July 13, 2014

How to use Pinterest for Business - Webinar

Learn the importance of marketing your business on this powerful social media platform. Pinterest marketing is moving more products and generating more sales than all other social platforms combined!

image Pinterest is a visual discovery tool that people use to collect ideas for their different projects and interests. People create and share collections (called “boards”) of visual bookmarks (called “Pins”) that they use to do things like plan trips and projects, organize events or save articles and recipes. There is also a like feature to save certain pins that may not fit with a board. The site was founded by Ben Silbermann, Paul Sciarra and Evan Sharp. It is managed by Cold Brew Labs and funded by a small group of entrepreneurs and investors.

Pinterest is a visual discovery tool that people use to collect ideas for their different projects and interests. People create and share collections (called “boards”) of visual bookmarks (called “Pins”) that they use to do things like plan trips and projects, organize events or save articles and recipes. There is also a like feature to save certain pins that may not fit with a board. The site was founded by Ben Silbermann, Paul Sciarra and Evan Sharp. It is managed by Cold Brew Labs and funded by a small group of entrepreneurs and investors.

How to Use Pinterest
Pinterest is a free website in which users can upload, save, sort and manage images, known as pins, and other media content (e.g. videos and gifs) through collections known as pinboards. Pinterest acts as a personalized media platform, whereby users' content and the content of others can be browsed on the main page. Users can then save individual pins to one of their own boards using the "Pin It" button, with Pinboards typically organized by a central topic or theme. Users can personalize their experience with Pinterest by pinning items, creating boards, and interacting with other members. By doing so, the users "pin feed" will display unique, personalized results.

Where else we can find Pinterest Buttons on Web
Content can also be found outside of Pinterest and similarly uploaded to a board via the "Pin It" button which can be downloaded to the bookmark bar on a web browser, or be implemented by a webmaster directly on the website. They also have the option of sending a pin to other Pinterest users and/or email accounts through the "Send" button.

How to Register a Account on Pinterest
Initially, there were several ways to register a new Pinterest account. Potential users could either receive an invitation from a friend already registered or they could request an invitation directly from the Pinterest website, but this may take some time to be received. An account can also be created and accessed by linking Pinterest to a Facebook or Twitter profile. When a user re-posts or "re-pins" an image to their own board, they have the option of notifying their Facebook and Twitter followers; this feature can be managed on the settings page.

Pinterest Activity Feed
On the main Pinterest page, a "pin feed" appears, displaying the chronological activity from the Pinterest boards that a user follows. When browsing for new boards and relevant pins, users can visit a "Tastemakers" page that recommend pinboards with content similar to previous pins saved by a user. For both guests and Pinterest users, there are currently four main sections to browse: everything, videos, popular, and gifts.

Quick links to Pinterest include the "pin it" button that can be added to the bookmark bar of a web browser, "Follow me" and "Pin it" buttons added to personal website or blog page, and the Pinterest iPhone application available through the App Store.

User Privacy Concerns
Users should be aware of certain terms and functions when using Pinterest. A "board" is where the user's pins are located. Users can have several boards for various items such as quotes, travel or, most popularly, weddings. A "pin" is an image that has either been uploaded or linked from a website. Once users create boards and add pins, other users can now "repin", meaning that they can "pin" one user's image to their board as well. Once the user has set up their account and boards, they can browse, comment, and like other "pins". If a user wants to turn an image online into a "pin," there are a few simple steps to do so. First, the user must select the image to pin. Second, the user then clicks on the “Add +” button on Pinterest. Third, the user enters an image URL into the link box. Next, the user will select the exact image they wish to pin and place it on the designated board. Users can then describe the pin and share it via Twitter or Facebook. Other users can now click on the pin to see which board the image is pinned in, who pinned the image previously, where the original pin is from, and who has liked, commented, or repinned the image. Pinterest has also added the option of making boards "secret" so that the user can pin to and view boards that only the user can see when logged into their own account. People normally post "selfies" and things they have made. A user can find friends by using his or her Facebook and Twitter accounts. This allows for an easy flow of information through varying infrastructures.

Most Popular Categories
The website has proven especially popular among women. According to Nielsen, in 2012 the U.S. female audience of Pinterest accessing the website through the computer was 70%. The average Pinterest user spent about 90 minutes per month on the website in 2012. The most popular categories on Pinterest are food & drink, DIY & crafts, women's apparel, home decor, and travel.

Users should also keep in mind that Pinterest stores actual copies (not just thumbnails and links) of the images being pinned. This has caused controversy with regards to copyright issues for photographers. The technical underpinnings of Pinterest are not unique: Pinterest uses Amazon S3 cloud storage (running at large datacenters) and data deduplication.

Pinboards can be used by educators to plan lessons. Teachers can pin sites for later referral. Students can pin and organize sources and collaborate on projects.

Pinterest has played a role in the run-up to the 2012 US presidential election. The wives of both candidates created accounts. Ann Romney debuted her Pinterest account in March and First Lady Michelle Obama announced hers in June.

Pinterest does not generate its own content; rather, it draws from many resources around the web and compiles them in one convenient location for users. By transferring information from restricted access to a more open public sphere, information transaction costs have decreased drastically.

The items users pin define their identities and boards they view. Pinterest then modifies a user's homepage to reflect toward his or her interests. However, similar to other online algorithms (e.g. YouTube and Google), this effort to personalize has its drawbacks. By only being shown items users are comfortable with, users are unexposed to foreign ideas. Many users are unaware of the personalization.

Business pages
Pinterest also allows businesses to create pages aimed at promoting their businesses online. Such pages can serve as a "virtual storefront". In one case study of a fashion website, users visiting from Pinterest spent $180 compared with $85 spent from users coming from Facebook. These users spent less time on the company's website, choosing instead to browse from the company's pinboard. Further brand studies have continued to show Pinterest is more effective at driving sales than other forms of social media. In 2013, Pinterest introduced a new tool called 'Rich Pins', to enhance the customer experience when browsing through pins made by companies. Business pages can include prices of products, ratings of movies or ingredients for recipes.

User Data and Business Usage
Like Facebook and Twitter, Pinterest will now allow marketers access to the data collected on its users. Technology providers including Salesforce, Hootsuite, Spredfast, Percolate, Piqora, Curalate, and Tailwind are presently the only companies granted access to the data. By granting access to users data, Pinterest will allow marketers to investigate how people respond to products. If a product has a high number of "repins", this generally tells the producer of the product that it is well liked by many members of the Pinterest community. Now that Pinterest is allowing marketers access to the data, companies will also be able to view comments of the user in connection to the product to gain more understanding of how people like or dislike it. A 2013 study on Pinterest practices found that "repinning" was the most popular action by users, followed by "likes", and lastly, commenting. According to Salesforce, Pinterest has become a key part of corporate digital marketing strategies. Before 2013, Pinterest only accounted for about 2 per cent of global social-mediated sales, however it has recently substantially increased to about 23 per cent. People use social media sites like Pinterest to direct or guide their choices in products. However, at this time, the data collected from Pinterest is predominantly from female users. A recent study found that 80% of Pinterest users are women. Many businesses use Pinterest Analytics to investigate whether the time spent on the social networking site is actually producing results or not. Through the access of Pinterest Analytics, companies receive insight to data via API , which makes it easier for the businesses using this method to closely engage with the consumer population on Pinterest. Pinterest Analytics is much like Google Analytics. It is a created service that generates comprehensive statistics on a specific website's traffic, commonly used by marketers. "Pins", "pinners", "repins", and "repinners" are just some of the aspects of user data provided by Pinterest Analytics. It also creates data to depict the percentage of change within a specific time frame in order to understand if a product is more "liked" on a specific day during the week, or slowly becoming unpopular. This data allows marketing agencies to alter their strategies in order to gain more popularity, often changing the visual content to appeal to the Pinterest community. The "Most Clicked" tab provided by Pinterest Analytics is crucial in demonstrating products that are more likely to be bought. A study conducted by Converto showed that in April 2012, Pinterest was more responsible for for all social media ecommerce sites than Facebook and Twitter. Companies also can add their own ideas and features to help understand how consumers respond to a product, like the new "Pinterest Trends" product, Piqora. Piquora is a visual analytics and marketing provider for specifically visual social networking sites including Tumblr, Instagram, and now Pinterest. Piqora's "Pinterest Trends" allow marketers to gather insights to guide the brand's performance against its competitors on Pinterest. As of today, Piqora is the only company to deliver category, competitive, and group based trends.

Demographics
Globally, the site is most popular with women. In 2012, it was reported that 83% of the global users were women. Britain, however, seems to be an exception. As of March 2012, 56% of the users were male and their age profile was different too, being about 10 years younger than in the U.S., where the predominant age range was typically 35-44. In terms of age distribution, the Pinterest demographic closely resembles the U.S. Internet population.
Growth

For January 2012, comScore reported the site had 11.7 million unique U.S. visitors, making it the fastest site ever to break through the 10 million unique visitor mark. comScore recorded a unique users moving average growth of 85% from mid-January to mid-February and a 17% growth from mid-February to mid-March.

Much of the service's early user base consisted of infrequent contributors. The site's user growth, which slowed in March 2012, could pick up as the site's user base solidifies around dedicated users according to a comScore representative. In August 2012, Pinterest overtook competing micro-blogging site Tumblr for the first time in terms of unique monthly visitors, clocking in at just under 25 million.

In February 2013, Reuters and ComScore stated that Pinterest had 48.7 million users globally. A study released in July 2013 by French social media agency Semiocast revealed the website had 70 million users worldwide.

Pinterest will generate its first revenue this year, when it begins charging advertisers to promote their wares to the site's millions of hobbyists, vacation planners and do-it-yourselfers. Ads on the site could generate as much as $500 million in 2016, estimates Michael Pachter, an analyst at Wedbush Securities.

Launching Pinterest Business
Pinterest first conceptualized in December 2009 by co-founders Ben Silbermann, Evan Sharp and Paul Sciarra. The first prototype was launched in March 2010 and made available to a small group of colleagues and family members. Since its inception, it has developed into a well-funded site financially supported by a group of successful entrepreneurs and investors including FirstMark Capital, Jack Abraham (Milo), Michael Birch (Bebo), Scott Belsky (Behance), Shana Fisher (Highline Venture Partners), Ron Conway (SV Angel), Kevin Hartz (EventBrite), Jeremy Stoppelman (Yelp), Hank Vigil, Fritz Lanman, and Brian S. Cohen.

Although the founders of Pinterest have not cited any specific influences, a number of companies preceded Pinterest in the development of visual bookmarking, including Yelp co-founder David Galbraith's invention of Wists in 2005, and later sites such as ThisNext and Stylehive.

In early 2011, the company secured a $10 million USD Series A financing led by Jeremy Levine and Sarah Tavel of Bessemer Venture Partners. In October 2011, after an introduction from Kevin Hartz and Jeremy Stoppelman, the company secured $27 million USD in funding from Andreessen Horowitz, which valued the company at $200 million USD.

Retail companies have taken advantage of Pinterest for advertising and style trending. The web design provides an ideal layout for "style conscious retailers", where products can easily be visualized within a consumer context. Companies like The Gap, Chobani, Nordstrom and West Elm use Pinterest as a tool for online referrals that link users with similar interests to a company. The Gap has arguably taken the biggest initiative in their use of Pinterest, employing their own themed pinboards such as "Denim Icons" and "Everybody in Gap".

Baynote founder Scott Brave sees Pinterest as an ideal environment to collect affinity data; a resource that holds the potential for substantial demand and income. This data "reveals valuable relationships between consumer behaviours, products and content", where it can be collected and sold as marketing analysis.

In May 2012, Pinterest was valued at $1.5 billion. In February 2013, it was valued at $2.5 billion. In October 2013, it was valued at $3.8 billion. In May 2014, it was valued at $5 billion.

How Pinterest Handles Copyrighted content
Pinterest has a notification system which allows copyright holders to request that content be removed from the site. The Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) safe harbor status of Pinterest has been questioned given that it actively promotes its users to copy to Pinterest, for their perpetual use, any image on the Internet. Pinterest users cannot claim safe harbor status and as such are exposed to possible legal action for pinning copyrighted material. Because Pinterest allows user to transfer information, intellectual property rights come to play. Pinterest's system is in line with Nicolas de Condorcet's view that the public’s interest in knowledge trumps the author’s property rights. Pinterest promotes the flow of information.

A "nopin" HTML meta tag was released by Pinterest on 20 February 2012 to allow websites to opt out of their images being pinned. On 24 February 2012, Flickr implemented the code to allow users to opt out their photos.

Pinterest released a statement in March 2012 saying it believed it was protected by the DMCA's safe harbor provisions. No major copyright lawsuits have emerged as of March 2012.

In early May 2012, the site added automatic attribution of authors on images originating from Flickr, Behance, YouTube and Vimeo. Automatic attribution was also added for Pins from sites mirroring content on Flickr. At the same time Flickr added a Pin shortcut to its share option menu to users who have not opted out of sharing their images.

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