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Social Media Hot Spot: Are You on Pinterest Yet?

Search Visible on Pinterest

If there’s one site destined to become the social media darling of 2012, it’s Pinterest, the hot startup that lets users create collections of images pulled (or in this case, “pinned”) from around the Web. According to a new report from Hitwise, Pinterest had 11 million unique visits to its site the week of Dec. 17, 2011 – roughly 40 times the number it received just six months earlier.

How it works is very simple: Pinterest is a “virtual social pinboard” that allows millions of users to “pin” images off the web into different, organized boards that can be easily shared. As they browse boards and images they like, users can re-pin images onto their own boards, causing a viral effect for millions of images. Popular topics for user pinboards include favorites foods and recipes, fashion & clothing, amazing online imagery, DIY projects and crafts. As traffic spikes, we are starting to see more diversity in the types of boards as well as more businesses and marketers using pinboards. Our CEO has used hers to share both personal and professional pinboards:

  • Infographics and visuals helpful to Internet Marketing & SEO:

http://pinterest.com/lydiafabry/internet-marketing-seo/

  • And, her fencing craziness:

http://pinterest.com/lydiafabry/fencing/

Pinterest has not yet disclosed its user numbers, but a Shareoholic study found that Pinterest now drives more traffic to websites than Google+, YouTube and LinkedIn combined. In January 2012, Pinterest accounted for 3.6% of referral traffic, with Twitter barely ahead with 3.61%. To underscore the site’s massive growth in popularity, in July 2011, Pinterest accounted for only 0.17% of referral traffic.

Does all this sound…pinteresting? We think it does. And to help you start pinning for your clients or for your own brand-building efforts, we’ve come up with four ways to optimize Pinterest content:

1. Stick with Your Keyword Strategy: Google is currently indexing Pinterest accounts and individual boards. When creating your profile, use your brand name (much like Facebook pages) and be specific about who you are in your bio. Stay away from vague titles of pinboards — we see a lot called “favorite places and spaces” or “favorite books”. Instead, be more specific and give boards names like “Recommended Books on SEO” or “Home Office Organization” – or like ours: “Internet Marketing & SEO”

2. Grow Your Boards for Backlink – Building Opportunities: An important SEO aspect of Pinterest is the ability to build a number of links from a growing social network with excellent domain authority back to your own site. Get your boards noticed — and see your pins get repinned — by providing excellent Pinterest content (which translates to visually appealing!) and engage in the Pinterest community. As with other networks, spammy content and lack of conversation will get you nowhere.

3. Add “Pin It” to Site Pages: Embedding a “Pin It” button on your website lets visitors pin your content to one of their Boards. Add a “Follow me on Pinterest” badge to connect visitors with your collection of Pinboards.

4. Pay Attention to Site Visuals: Unless your site pages contain appealing pictures or interesting infographics, the likelihood that someone will pin it becomes low, despite the fact that your text content may be excellent. Could your site’s images use a little sprucing up? Use Pinterest as a tool to show you what kinds of pictures and infographics have mass appeal.

And one bonus tip: Pinning an item pulls the URL so interested users on Pinterest can click through to the original site. Double-check URLs after pinning to make sure users are being taken to the correct page.

Have you started pinning yet? Tell us what you think!

Misc. Statistical Data Sources & References:

Hitwise Article: Pinteresting Trend in Social Media: http://weblogs.hitwise.com/heather-dougherty/2011/12/pinteresting_trend_in_social_m.html

Shareaholic Article: Pinterest Drives More Referral Traffic Than Google Plus, YouTube, and LinkedIn Combined: http://blog.shareaholic.com/2012/01/pinterest-referral-traffic/

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