For prices as low as $25, you can buy Pinterest followers by the hundreds. Clearly, the decision about whether or not you should buy your way around the social network does not depend on your buying threshold. Other factors come into play and today, we’ll talk about these factors and hopefully help you make an informed decision post a discussion of the pros and cons of buying your fame on Pinterest.
Pinterest is a rapidly expanding social network. As of now, it connects over 70 million users across the worldand according to a Pinterest ROI study by Piqora, one Pinterest pin on ecommerce sites generates an average of $0.78, a number that went up 25% since Q4 2012.
So it does not take a genius to figure out that being on Pinterest and engaging with your customers on the social network can grow your social media following and benefit your business in many ways. Comments, likes, repins and clicks on Pinterest can:
- Drive traffic to your website
- Increase sales
- Generate leads
- And help you increase the reach and impact of your brand
So that covers the question of why you need Pinterest for your business. Now let’s talk about whether or not you should buy your way around the social site in an attempt to build your following.
Building a following on Pinterest, nay any social network is not easy, especially if you are not a business with a strong online following, like say, Coca-Cola, Apple or Nike. Ergo, the most obvious reason why businesses buy Pinterest followers is to make it seem like they are popular.
Now this might work for your business in the sense that, eventually, your account might actually become popular, increasing your online visibility and brand exposure. People on Pinterest come across your account and they see the number of followers and repins; the instinctive response is to join the crowd, right? So buying Pinterest followers might actually, in the long run, make you popular in reality and drive traffic to your website.
Buying Pinterest followers and repins by the hundreds or thousands will probably fool the average Pinterest user and your online connections into thinking that you are this popular authority figure in your industry but it won’t fool Pinterest’s algorithm.
You see, like Facebook, Pinterest’s algorithm works on certain signals that indicate whether or not your content is attracting a lot of attention and engagement. If you post content that Pinterest users love and engage with, your pins will show at the top of the Pinterest search results to popular pinners.
Conversely, if your number of followers increases by the hundreds everyday but no one ever interacts with the content you share, the chances that you will show in the Pinterest search results get progressively slimmer. It indicates that your pins are unimportant.
With that said, buying Pinterest followers and repins is also a violation of Pinterest’s Acceptable Use Policy, which has been recently updated to include subtle changes condemning users who pay others to follow them or re-pin their images.
In simple words, if you buy Pinterest followers, repins, likes or comments, you run the risk of getting your account banned.
Last but not least, by now, we are all aware of the fact that social signals are important ranking factors. But when you buy followers, for example, Pinterest followers, you will see an increase in traffic for 2-3 days but then, the traffic goes away, ALL of it. This may hurt your business’s search results and make you come across as spammy to the search engines.
On November 20, 2013, Pinterest introduced Place Pins. Now, we are going to go deep into this latest addition to the Pinterest arsenal, but before that, let’s look at some updated Pinterest stats that will no doubt reflect the reason why Pinterest is not just another social network. It is, in effect, the fastest-growing social media site of all time and in its 3 years of existence, Pinterest has become a huge traffic referral for businesses.
1. The conversion rate of traffic referred from Pinterest is 50% higher than the conversion rate of traffic from other sources.
2. Pinterest users are spenders. They spend more money on more goods more frequently than Facebook, Twitter and Google+ users.
3. Pinterest generates four times more revenue per click than Twitter.
4. Pinterest generates 27% more revenue per click than Facebook.
5. 47% of U.S. online consumers have made a purchase based on a recommendation from Pinterest.
6. 80% of Pinterest pins are repins, which means that, although Facebook is the all-time social sharing champion, Pinterest is not far behind.
With stats like those, it comes as no surprise that an increasing number of businesses are leveraging the Pinterest platform to 1) help people discover them, 2) increase visits to their websites and subsequently 3) generate leads and sales.
And it’s working!
About Place Pins
Last year, right before the holiday season, Pinterest launched a new feature that will potentially benefit local businesses massively in increasing in-store traffic. This new feature is called Place Pins. Basically, Place Pins is a new type of pin. It allows Pinterest users to map their pins to certain locations. Originally, the point of this new feature was to benefit travel planners (Every day people pin about 1.5 million places of which more than 750 million pins are of travel destinations). But now that the feature is rolled out, it’s fairly obvious that it has great application for local businesses as well.
The Significance of Place Pins
In effect, Place Pins combine the beautiful imagery that you would expect of a travel magazine with the practicality of an attached online map that you can share with your friends. These maps can be accessed from anywhere on your Android device or iPhone. This means that, with Place Pins, you can find places and get directions on the go. Imagine how convenient such a tool would be if you were in the middle of nowhere in Spain and you needed somewhere to crash or somewhere to go for a warm meal. Place Pins also include details like an address and phone number right on the Pin.
To create a board of Place Pins, simply select “Add a map” when you create a new board. You can also convert an existing board to a board of Place Pins. You can then map your new and existing Pins on the board.
Social buttons, strategically placed on your website and at the top of any content you share with your audience, makes your website more social. They help spread content organically and aid general search engine optimization. The question is: How many social buttons are enough?
Too few may limit the reach and impact of your business.
Too many may dilute your impact on the most important social sites.
What to do?
Pick the most valuable social buttons and drop the rest.
Facebook has over 1.1 billion users. It is by far the most widespread social network and it is the platform that receives the highest levels of engagement. If you have to pick ONE social button to include on your website and at the top of your posts on your blog, it’s a no-brainer that a Facebook “Like” button would be the obvious choice. Traffic on Facebook is too heavy for marketers to pass on it.
Second to Facebook in popularity is Twitter. Twitter has over 500 million users although, statistically, only 200 million of the users are actually active. However, Twitter is a much more open channel of communication as compared to Facebook: users can ‘follow’ whomever they please. This makes Twitter ideal for sharing content. The Twitter button is valuable.
Although nowhere as popular as Facebook, the social network by Google offer the unique advantage that it is by..well Google. It does not matter how many users are actually active on Google+ or what the level of engagement is like on the social network, the Google ‘+1’ button is valuable for the simple reason that it is helpful from an SEO perspective. It is no secret that social signals are now important ranking factors. Social shares are important to Google, especially Google +1s.
Predominantly a business-oriented social network, whether or not you should include a LinkedIn social button on your website and blog is something you will have to assess for yourself. LinkedIn is not a platform people use for entertainment . In fact, most people sign up on LinkedIn for the purposes of recruiting employees, looking for a job or staying in the loop with business networks.
In October 2012, Pinterest introduced business accounts. This was in response to the growing number of businesses and brands on the social network. The launch was structured in such a way that businesses could either transform their existing personal accounts into business accounts or equally possible, start from scratch.
According to GianFulgoni, chairman and co-founder of comScore Inc.,
1. Pinterest is the fastest growing stand-alone site to reach 10 million visitors.
2. The average Pinterest user spends more than an hour on the site each month
3. With Pinterest, it’s easy to generate virality.
4. 2/3 of Pinterest visitors are women.
5. Pinterest offers many monetization opportunities.
6. The social site influences shopping decision-making.
If you haven’t incorporated Pinterest into your social marketing strategy, it’s time!
8 Recommendations to Expand your Pinterest Presence
1. It’s Not About Marketing, it’s About Building a Community
Pinterest is a social site like any other including Facebook, Twitter and Google+. The key to success is to build a community around your brand and your biggest pinners. Recognize and reward your loyal pinners whether it’s in the form of a discount or some behind-the-scene action like running a pre-sale for your loyal pinners. Adding a human touch to your Pinterest marketing strategy will help your presence on the social site.
2. Don’t be Selfish
If you are creating a community around your brand, in addition to working within that community, also participate in the Pinterest community sharing content by other people, following them and repinning their images. When you engage with other Pinterest users, you will get a better understanding of what makes them tick and subsequently this psychological insight can help you attract the same people to your boards.
3. Don’t Limit Yourself to Pre-Existing Boards
Pinterest allows users to create specialized boards so think of themes, events or trends and design boards that tell a story. For example, a wedding board or a holiday to the Bahamas board that groups related items into a picture timeline.
4. Drive Traffic to Your Pinterest Boards From Other Websites
Pinterest enjoys a good amount of traffic but traffic to your boards won’t happen on its own. You will need to insert Pin It buttons on your website, on your business blog, on your Facebook page, Twitter account and Gooogle+ profile. Just make it as easy as possible for your customers to repin your images.
5. Keep Your Images Fabulous
Pinterest is visual. On Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and LinkedIn, written content is big but on Pinterest, it’s all about images. They tell your story. They represent your brand. So keep them fabulous. Therefore,
– Avoid pixelated images
– Make sure your images are the right size
– Don’t upload images from Google
– Include descriptions
– Combine text and images for do-it-yourself guides
– Use abbreviated infographics on Pinterest and lead Pinterest users to the full image on your site
In 2012, the virtual bulletin board Pinterest secured over 10 million active users establishing the site as the latest social media giant right after Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. Pinterest is therefore a remarkable marketing tool, a perpetually growing online community that is benefitting businesses using it in a number of ways:
1. More referred traffic
2. More quality leads
3. More sharing on the social sites like Facebook and Twitter
4. More sales
As a business owner, you are probably already on Pinterest. The real challenge is to successfully market on Pinterest. The real question is how do you become a real “pinner”. To help you get started pinning like the big kahunas on Pinterest, here are a few tips and pointers.
1. Organize Your Content
On Pinterest, it is not enough to share things. The whole point of the social site is for people to discover things in a fun and very visual way. Organize your boards and pins in a way that makes sense. Each board should tell its own unique story. Each board should convey a unique message. Don’t dump all your content onto a single board. Sort it out for your audience. Note that using different boards also helps you expand the impact and reach of your brand because you can then reach out to the different segments of your audience in a personal way.
Pinterest is all about sharing, collecting and organizing images. Therefore it follows that image quality matters a great deal. On Pinterest, blurry, small and images that have a watermark are simply not acceptable. It is true that each and every image you share does not have to be museum-grade but the images should at least look professional. The more effort you invest in your pins, the more you can expect in return.
3. Give Back to the Community
Social media marketing is not about self-promotion and spam. Your success will rest upon how much you give back to the community. On Pinterest, things are no different. Although it might be very tempting to just push content out in a self-promoting way, the challenge is to find the time to be an active member of the community. At least once a week, find half an hour for doing nothing but being a good citizen of Pinterest. Re-pin things you like, follow boards whose pins are good, connect with people who have the same interests as you.
4. It’s Okay to Report Time-Wasters
This is really just an extrapolation of being a good member of the community. As a responsible citizen of Pinterest, it’s more than okay, actually it’s recommended that you report spam, broken links and offensive images. This helps keep the community clean and devoid of time-wasters.
Pinterest is a seemingly new social network that has actually already surpassed LinkedIn in raw traffic. It’s young, but it’s got a lot of traffic. What’s more, a lot of the traffic on Pinterest actually buys. Data shows that visitors from Pinterest who visit a commercial site are twice as likely to buy than visitors who clicked a link from Facebook.
So how do you use Pinterest for marketing?
The Basics: What is Pinterest
The idea of Pinterest is simple. You create a board that revolves around a certain topic. You then “pin” various images to that board. The pin can be from different websites, or it can be an image you upload. You can also add pins using a mobile app. You can take pictures on your iPhone then quickly pin them on a board.
The board and the pins can then be shared with your social network.
Who Uses Pinterest?
As with most things in the marketing world, understanding your demographics is the key. On Pinterest, 83% of the users in the United States are women. (Source – Wikipedia). That means if you’re using Pinterest, you want to be gearing your marketing towards women, not the general population.
Users of Pinterest tend to be slightly older, between 25 to 44. They could be family oriented women, women who have kids or women who manage a household. Because Pinterest is an inherently social tool, the women who use Pinterest tend to have strong social ties.
It’s important to note that 75% of purchase decisions are made by women. Pinterest allows you to get to the real decision makers very quickly.
Note that although historically Pinterest has been primarily female driven, this may not always be the case. Men and male interests have taken an interest in Pinterest. For example, a few sports teams have begun to use Pinterest to share their photos.
Pinterest’s traffic is enormous. It’s already sending more traffic to other websites than Twitter did. As far as a traffic generation tool goes, Pinterest is quickly climbing the ranks. What makes Pinterest especially appealing to keen marketers is that it has still mostly slipped into the minds of most marketers. People who can figure out how to really utilize Pinterest’s traffic are going to get a very large slice of the pie, because few people are actively competing for it.
Many websites are already showing Pinterest as their top traffic referrer. For example, Martha Stewart’s websites get more traffic from Pinterest than anywhere else. Similar brands that focus on women-centric topics like fashion, cooking, design and so on also show similar trend.