Monday, March 19, 2012

Pinterest: Linking visual marketing to social media

“A picture is worth a thousand words,” and that’s where social media site Pinterest comes in. According to, Pinterest just hit 11.7 million unique monthly U.S. visitors, crossing the 10 million mark faster than any other standalone site in history.  They also reported that the average Pinterest user spends 98 minutes per month on the site, compared to 2.5 hours on Tumblr, and 7 hours on Facebook. With Pinterest gaining significant media attention and experiencing enormous growth, the natural question is: Why and how can Pinterest be implemented into your marketing strategy?

A major reason for businesses to embrace this social platform is the web traffic referrals that brands are receiving from Pinterest. According to Shareaholic, Pinterest drove 3.6 percent of all Web traffic referrals to other sites in January--more than Google+, LinkedIn and YouTube combined. For example, Nordstrom uses Pinterest to post pictures of fashion looks, all of which have the Nordstrom website attached to them. Once a person looks at a certain picture and is interested, they can easily click through to the Nordstrom website. Perfect for Nordstrom, because they are not only marketing specific products through Pinterest, but also driving business to their website. What Pinterest has done is given companies, businesses and organizations—especially those in fashion, jewelry and other product-oriented  fields—another avenue to market their brand and products.

Experian Hitwise stated last month that Pinterest was the third most popular social networking site, trailing only Facebook and Twitter in the U.S. The use of this site for businesses has been quite beneficial because they can get to know their target market better and the target market can also absorb the company's culture and product by viewing their "pins." Whole Foods, Dr. Scholls and Coca Cola are just a few companies that have utilized this site for marketing and advertising purposes. Whole Foods “pins” recipes while Dr. Scholls “pins” shoes and both allow users to buy what they are looking for by clicking a button that sends them right to their website.

In reality, Pinterest is a sort of social equivalent of visually-appealing advertising done in a very creative way; one that is interactive, offers brands and prospective customers not just one image, but endless numbers of ideas, products, and recipes for success.

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