Pinterest Marketing Etiquette: How to Not be Sleazy

Old car for sale as "Today's Special"
What is correct Pinterest marketing etiquette? Might you be coming across as sleazy?

Pinterest has taken the internet by storm. While Twitter, Facebook, and other social media sites allow people to share links that they love, Pinterest has gone a step further by focusing on that in particular. Are you taking advantage of this new marketing platform?

Every marketer has a customer base, even if it is only potential customers. Each person that reads your content, buys your product, or clicks on an ad that is on your website is a customer. Pinterest is a unique tool to reach thousands of potential customers in a short time.

Users of Pinterest are not just sharing things they find humorous online with followers. Unlike the LOLcat filled newsfeeds of Facebook, people using Pinterest use and share their ‘pins’. By sharing your information on Pinterest and involving yourself among the users there, you are creating a loyal following.

Marketing doesn’t have to be boring or ‘sleazy’. For example: Twitter is full of people tweeting “Look at my website!” or “Check out my new book!”. There are millions of these tweets each day. People get tired of this sort of behavior and begin blocking marketers.

Don’t let your Pinterest account fall prey to this sort of behavior. While you may really, really want to reach people and sell you product – avoid the sleaze. When someone you are following adds a new pin, don’t rush to comment with a link back to your own site or by inviting their followers to look at your boards.

Take time to look at the boards and pins of people you are following. Repin things that you genuinely find interesting or that you think others may enjoy. When you are doing internet surfing that is not related to your business, be sure to pin things that you find interesting. Your Pinterest boards should never be related to only your business.

The key in using Pinterest as a marketing tool is to remember that the site is a social network. You are not just marketing your product, you are marketing yourself. You are your brand when dealing with Pinterest. Other users will prefer to know you and the closer potential customers feel to a business or product creator, the more likely it is they will purchase your service or product.

Keep it real, keep it personal, and enjoy the profits of social networking.

Photo by Hugo90

3 Top Reasons to Leave Pinterest and Join The Fancy

Leaving Pinterest for Fancy
There’s a new, up-and-coming competitor to Pinterest. But what is it and why do you need to know?

The Fancy, less pretentious that its name implies, is slicker and shinier. It’s like a rich new kid who moves to town in the middle of the school year, and effortlessly becomes a style role model for both students and teachers. There is something about The Fancy that makes you want to sit next to them, hoping some of their gloss will rub off.

Pinterest is far from dead, but here are three reasons you should switch your marketing efforts from Pinterest to Fancy.

1. Purpose. Whereas Pinterest was created as an online scrapbook, The Fancy was designed as a marketing portal. It is made for selling, giving users a viable platform from which to generate revenue. It gives users the same ability to create boards with things they have found online and like, but also allows them to click straight though and buy them. It lets brands offer deals on items that have a high number of Fancies, directly targeting consumers who have already shown an interest.

2. Numbers. “Ah”, you say, “but Pinterest has over 11 million users, while The Fancy only has around 250,000. My Pins will reach a wider market than my Fancies”. It is true that The Fancy has a much smaller user base than Pinterest, however it is growing rapidly. Even better, The Fancy’s appeal is broader. While 98% of American Pinterest users are women, The Fancy’s demographic is much more evenly split, with 60% of their users being men. The Fancy’s users are much more active, averaging nearly 67 Fancies per user, compared with 3 Pins.

3. Style. If Pinterest is Good Housekeeping and Oprah, then The Fancy is Think Design or luxe, catering for an audience that sees themselves as leading the way when it comes to style and technology trends.

If you have struggled to fit your company and products into the Pinterest mold, you really should check out The Fancy. Not only does it put you directly in front of your main audience, it makes it quick and easy for them to buy.

Photo by skippyjon

Pinterest – Why it’s Not Just for Girls

Editor: This is the third in our series on Pinterest and men. In this article, Sharon Howard looks at how the demographics of Pinterest vary by country.

You’re a guy — why would you want to look at kittens and cakes?

Your target audience is male. How can you draw them into Pinterest?

After all Pinterest is a girl thing, right?

Wrong.

Sure, there are plenty of bored housewives posting pictures of home furnishings, recipes and cute and cuddly things.

And, true, overall worldwide the largest demographic using Pinterest currently is women (74%) aged 35-44, earning $25,000 – $49,000, the top interest being Fashion Designers & Collections.

In the USA, women make up 81% of Pinterest users.

But elsewhere that trend is being bucked.

Males are out-pinning females in a number of countries around the world…

Male dominance of Pinterest (% of users by Country)

Australia 55%

Brazil 81%

France 78%

Germany 86%

Italy 79%

Japan 57%

Spain 79%

Switzerland 82%

UK 64%

(Data from : Google Ad Planner)

The top interest for UK male users is Public Relations, while the earning capacity of these users is in the higher end – £50,000+.

What does this mean for business?

Well, first of all the spending capacity of these high-earning males is much greater and with the knowledge that Pinterest is already generating more referral traffic than Twitter and Google+ the likelihood of converting a referral to income for your business is much greater if you are targeting this audience with your pins.

So, if your target market is young, wealthy males, here are the top 5 things you need to be pinning about:

  1. Public Relations
  2. Web Stats and Analytics
  3. Scripting Languages
  4. Graphic Design
  5. SEO and Marketing

Not forgetting the other interests that are likely to attract men to your boards such as cars & motorcycles, sports, technology and ‘geek’.

There are a number of interesting boards reaching this male audience already. Here is a list of the top 5 male Pinners. Why not follow a couple yourself to see what they are doing to give you ideas for your own boards?

 (Data from: zoomsphere)

And the wildcard, not in the top 5 but worthy of checking out:

Board of Man – http://pinterest.com/drewhawkins/board-of-man/

Photo by: Kalexanderson

4 Reasons Why Guys Should Use Pinterest

Photo by Till Krech

Editor: In the second article in our series on Pinterest and men, Samantha Hames looks at why Pinterest can be fun for guys, too.

Pinterest has 10.4 million users. Roughly 80% of those 10 million users are female. Even despite the fact that we now know women dominate almost all forms of social media; this figure is still surprisingly high.

Surely it would be far too easy to point to pictures of kittens and wedding dresses, claim that comparing shoes or favourite shades of eye shadow is the reason why so many women continue to use and adore Pinterest. Yes, it’s perfect for boasting about that steal of a handbag. Yes, of course you can share those pictures of your new baby. Hell, drop enough well placed pins and he might even buy you that necklace for your birthday. But that would be too easy.

Women dominate Pinterest for the same reason that they dominate all other social media platforms, they love to communicate. It’s a cliché but it’s true. The reason why so many women love Pinterest in particular is because it allows them to share, and to share immediately. Now from a feminist’s point of view, Pinterest is a bit of a mixed bag. A social media site that self generates female friendly content; very, very good. But a social media site that thrives almost solely on female content is a double edged sword; a double edged sword covered in glitter, fur and snapshots of bunny rabbits. What Pinterest needs…is more men.

So in the spirit of embracing all that is manly, here are 4 wonderful reasons why Pinterest is fun for guys too…

1. Pinterest can help you put up that new wardrobe you just bought

Hey, you there! Are you a man? Can you put up shelves like a pro? I bet you can. You can’t? But you don’t want anybody to know that? That’s cool my friend. Pinterest could be all the help you need.

The Pinterest trend of sharing practical knowledge/skills does not have to be restricted to sewing patterns and pasta bowls. Because let’s face it, in the same way that not all women are domestic goddesses born with perfect Sunday roast skills, not all men are born with the ability to effortlessly put up furniture. Even with its minority proportion of male users, Pinterest features endlessly practical information like how to start and maintain a camping fire, what the perfect furniture for a bachelor pad looks like, and how to create and stencil retro t-shirt designs.

Remember. Share, share, and share again. Whether you’re the know it all who can help others, or the desperate man in need of guidance, Pinterest could be your haven. Use it wisely.

2. Pinterest will save you from wasting your time on that Steven Seagal movie

Ever watched a film so bad it made you want to cry? Well, Pinterest could help you there too. With its millions of user’s, watching thousands of films on a daily basis, Pinterest is the amateur movie critic’s hotspot. Want to know your Fellini from your Bunuel? Don’t know whether to invest those three hours in The Green Mile? Fear not, there are pins out there for you.

Surprisingly, when it comes to movies, there is no real gender divide or dominance on Pinterest. Similarly, the spread of mainstream and alternative cinema is relatively equal too. Everything from macho classics like Die Hard, to edgy comedies like Coffee and Cigarettes are regularly pinned and discussed.

So whether you want to share your favourite movies, find something new to watch, or even prevent another innocent victim from falling prey to John Travolta’s Battlefield Earth; Pinterest is for you.

3. Pinterest will teach you how to make a pizza ice cream

Just 5 minutes of casual Pinterest surfing was enough to unearth these weird and wonderful culinary gems; the pizza taco, cake filled egg shells, bacon crumble, sausage cheese muffins and the hamburger entirely wrapped in bacon. Oh and of course, the pizza ice cream; a feat that actually looks far tastier than it probably deserves.

Men! Why let the ladies have all the fun? Grab your slab of cheese, your plate of meat and your tomato sauce, and create something beautiful. Vegetarian? Don’t worry, Pinterest caters for all. And don’t forget to pass on your creations, via pinned photographs and shared recipes. Just imagine if the world had been deprived of the humble banana split hot dog. God bless you Pinterest.

4. Duh, Pinterest is 80% female

Trying to woo an attractive lady? Have no idea what to get your wife for her birthday? Don’t know whether your girlfriend would be up for a pizza ice cream? Ask Pinterest.

With its staggering 80% of female users, Pinterest is a veritable goldmine when it comes to information about the opposite sex. Whether you go for the direct route and confidently appeal to its charming and intelligent lady-folk for guidance; or you take the sneakier way and stealthily mine its pins for that perfect romantic meal or those inexplicably expensive high heeled shoes; joining Pinterest could be your key to romantic bliss.

 

So there you have it. 4 wonderful reasons why Pinterest is fun for guys too.

Revealed: Why Pinterest isn’t So Popular with Men

Editor: This is the first in a series of articles about Pinterest and men. In this article, Oliver Newson looks at why Pinterest is less popular with guys.

When I logged onto Pinterest today, I was greeted with a bag, a scarf, cable knit blankets, pillows and a lovely landscape of Iceland on the first row of pins. Out of those five, only one appealed to me (and it’s not Iceland). Could this answer my query as to why 80% of Pinterest users are women?

Vicious Circle

Now, hear out this little theory of mine. Presumably, if the majority of Pinterest users are women, the majority of pins will be female-orientated. This doesn’t include the minority of women who pin photos of men’s fashion or sports cars. Before you say anything, like a recent Wall Street Journal blog post, I wrote that “at the risk of sounding sexist”. Put simply, if men do not sign up then men simply will not be tempted to sign up.

Shop Till You Drop

The same blog post continued to write that “women tend to like to shop more than men do”. This may be a generalisation, but perhaps men just don’t have any interest in the multitude of pins that link directly to boutique online stores.

Personalisation is Key

There is a chance that I’m being unfair here. After all, I am relatively new to the Pinterest scene and, as such, haven’t yet fully customised my user experience. However, having said that, I think that men should be able to use this website without spending a lot of time and effort tailoring the site to suit their tastes. I feel as if it’s much easier for a woman to approach the site for the first time and find things of interest.

Inside Track

Here’s an interesting reason why more men should join Pinterest. A post on MSN suggests that Pinterest is “essentially a guide telling men everywhere exactly what women want.” While that may be useful, what about what men want?

Photo by William Brawley

The Real Truth About Pinterest’s Valuation

Toy Held Precariously High in the Air
TechCrunch’s Alexia Tsotsis wrote today about some rumoured interest in investing in Pinterest at a billion dollar valuation. That would be a crazy amount of money. But probably not for the reason you think.

Pinterest’s growth over the last year has been astonishing by any measure. They’re one of the fastest-growing independent websites of all time. And growth of that sort attracts attention from venture capitalists.

Pinterest’s Valuation

It’s all quite simple. With a growth curve like Pinterest’s, when you project into the future, their current 10 million+ users quickly ramp up to hundreds of millions. That’s pretty staggering. And even though they don’t currently have much in the way of a revenue model, with that many people using your site, there’s got to be a way to make money from them.

That’s why investors are excited. They’re looking to where they think Pinterest is going to be.

But I suspect they’re looking in the wrong place.

Pinterest’s growth curve could be about to look very different.

The End of The (Growth) Road

As we’ve outlined in this blog already, recent data suggest that Pinterest’s impressive growth may be well and truly over.

New data we’ve seen today from AppData look at the number of people logging into Pinterest via their Facebook credentials.

Back in February, that data was showing a consistent, healthy rise to 10 million and beyond.

Now, the graph looks very different. According to AppData, Pinterest’s monthly active users peaked at around 12.4 million back in March and has been falling steadily to around 11.1 million now.

Unless the data start looking very different soon, investors expecting continued hockey stick growth are going to be sorely disappointed.

Is Pinterest worth $1 billion? Let us know in the comments.

 Photo by kodomut

7 Signs You Are a Pinterest Addict

Addicted
Are you a Pinterest addict?

With recipes, craft projects, fashion ideas and hundreds of other subjects to explore, it’s easy to spend hours on the website. And people do.

There are a number of signs that a friend or loved one may have become addicted to Pinterest. Use this handy list to check whether an acquaintance or friend has any of these “pinning” symptoms.

1. Building a grocery list from only Pinterest recipes. A Pinterest addict may rely on Pinterest to find all their weekly recipes. If a grocery list has crazy items like capers, Nutella and truffles and not milk, eggs and bread — they may have a problem.

2. When a family member asks if the new dinner recipe, craft project or outfit was from a pin on a Pinterest account — it’s a sure sign of a probable addiction to the site. If all creativity to come up with outfits for one’s daughter, dinner ideas or how to decorate a bedroom come from Pinterest — it means an addiction to pinning! If a four year old knows what Pinterest is, their mommy or daddy may be spending too much time pinning.

3. Using other social media to talk about a Pinterest account. If someone is using Facebook or Twitter to talk about all the great items they have found on Pinterest, they’re probably spending too much time on their Pinterest account.

4. If all conversations start with “Guess what I saw on Pinterest today?” or something similar, the pinterest user is not only annoying their friends and family, but admitting that they have an addiction. Neither the grocery clerk nor their best friend care that they found a cool use for toilet paper rolls. It’s time to take a break from Pinterest.

5. When a pinner’s children know how to make a doll from recycled dryer lint, their parents are probably addicted. They may not have had a bath, did their chores or played with any of their friends recently, but they have a brand new lint dolly to play with. Mommy spends too much on Pinterest, and now all the children’s activities revolve around projects found on their site.

6. When someone gets overly excited when people “like” or “repin” their pins. If a person is more excited to get an alert about someone repinning their pin than getting an actual phone call — it can be an indication that they have a Pinterest addiction. Forgetting to call a friend after a birth of a baby, or after they get a promotion because Pinterest consumes all of someone’s free time is a sure sign of Pinterest dependence.

7. Spending more time at the craft store than at home is a sign that one’s life is too consumed by Pinterest. Reminding a Pinterest addict to take their kids and dog to the park will help them remember that human interaction is more valuable than social media connection. And hey — they can take a picture and post it on Pinterest later.

Photo by Rick

5 Reasons Pinterest is Better than Twitter

Pinterest vs Twitter
In recent weeks, Pinterest has generated a great deal of buzz as more people — and companies — sign up to this favorite social networking site. But, what’s the appeal? People love Pinterest because it gives them an opportunity to share their passions, and learn about some others that they never even considered. Some women are signing up for Pinterest and planning their weddings, even though they don’t even have a boyfriend.

How does Pinterest compare to Twitter, another favorite social networking site? Here are the top five reasons why Pinterest is better than Twitter:

1. More personal. Of all the social networking sites, Twitter tends to be the least personal, mostly because it was designed as a place to share information in 140 characters or less. Pinterest has put a focus on finding things that you like and pinning them to your profile through various channels. Because of this, people find that they are able to expand their horizons for their hobbies, or even uncover new hobbies.

2. Easy to segment. For anyone who is on Twitter, it’s hard to separate the people you follow. You may be interested in learning about information technology, running and Ireland, but the way Twitter is organized, it appears to be a huge data dump that is hard to sort. The more people that you follow, the more difficult it is to find valuable information. However, Pinterest is the exact opposite. You can follow people’s specific boards, such as “my favorite recipes” or “DIY projects,” or you can look at pre-existing categories for ideas. It’s very easy to find the information you are looking for.

3. Better ideas. Most people are attracted to Pinterest because of the ideas that it generates. There is so much good information on there, and people can’t get enough because of that. Making your own bathroom cleaner, finding a quick dessert recipe and how to overhaul your desk chair for $10 are a few projects that inspire people on Pinterest. Twitter, on the other hand, usually involves the regurgitation or analysis of already existing news.

4. Lack of drama. People can comment on pins and provide feedback on ideas, but it’s not as open as Twitter. Twitter brings a lot of drama to surface — most people Tweet when they are upset or want to make a point about something. People are attracted to Pinterest because they have the opportunity to form their own opinions about the things they see, and don’t need to mine through other opinions first to find the information that they want.

5. Relevance. Let’s face it, how many tweets are truly memorable? There are millions of tweets that fly across the web each day, and many of these are snarky comments that are forgettable. Pinterest appeals to many because it has relevance and value to their personal lives. They are able to solve issues that have cropped up in their lives, and find ideas for how to approach upcoming events. It is directly related to their personal life and can be made as personal as people want. Even for the companies that are now on Pinterest, it gives them an opportunity to exude a personality through images that just isn’t possible on Twitter.

Overall, Pinterest and Twitter are two different sites with two different goals. However, as social media networking goes, Pinterest often offers the better option because users are able to zone in on what exactly they are looking for. Whether they want new recipes or ideas for an upcoming birthday party, Pinterest is there to help.

Top 10 Scary Downsides to Pinterest

Not on Pinterest yet? Feeling left out? It seems like everyone in the “in crowd” is busy pinning everything they love on Pinterest, the newest social media darling. There are, however, some potential negatives that some people are finding downright scary.

1. Legal issues. According to Pinterest’s Terms of Use section, members are completely responsible for anything they pin/repin and must have owner permission. If you don’t have permission, you are violating the Terms of Service, which theoretically could result in criminal charges.

2. Personal property issues. Pinterest retains the rights to any images you post, even personal pictures, and they make copies of all images pinned. Once pinned, others can use your pictures any way they like. This leads to potential copyright issues, and fair use provisions may be insufficient protection.

3. Marketing. Many people are seeing Pinterest as a great marketing venue. They are linking to you, but they are not your friends: they want you to buy their product.

4. Unintentional violation of rights and theft of copyright. People pin a work of art they love thinking they are helping the artist by providing exposure. Unfortunately many artists do not agree and do not want their art pinned. Recently there were complaints that artisan sales community Etsy had put “pin it” buttons on items without artist permission.

5. The “by invitation only” system gives a false sense of exclusivity. Anyone can join, all you have to do is ask.

6. Personal information used in targeted marketing. Other social media sites are already going in this direction. Pinning items that reflect who you are provides a rich source of marketing information.

7. Pictures and privacy. The majority of users are women. Posting of personal pictures could lead to compromise of privacy and misuse by shady members.

8. Photographers self-promoting. Some are pinning their own work excessively in the hopes of getting noticed and making sales, creating animosity among users who consider this contrary to the intent of Pinterest.

9. Promotion of consumerist mentality. Pinterest is full of pictures of amazing weddings and wonderful possessions. People may be inclined to spend time looking at things they can never afford to own instead of spending time with loved ones.

10. Loss of time. Users of other social media already know this one. Pinterest will consume your life if you aren’t careful!

10 Pinterest Users We Don’t Want to See Leave

Pinterest has quickly become the latest social networking trend. With its pinboard-style design, the site allows users to share their theme-based image collections. As with all social networking sites, Pinterest is what you make of it, but we think these users bring out the best in the site.

1. Hansol Kim

Hansol Kim offers followers a platform for his gorgeous photography. It’s a great board not only for the amateur photographer, but for those interested in a number of photography techniques. Kim separates his boards by poses, movements and lighting, giving you an inside look at his work.

2. The Perfect Palate

Pinterest has a reputation as a great source for wedding planning ideas. With so many users offering wedding tips, it may be tough to sort through the best ones. The Perfect Palate presents followers with a number of boards that offer colors, fabrics and other fabulous ideas for your big day.

3. Jane Wang

Jane Wang is one of the most popular users on Pinterest. She often pins photographs that range through a number of topics, so no matter what your interests are, there’s bound to be something on her page that catches your eye.

4. Whole Foods

The grocery store chain offers a fun board that comes complete with delicious recipes and tips on living a green lifestyle. It’s great board for those looking for a unique meal idea or to see what their local Whole Foods may have in stock.

5. Time Magazine

Time Magazine offers a collection of its covers from its entire publication history. In addition, the magazine’s board offers a sampling of interviews, reviews and photography from its extensive collection.

6. Travel Channel

The Travel Channel’s Pinterest board will make you want to book your next vacation immediately. It features several photographs of natural wonders and gorgeous escapes. It’s a great place to inspire your next vacation destination.

7. Oscar PR Girl

Oscar PR Girl is perfect for people who like photos of fashion, gorgeous hairstyles and luxurious interiors. Mix in a little bit of backstage gossip and you have the perfect Pinterest board for the latest Hollywood buzz.

8. Sha Wang

Sha Wang offers his followers a unique view on architectural aesthetics. He organizes his boards based on aesthetics, space and perspective, providing architecture enthusiasts everywhere an insightful look at the buildings that surround them.

9. Christine Martinez

Christine Martinez is a hugely popular user whose boards feature stylish samples of fashion, home interiors and furniture. There’s plenty to see here that is sure to inspire your next home improvement or fashion project.

10. US Army

The US Army may sounds like an odd pick, but it’s content features a number of patriotic DIY projects that are fun for everyone. It also has a couple of fascinating boards that feature the history of the Army’s uniforms as well as a place for pictures of soldiers returning to their families.