Is Pinterest still alive?
With the rise of Instagram, Snapchat, Blab, and other visual social media networks and apps this is a question many marketers and brands may be asking.
The answer? Pinterest is most certainly alive. And, actually, it’s growing—even though it’s not getting as much press as it was getting a couple years ago.
Today, Instagram boasts more than 400 million active monthly users, with more than 80 million photos being shared each day. In addition, one of the newest visual phenomenons, Snapchat, just hit 150 million daily users, according to Bloomberg.
As for Pinterest, the platform comes in with 100 million monthly active users. However, Pinterest is expecting that number to soar over the next couple years. Last fall, TechCrunch reported that Pinterest has forecasted active monthly users to grow to 329 million by 2018—with revenue climbing from $169 million to $2.8 billion during the same time period. In addition, in a “Trends to Watch in 2016” post, Brandwatch said Pinterest has huge potential, mentioning the Buyable Pins rollout and visual search tool.
“Despite its smaller size, Pinterest drives more traffic to brand websites than any other site bar Facebook,” Brandwatch wrote. “It holds valuable purchase intent data, more commonly held by Google’s search rather than social networks.”
The bottom line is that Pinterest can add some great value to a brand’s overall social media marketing strategy. While most social media platforms are meant for communication, Pinterest is all about providing a place for users to discover new things and ideas, and find inspiration for all areas of their lives. Brands can help provide some of that inspiration.
How Brands Are Using Pinterest
Pinterest presents both B2B and B2C brands with opportunities to build brand awareness, grow an audience of followers, and drive traffic and revenue. Here are a few examples of how brands are using the social network as part of their social media marketing efforts:
With more than 718,000 followers, Food Network goes above and beyond to provide valuable content to its followers. With 88 boards, Food Network organizes content by season, holiday, protein and celebrity chef to make it easy to navigate. Of course, each recipe pin is enabled with Rich Pins to make it easy for users to see ingredients and instructions.
With nearly 1 million followers and 120 boards, Etsy is definitely doing something right. From wedding ideas to gifts for him to recipes, Etsy’s Pinterest profile offers a little something for everyone. They use compelling imagery and often keep their text short and sweet—but also descriptive.
While Pinterest offers obvious benefits for B2C brands, HubSpot proves that B2B companies can be major contenders on the platform as well. While they offer over 70 boards, much tailored to marketing specific topics, they also show their personality a bit, too, with boards such as “Unicorns,” “Inspiring Quotes” and “Awful Stock Photography.”
Caribou Coffee—which is a favorite at the TopRank Marketing offices—started off their Pinterest efforts by sharing all the good things that are “worth waking up for.” But with the launch of a new blend, Real Inspiration Blend, coming soon, the company wanted to get their followers involved, according to a Pinterest success story post.
Caribou Coffee asked their pinners to share inspiring images with the hashtag #InspireCaribou. Based on what was posted, Caribou “deciphered” what the new blend should be and the end result was a blend of Latin American and sweet Ethiopian beans with notes of fruit and wine.
If you’re looking for more inspiration from brands of all shapes and sizes, Pinterest for Business offers up dozens of other success stories.
Best Practice Tips
Like other social platforms, Pinterest can be an incredibly powerful marketing tool when used correctly. Below are a few key best practices that can help you do just that:
Use a captivating image. This one may seem like a “duh,” but it is certainly worth mentioning anyway. Choose an image that will inspire and captivate your audience, and make sure that it speaks to the actual content that they will encounter when they click through to your website.
Use keywords. Using keywords is important for a couple reasons. Not only do keywords tell your users what your pin is all about, but it will also help in their searches—both on Pinterest and on search engines.
Use a strong call to action. Don’t be afraid to tell people what to do next. Use active words like read, see, find, discover or uncover to encourage people to pin and click.
Make your content easy to pin. Technically speaking, your brand doesn’t even need to have its own Pinterest account for your content to make it onto someone’s board. So, make it easy for people to pin from your blog or website by adding Rich Pin markup. Check out Pinterest’s Rich Pins instructions on how to select the markup you should use.
Try out Promoted Pins. This can be a great way to zero in on your target audience and drive sales. However, make sure you sign up for the advertising feature early. It can take a few weeks to get approval.
Verify your website. Verified websites pass more authority onto your profile. In addition, if you use Google Analytics, you’ll be able to track your pins and see which ones are driving the most traffic back to your website.
Keep boards up to date. Having outdated information or products that are no longer available can be bad for business. Potential customers can get frustrated when they click and discover something is no longer available, or has incorrect information. Take some time each month to go through all your boards and make updates as needed.
Think evergreen. Pins have a long shelf life that other social media posts and evergreen content has the potential to continue to drive engagement and traffic for a long time.
Find more best practices in our blog Pinterest 101: 33 Ways To Create Engaging Content & Be More Pinnable.
Is your brand using Pinterest as part of your social media marketing strategy? What successes have you had?