Pinterest is the image sharing website with social networking features that has been making a storm in social media marketing community for the past year because of its massive growth since launch in 2010, and claims of its high sales conversion rates. If you think of Pinterest like a large digital scrapbook, a digital cork-board on which to pin images, or even a large collaborative digital library of images being collected and categorised onto users’ pin-boards, you wouldn’t be far off; just add in the social networking component, and you have it.
In 2012, Vineyards and Wine Tourism were recorded in an infographic by Tamba at number 3 of the top 10 Pinterest Users’ Audience Interests list.
Basic Pinterest Terminology
“Pin” – A ‘pin’ is an image (either a still image or a video) that has either been uploaded directly, or linked to Pinterest from a website. →
“Board” – A ‘board’ is the place where users thematically store their pins. Users usually have numerous boards pertaining to different interest categories like ‘My Dream Home’, ‘Outdoor living’, ‘Delicious Food’, etc. ↓
What Attracts People to Pinterest?
From the perspective of the user; Pinterest is a fun, stimulating way to surround yourself with an online collection of things you love and identify with. You’re able to follow your friends’ and favourte brands’ boards, comment on their pins, and share with them what you enjoy too.
From the eyes of a marketer; it generates traffic to our website and may increase engagement. The Huffington Post reports rapid up-take by businesses since Pinterest launched Business accounts, at the end of 2012. Due to the freely accessible and highly visual medium of Pinterest, it allows your company to create visual associations of lifestyle and values with your brand. The platform can also be used to host competitions, campaigns, etc., as with other social media sites.
Let’s Briefly Look at How it Works
Users may have up to 3 secret boards, and the rest are 100% open to the public. The most popular board categories are for Food & Drink, DIY & Crafts, Home & Decor, and Travel.
Images that are added to Pinterest by users can be either pinned to their boards directly from websites and blogs or uploaded from their mobile devices. Uploading images (or media) from websites outside of Pinterest is made easy by downloading a ‘Pin-it Bookmarklet‘ button to the bookmarks bar of your web-browser, or for those who use Google Chrome there is a special button that can be installed to the top right corner of your Chrome browser for ease of pinning. Your customers may have done this already and could well have been pinning images from your website and blog to Pinterest without your knowing it! As the website owner you can encourage people to pin your images and increase the ease of doing so by installing ‘Pin-it’ buttons onto your webpages. Once you have your Business Pinterest page, and have verified your website, you will be able to see what images are being pinned by viewing your Pinterest Analytics.
Likewise, installing ‘Follow-me’ buttons will invite Pinterest users to find and follow your business on Pinterest. Once uploaded to Pinterest, images are shared around amongst the vast community by members ‘re-pinning’ images they like to their own self-organised boards, and to collaborative boards they have permission to pin to in other members’ accounts. Members have the freedom to browse through images on other member’s boards, like and comment on them, and if they want to, they can follow one or all of their boards. The result of following another member’s board is that their newest pins will be presented on the ‘Home Feed’ page along with new pins from other boards being followed, in a seemingly never ending stream of images. Just like the Facebook or Twitter News Feed.
Note 80% of pins are images that have been re-pinned; that is, after the initial image (pin) has been uploaded or linked from a website, it has then been pinned from board to board by different users. Because of the high percentage of re-pins, users see the same image again and again, resulting in users becoming hungry to re-pin new original enticing content they find. For a business this means the opportunity lies in creating new, attractive, unique content with original photos and videos (ideally that will link back to your website/blog when pinned) that people will want to re-pin for you; thus hopefully stimulating viral pinning.
Stats & Demographics
- Statistics from the PEW institute study show that of the 67% of internet users who use a social media networking site, 15% use Pinterest.
- Pinterest users have a Female:Male ratio of 5:1, of which the majority are women aged 50 and under, are in upper income brackets, and have some college education (Pew).
- Repinly research shows that users spend 83.4% of their time pinning, 16% liking, and 0.6% commenting on pins.
Users spend an average of 1.5 hours per month on Pinterest.
- According to UltraLinx, a third of Pinterest users have an average annual household income of US$100,000+.
- A survey by BizRate collected data showing 43% of Pinterest members agree that they use Pinterest to “associate with retailers or brands with which I identify.”
- BizRate’s Survey in October 2012, showed that 69% of people use Pinterest to get information on products or services to buy, which was 29% higher than the results for Facebook.
- E-Commerce site Shopify’s 2012 study showed that pins with prices get 36% more likes than those that don’t.
- Huffington Post reported that in the US, 60% of the top 100 companies now have active Pinterest Business accounts, which is a 100% increase since Pinterest opened Pinterest for Business accounts in Oct 2012. Business follower growth is also rocketing. In early 2013, the number of followers for the top 100 companies was 174,000, by April 2013, that number had more than doubled to 349,000.
- Reuters reported that in February 2013, global users of Pinterest hit 48.7 million.
- In May 2012 Pinterest was valued at 1.5 billion, in Feb 2013 it reached US$2.5 billion valuation
The 4 Latest Developments that Affect Your Pinterest Marketing:
1) Pinterest for Business: In October 2012, Pinterest Introduced Pinterest for Businesses.
Make sure you have a business account. You can set one up at this link: Pinterest for Business (you can also convert your personal Pinterest account to a businsess one on this page if you choose.)
2) Web Analytics: Released in early May, 2013. Once you have your business account and your website is verified you can use Pinterest Web-Analytics to see data about images being pinned and re-pinned from your website/blog, how many visitors your website is receiving from Pinterest, impressions, reach, clicks, etc.
3) Rich-Pins: Early in May 2013, Pinterest introduced content ‘Rich Pins’ for the categories of Product, Movie, or Recipe. In October, Article Rich-Pins, and in late November 2013 mappable Place Pins were introduced too.
Product Rich-Pins automatically collect and show information about your product, eg. Name, availability, price, where to buy online, etc. Example of a Product Rich-Pin image →
Article Rich-Pins are great for wine business blogs or articles on your website. When the image associated with your article is pinned, the Article Rich-Pin will automatically display the headline, author, website link, description of the article. Pinterest says this is “to help people discover articles and be directed back to your site”. So this is another great way to draw present and future customers back to your website where they can read your interesting blog content, and buy your wine.
Recipe Rich-Pins can show the name, ingredients, serving size, and prep time; relevant if you are creating wine-food pairing blogs, etc. of course instead of writing ‘rose wine’ you would write your brand name, plus the wine type.
Place Pins are rich with location information and can be pinned onto special Map enabled Place Boards. Pinners can use a Place Board to say, plan a trip, and when they are on the road using their mobile devices, they can click on the Place Pins and get the address, phone number, business hours, and even driving directions to get to your place. Great if your wine business has a Tasting Room, or you are a Retail Store!
To enable Rich-Pins from your website or blog, you need to get your website developer to add some code which I won’t bore you with but the relevant Pinerest help page is here. Once completed, all you need to do is prove to Pinterest that the Rich Pins work by applying to Pinterest for verification, and then images pinned from your website or blog will appear as content Rich Pins when pinned to Pinterest boards. Check out our Rich-Pins Examples board and our Place Board for Wine Businesses for examples of this new Pinterest function for businesses. Whilst you are there, follow our boards for updates, info, and Pinterest-Best-Practice for your Wine Business!
4) ‘Send’ Pins: In mid May, 2013 Pinterest announced that they were rolling out a new function that allows pinners to ‘send’ a pin they like to friends and family, and other accounts that mutually follow each other on Pinterest. Pinners who are sent pins will receive them by notification, or email. This is additional to already being able to send pins to Facebook friends, and email contacts from both mobile devices and computers. So remember this as another call to action you can add to the pin caption; “Please ‘Send’ this pin to your friends”. You could even have it written on the image itself.
Important Tips & Wine Business Examples
As it is only fairly recently that Pinterest introduced business accounts, there were fewer guidelines available on best practice for companies to follow.
If you’ve tried Pinterest with little success, or are about to set up your business account, take heed of this important fact: if someone clicks on a pin that was uploaded from your website or blog, they will be directed back to that source, great! If however, you are not uploading new content, are not enabling pinners to upload your images (eg. because you website is made in Flash), or if your Pinterest strategy to date has been solely to re-pin others’ pins, then sadly the result is that users will have no way to click back through to your website or blog, thus no sales from Pinterest will be being generated. For Pinterest to work for your business, you must upload images from the exact webpage you want potential customers to click back through to.
For an example wine business that is doing this well, take a look at RELAX wines’ Pinterest page: Click on the #Share TheLove board, then click on an image, you will see link pop-up, click on it and it will take you back to the source. Each image on this board links back to the specific wine variety sales page, on their website. They also have a series of great boards with names like: “RELAX at Work,” “RELAX at Home,” “RELAX in the Kitchen,” etc., and any pins they have uploaded link back through to related content on their blog. For example, on their “RELAX at Work” board there is a pin that takes you back to their blog, where they appear to be writing blog posts about trending topics on Pinterest. Using this strategy will help to drive people to your website where they can purchase your wine, find locations where it is sold near them, join your
e-mail list, etc.
So should we be using Pinterest?
To quote one of the three Pinterest co-founders Evan Sharp, from an interview with Mashable, “For most consumer brands, the idea behind your brand makes sense on Pinterest.” Because of its highly visual design, there is a lot of potential for wine businesses to define and expand their brand image, values and personality through affiliation with a variety of lifestyle related boards, and doing so fits in with Pinterest etiquette. Also, being a social network, the Pinterest platform has proven potential for virally spreading peer/social advocacy of your brand, for free.Pinterest is a place where users go to be inspired, to discover, to plan, to dream, and to shop; unlike Facebook where users’ main objective is to see and share updates with their friends. On the site, Pinterest users are in discovery-mode; they are switched on to find products and services they want to buy for perhaps an event they are planning, or to enhance their lives.
As a wine brand, a retailer, a vineyard, a wine region, or a cellar door, Pinterest users’ interest in your brand can be maximised by creating a large percentage of inviting and unique visual images uploaded from your website or blog. This will drive users to your site to perform an action such as sign up to wine clubs, email-lists, tastings, make purchases, etc.
Creating boards with videos and images that introduce your company, staff, vineyards, restaurants that serve your wine, etc., will help your customers to feel an affinity with your location, who you are, and the essential faces behind the brand so that they can communicate with you as a person.
Also, re-pinning other brand-compatible content to your boards helps with your pinning regularity, will show you are not trying to simply push your products, and will likely encourage users to follow your boards. But beware, too much re-pinning and not enough pinning of your own content will not create a pull through to sales. Remember, always a great idea is to pin collaboratively with partner businesses.
By integrating your other social media campaigns and activity into your Pinterest account you will be filling out your social media presence. As Pinterest is growing fast, we do recommend you get started soon, if not right away. As Pinterest continues to grow the images you insert into the system now, will have more likelihood of propagating throughout the community, ready for uptake (re-pinning) by an ever increasing number of users in the future.
Questions or comments? Please comment below