Some would argue that marketing today is infinitely more fractured than in times past, particularly with regard to the rise of social media. The sheer number of social media platforms available to promote a business can be overwhelming to businesses of all sizes and industries. Many companies maintain a presence on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google+… and stop there. But other social sites have the ability to attract and cultivate new customers as well.
One such site is Pinterest, which can best be described as a visual bookmarking site for images found on the web. Pinterest users “pin” images to “boards” on the site. Imagine a virtual corkboard filled with thousands of images and you’ve got the basic idea behind Pinterest. Each Pinterest member (or “Pinner”) has a personalized set of boards, and can create as many boards as they wish. These pins find their way to feeds, where other members can discover, subscribe, and pin them to their own boards.
How can Pinterest help my business?
Since its launch in 2010, Pinterest has climbed the scale in social media popularity, with an estimated 25 million (and growing) members worldwide pinning and repinning images (source). Not surprisingly, businesses are jumping on the Pinterest bandwagon in order to capture the attention of the site’s users with their content – so many, in fact, that Pinterest has launched a separate option for business accounts in addition to the original personal accounts that are the site’s foundation.
Businesses that curate quality visual content on Pinterest have a distinct advantage. Because of the highly visual nature of the site, images have a greater chance of becoming “viral” – that is, shared and reshared and reshared further – to thousands of people. An image pinned by a highly-followed Pinterest member has the potential to reach millions of viewers.
What makes an image pinnable?
Because Pinterest is such a visual site, the most pinnable images are the ones that are well-lit, colorful, and interesting. Studies of popular pins show that:
- Multi-colored images receive more pins than ones with one dominant color
- White balance matters – mid-range lightness is more pleasing to the eye (and the pinner) than very light or very dark images
- Color saturation should fall into the mid-range
- Warm colors (reds, oranges, browns) receive more pins than cool colors (blues, violets)
- Human faces can be distracting; images that show human forms but not faces are more popular
Like art, image popularity is highly subjective. What appeals to one person may not appeal to another, but as a collective group, people who participate in Pinterest find and follow others with similar tastes – meaning a pinned image can circulate for quite a long while.
Does my business need to be on Pinterest?
While there are plenty of channels for social media, it would certainly be worth considering Pinterest as part of your company’s marketing efforts. If your business is image heavy – say, a photography studio or retail shop – then a Pinterest for business account makes sense. But what if your business doesn’t make or sell pretty things? Don’t overlook the appeal of a good how-to checklist or a step-by-step guide. When paired with an interesting image, these pins can garner plenty of attention, too. Once someone pins the image, the web address associated with that pin can serve to draw in new customers, no matter what business you’re in. If your business’ website is already optimized to engage your customers, then you will already have an idea about what sorts of visual content would succeed on this channel.
Are you a pinner already? What sorts of things do you have pinned?