Better know an online thingy: Pinterest

Better know an online thingy: Pinterest

Pinterest is popping up like popcorn in all kinds of places these days. Search Engine Optimization circles have been discussing its link building potential pretty loudly of late, and social media channels seem to feature callouts to it pretty regularly.

More often than not, shout-outs aren’t appearing in the usual ‘so-and-so pinned something’ facebook posts, but more as a result of it’s very exclusive-sounding policy of being available by invitation only. It seems to be the hottest party in town, in some circles anyways.

Whatever the reason, Pinterest is a force to be reckoned with right now. It may be the platform du jour, as time has yet to weigh in on the network’s longevity, but it’s definitely gotten some ink of late and so we thought it was worth a closer look.

What is Pinterest?

I think it’s probably fair to think of Pinterest as a kind of hybrid between Stumble Upon and Twitter. Images are the primary fodder of offer here, with the source website being at the end of a long line of clicks which gradually expose more information.

Like twitter, users can follow other users who’s tastes they find interesting, but there is very little in the way of interaction opportunities. You can comment on things, but the social element doesn’t really get much deeper than just seeing what other people have pinned, and maybe the odd comment here and there.

The average user has three primary actions on Pinterest:

  • Pin stuff straight from the web
  • Repin things previously pinned and searchable via the Pinterest website
  • Look at all the stuff other people have pinned.

Should I care?

The platform is impossible to ignore at this point, but the audience seems fairly set. Those users I spoke to seemed fairly convinced that there wasn’t too much to be done with respect to broadening the platform’s appeal beyond their current demographic: younger women with a keen eye for style.

If your target audience fits the profile above, then I really don’t think you can afford to ignore Pinterest. That said, you will need to consider whether gearing your material to be included on the site is worth the investment. While users will happily use the interface as a mutant shop window, getting a listing will need to be properly presented. This will likely take some investment.

How do I get my stuff on Pinterest?

Proper presentation is key. As a very visual network, the picture really is going to sell your content, be that a product, service, or something else. If there’s no picture, you’re not likely to be pinned. Same thing goes if your picture is not good quality.

This doesn’t mean you have to go hire a fashion photographer to shoot your line of shoe horns (though I won’t say that’s a bad idea). You do, though, have to ensure that your pictures are properly optimized and polished.

They also have to be findable. Make sure you’re material is optimized for search engine indexing, and be sure to use other networks to get the ball rolling. Share things elsewhere and its more likely that other users will introduce it to Pinterest on down the road.


All told, Pinterest may or may not be something to pay attention to if you’re marketing online to a suitable target audience. However, the statement “we should be on Pinterest” doesn’t really apply here. This isn’t a conversation so much as it’s a shop window each user can curate on his/her own.

If you’re a web retailer and you’re ensuring quality product representation on your website, all you probably need to do to open your catalogue to exposure there is add a Pinterest option to your product sharing widget. The rest should follow from there.

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