 90 Minutes
  • Facebook is viewed as a destination while Pinterest is viewed as a starting point
  • Facebook is viewed as a conversation while Pinterest is viewed as a collection
  • Facebook is viewed as sharing platform while Pinterest is viewed as an inspiration platform

While Facebook is great for engaging with fans, Pinterest is great for attracting fans. Pinterest’s journey does start and end with Pinterest. What makes this site so cool is that it is designed as a gateway site to push people out, onto the web.

Five Great Ways to Leverage Pinterest

  1. Segment your content. This is the single biggest differentiator for Pinterest! As you create separate pin boards/topics, people can come and choose a single board and the great thing is you do not have to follow all of them. The ability to segment content is one of the biggest TAKEAWAYS. Note it.
  2. Showcase your fans using your products.There is some level of this on Facebook but you have to be more selective with content because it has to appeal to a lot of people whereas with Pinterest you don’t have to so you can get more content out there. The following is a quote from Chobani’s Emily Schmidt on how using this site benefits them and helps showcase their brand’s fans. Can give you some good insight to how brands are using this site.“Pinterest allows your brand to show different facets of its’ personality because there isn’t just one. Pinterest gives a more visual look into Chobani’s personality and the core values behind our brand. For example, we compile inspirational quotes on our ‘Nothing but Good’ board and motivational quotes on ‘Chobani Fir’ board.”
  3. Reinforce your brand messaging to the Pinterest audience. Visual impact with product tie-in, through a group effort and finally, feature your focus and highlight the selling points. Creative use of something you wouldn’t think would be a good fit but somehow leveraging it in a new and different way.
  4. Crowd source your board to build community. What this means is to promote the people you follow, feature content creatively and increase content.  Set up an environment and let the community come in and do something with it.
  5. Curate a board to expand on a content feature. Take content and match up with board that you have ability to promote through other channels.

But wait, there’s more! Pinterest TIPS:

  • Did you know you could use it for competitive research? Simply click on the product page, click ‘show me all content for this domain’ and replace domain with URL. It is a great way to see how your site is performing in addition to your competitors.
  • Pins vs. Repins – Both present good exposure with the community but around 80 percent of the action on Pinterest in through repins making the PIN more valuable.
  • Research your Pinterest hits! This is a great way to figure out your influencers in your crowd so you can build relationships. Find out what gets repined – a visual focus group. How to product tie-in – Purchases? How it’s used? Now, do the analytics – impact on conversion funnel. How to monetize?
  • Target secondary categories when you pin. If your content is appropriate to post in more than one category bucket then do it! It can help you get larger lifespan of content versus marking it as just one popular category where there is often so much being pinned content can quickly vanish. This also gives you more opportunity for repins and exposure.
  • Use a teaser image or an ‘instructographic’ (step-by-step DIY – HUGE on Pinterest). The downside is that if you do it wrong people have no reason to click through to your site. So make sure your image is at least 500×2500 pixels, but no more than 5000, so when shrunk down to thumbnail size you can’t see all the text, therefore forced to click through.

To wrap up, Jennifer offered her ‘Five Reasons to Give Pinterest A Try’

  1. Low barrier to entry – no develop, minimal training
  2. Impressive traffic potential – top ten referrer, continued traffic bump
  3. Good retention rate – strong rates of increased followers
  4. Equal impact potential – even small followers can score big plans
  5. Wide open TOS – your imagination is still your limit

A lot of great facts. Big thanks to Jennifer! Next up, Matt, who talked about “The Pinterest Effect 2012 – The Effects Pinterest on Business.” Sound good? It was, let’s take a look.

Matt started out reminiscing about the old school crazy traffic bookmark sites like Digg. He views Pinterest as the ‘rebirth’ of sites such as this. The only difference is that Pinterest always comes back from a downward spike in traffic. In Matt’s words – the actual engagement and selling aspects of Pinterest are, well “super awesome.” And you know what? We can’t help but agree 🙂 .

Before jumping in full force, Matt showed the audience some memorable photos for people to think about how they felt when they look at them. For the locals he showed the infamous image of the 49ers catch of 1982. The next an image of the three fireman putting up the American flag after the 9/11 tragedy and the last and most recent image of the “Blade Runner” running in the 2012 London Summer Olympics. All strike a cord, in their own right.

Matt’s point in showing all of these images? To show how Pinterest is VERY powerful because of it’s emphasis on the visual, and that is why it is doing so well.

The growth of this site has exploded! And that my friends, is noteworthy. Why?

Because it is only going to get bigger and bigger and bigger…according to some statistics it is close to overtaking Yahoo! Will it get close to Facebook’s share? Don’t know, but it is possible. Needless to say, Pinterest is something to definitely keep your eye on over the next 6 months to a year.

Let’s look at some case studies…
Rod Works
– a unique iron and home décor company OR as Matt described “the place that sells cute stuff and you have to go to with your wife and it makes you want to pass out.” Ah, now we see. What is unique about this case study is Pinterest single-handedly forced Rod Works into launching a web store. Absolutely no web presence or social engagement prior.

How did this happen? A photo of a woman’s home entryway (including a piece from Rod Works) that was posted in her personal blog was picked up my Pinterest users and from there it exploded onto the site – pinned and repined many times over. After someone mentioning that the piece could be purchased at Rod Works, the rest is history. Rod Works created an online store in February 2012 and therefore began it’s life online.

Matt then mentioned, “I could slam my microphone down right now…because that case study is so powerful, but let’s move on.”

Next case study – BuildDirect (a Home Depot type of place). Stumbleupon’s traffic results an average time on page of about 10 seconds. Pinterest traffic results in an average time on page of about 10 MINUTES with an average visit of about FIVE pages. This proves there is a way to conclude the ROI with using Pinterest.

Let’s move on. had a goal of coming up with a strategy to establish this company as a Pinterest authority. The idea was to build a killer infographic that would display all of the best practices.

What was created is the Pinterest Image Optimization InfoGraphic. Why? Because they knew it would go well with the Internet marketing/tech industry but also with Pinterest users. Why did it do so well? People WANT TO KNOW how to succeed on Pinterest and the infographic created easily walked people through the process.

So what is another benefit of Pinterest you ask? LINKS.

Pinterest can help your SEO efforts. What is interesting about the infographic is that within the first two week the company had 20 new clients AND started working on a book. This Pinterest strategy not only helped work towards reaching their KPI, but it continues to grow the business because of it. Shall we say…PRICELESS. We love when things work out 🙂

What is the best time to PIN? Research shows 5-7AM and 5-7PM are the best times to take advantage of this site from a business perspective. It shows that people are starting to include in their daily social mix. This is good to know as you develop campaigns and implement Pinterest strategies.

Wise advice and what works well. Via Matt’s dad, “Son, my job is to make sure you are useful.” Think about your audience on Pinterest. As Jennifer mentioned earlier, anything Do-it-Yourself, How-tos, etc. are deeply loved by users.

Here are some TOOLS that you may not know about.

  • PinAlerts – a real time alert similar to Google’s. Good for reputation monitoring and competitive analysis.
  • Pinterest analytic tools – fully integrated analytics for Pinterest. Good to use to measure campaigns AND gives you suggestions for content.
  • Pinterest Competitive Intelligence and Research – Repinly. Find out the average activity of pinners, how users spend their time, popular categories. Find influencers! See trends!
  • Pin Reach – builds account and measures influence
  • Pinterest Bookmarket – see exactly who is pinning your stuff, what they are saying about these images, which ones do they like more, what are they pinning the most. Helps capture audience. What is cool about this is you can take this information and apply to your other marketing outlets like your website.

Keep TESTING! The thing about Internet marketing is you need to test, test, test and then test some more. And Pinterest is no different. Use the tools out there and TEST to find out what works best for you!

Last slide, same as the first. Pinterest is POWERFUL. And we will leave it at that.

How about THAT for some seriously insane Pinterest know-hows? Love it? We sure do. Excellent afternoon track with both Jennifer and Matt.

The fun is not over stay tuned more #SESSF live coverage from yours truly (@MollyCRyan) and @gretchenegeberg.


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