By June 20, 2012 1 Comments

RSVP to the Pin Party: Incorporating Pinterest into your Social/SEO Strategy

Pinterest party

By now the world is inundated with talk of Pinterest, the fastest growing social network on the interwebs. It seems that everyone has been invited to the Pinterest party, and with over 20 million users it’s safe to assume this party’s not ending anytime soon. And, as SEO and Social Media continue to converge, the party is only going to get bigger.

Pinterest is predominantly a female community with over 80% of its female users in the 25-44 age rangePinterest users are highly engaged: spending an average of 80 minutes pinning daily. That’s a lot of engagement among a highly defined audience. No doubts about it, you need to be at this party.

While brands, bloggers and social media enthusiasts are leveraging Pinterest for branding and customer relationship purposes, SEOs can join in on the social media fun, participate in the Pinterest community and get the added benefit.

RSVP: The Benefits of Using Pinterest

While Pinterest has been touted for its image-based social networking, awesome community building and brand awareness, these things aren’t inherently a part of the SEO wheelhouse. We ultimately want to know that using and leveraging a social network will help build a site’s authority as well as influence the SERPs. #Truth

But before you pass on the Pinterest party, there are more optimization benefits to using Pinterest than you think. Not only are there amazing traffic benefits to using Pinterest (with over 20 million users, the referral traffic stats have been staggering), there are link building opportunities and social signaling. As with other social networks, Pinterest should be integrated into your SEO/Social strategy for a holistic effort.

Mix & Mingle: Interaction is Key with Pinterest

Like all social networks, interaction and community are key. With Pinterest being the new kid on the block, it’s tempting to treat it like the other networks, but Pinterest is not Twitter or Facebook and its audience interacts in its own unique way.

Pinterest is about building a brand personality through curated boards and images. By pinning interesting content to your boards, being inspirational and focusing on what your customers repin, SEOs can leverage Pinterest to gauge customer interest.

Repining images from relevant influencers who match your brands’ tone and personality helps to build relationships with key influencers to possibly leverage in the future. The best practice for Pinterest is to curate fun and interesting boards that evoke emotion and, above all, pin images that are repinnable. Would your customer want to print this image? If not, it’s probably not pin-worthy.

Don’t Be Awkward: Use Social Signals

Search marketers can harness Pinterest for more than just brand building. The images that users pin and repin are indicative of interest and can provide strong signals about what your customers are interested in. It’s not clear if these signals will have any influence on search engines in the future, but you never know.

Track what pins are getting the most traction, optimize these pins to include detailed descriptions and use this data to inform your content on other properties. When possible, pin images directly from your website to ensure a backlink to the image source. This leads to the next important part of a party: making lasting connections.

Make Connections: Linking Opportunities 

While backlinks from Pinterest are nofollow, there is still some benefit to gaining inbound links to your website and pages from Pinterest. As I mentioned above, when an image is repined it maintains the original link source. Get enough repins and you have a natural social link building campaign that can be a small piece of a bigger effort.

This goes back to the importance of pinning images and content that is highly relevant and useful to your audience. Additionally, adding Pinterest buttons to your webpages, will encourage pinning images directly from your site.

Brands on Pinterest

Fashion, retail and lifestyle brands are doing exceptionally well on Pinterest. Here are a few brands that are the life of the Pinterest party. They are pinning engaging content, interacting and reaping the social rewards of Pinterest.

Whole Foods

Whole Foods Market on Pinterest

Nordstrom

Nordstrom on Pinterest

Michael’s Craft Stores

Michael's Stores on Pinterest

 In Summary

Pinterest is the new Social hangout. Millions of people come together to inspire and be inspired through visual inspiration boards. Brands can tap directly into this by creating relevant, targeted boards, interacting in a natural manner, pinning images that are interesting, inspirational and repin-worthy and paying attention to social signals.

Pinterest is predominantly a female community with over 80% of its female users in the 25-44 age range. Pinterest users are highly engaged: spending an average of 80 minutes pinning. That’s a lot of engagement among a highly defined audience. No doubts about it, you need to be at this party.

Posted in: SEO, Social

About the Author:

Fajr Muhammad is a writer, blogger and digital marketer with more than 5 years’ experience in the SEO, content marketing, blogging and social media space. Fajr currently lives in New York, loves Mad Men and has an obscene amount of shoes. You can follow her on Twitter @fajrmuhammad or circle her on Google +.

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