What is Pinterest and How Does It Work? Business, Blogger, and Marketer Explanation
Hey Blogging Family! Today we are going to answer the questions of what is Pinterest and how does it work, and the mindset you should have using Pinterest for business in 2017 and beyond.
READ THIS FIRST PLZ:
Want to get good at Pinterest and have the best experience possible using it?
Pinterest, like everything in life, is all about what you put into it.
I see a lot of business and clever marketers just show up, create a profile, pin a few things, and think, “alright, where’s my mad traffic yo??”
Stop kidding yourself.
The truth is that if you love on Pinterest, Pinterest will love you back.
Take the time to read these posts and get a truly in-depth understanding of what’s going on and why Pinterest exists, and it will serve you well.
This is going to be an incredibly basic explanation for the complete beginner to Pinterest for business and beyond.
Before we begin, know that we teach on this blog from the standpoint of our health and fitness blog, Avocadu.com. That’s right.
We didn’t start out making our money online by teaching others how to make money online, and we don’t JUST blog about blogging.
Our main squeeze is in the health and fitness niche, and that is what we will be talking about below. We absolutely LOVE Pinterest and hope you fall in love as well. 😉
What is Pinterest and How Does it Work?
Some CRAZY Pinterest for Business Stats to Be Aware of…
- Pinterest was founded in March 2010 and still remains the FASTEST growing social media platform, growing by 57% last year alone.
- 110 Million Monthly Users
- Valuation: USD 11 Billion
- The half-life of a Pinterest pin is 3.5 months. That’s 1680x longer than Facebook. Meaning pins continue to get clicks, interest, repins over a LONG period of time.
- 10% of users make more than $100,000 as an annual household (affluent middle class).
- We use Pinterest to drive over 500,000 unique monthly visitors (at the time of this wiritng) to our blog and have not spent a dime on ads. Yep, that’s half a million users with organic traffic. Do I have your attention?
What is Pinterest?
Defined by the company as “The World’s Catalog of Ideas.”
A more comprehensive definition user definition: Pinterest is a place where people curate, consume, and share content that they find relevant and important to them.
People create their own Pinterest boards and account to store these ideas and content for later.
WHY was Pinterest originally created?
Remember those old corkboards where people would pin favorite things (tickets, photos, important documents, etc) like this:
This was the original idea behind Pinterest. It was the online version of the corkboard where you can pin ideas, products, and content that you like.
What are Pins?
Just like pinning to that corkboard, you pin the content you like to your own virtual boards and account. Then, if a friend or customer who is following you sees it and likes that pin, they can also pin it to their own virtual corkboard (this is a repin). Just to clarify:
- Creating your own content or creating an original pin from content you discover online = Pinning.
- Sharing someone else’s content you discover on Pinterest = Repinning.
Most users are only active in repinning and the occasional pinning from websites they enjoy using.
There are all kind of Pins on Pinterest, including infographics, photos, quotes, and even buyable pins where you can buy or sell things directly on Pinterest.
There are videos on Pinterest and unless Pinterest does a MAJOR change to its algorithm, it’s not something to pay much attention to. They don’t perform very well on the platform.
What are boards?
Boards are where you save the pins that you like and create. You can create board for everything from your personal life to your business life. You can see our account has separate boards for yoga, healthy eating, weight loss and more.
There are also group boards where you can collaborate with other pinners to share pins from around the web centered around a specific topic. Ours is that Healthy Living board on the far right.
These are important for businesses and marketers, because the good ones have TONS of followers and organic engagement.
It’s a win-win for collaborators. Pinners request to join my boards, because they can get access to my followers on that board (this is HUGE when you are just starting out and growing your account).
When I accept good pinners on my boards, they pin engaging content that my followers like and that get a lot of repins which drives up the score on my boards. Win-win!
See these resources for more discussion about how to find and join group boards as well as determine whether they are performing well and worth your time.
What kind of content/ideas are on Pinterest?
Pretty much any topic you can think of will have some presence on Pinterest. Health and fitness does not even make up 1% of what people search Pinterest for, yet we have over 80k followers and have over 300,000+ monthly fans visit our blog.
Popular topics include:
- Animals and Pets
- Cars and Motorcycles
- DIY and Crafts
- Film, music, and books
- Food and drink
- Hair and Beauty
- Health and Fitness
- Holidays and events
- Home décor
- Illustrations and posters
- Kids and parenting
- Men’s fashion
- Science and Nature
- Women’s fashion
You’ll also notice that Survival is not on there, yet I personally know of a Survival Blog that makes well into the million dollar per month mark using primarily Pinterest traffic.
These topics are not limited to what you see, and almost any niche can find success here.
Pinterest is NOT a “social” media.
What? Let me explain…
The reason I say it’s not a social media is because of how people use the platform… Compared to Facebook, Instagram, and others, nobody is actually socializing on Pinterest.
We talk more about the mistake of commenting on Pinterest in our article on Pinterest marketing mistakes. Users don’t even really purposefully “share” content… There is no share button.
Users are usually just pinning the things they like, and their friends see it and can repin it as well.
Pinterest is a discovery media, not a social one.
Users also search out content via Pinterest JQuery search engine or discover it in their feed.
This is KEY to what makes Pinterest soooooo much different and truly BETTER than other social media platforms. Pinterest is INFINTELY more powerful for organic reach, than say, Facebook.
Facebook is great, but nobody uses Facebook to search for content. Facebook is passive. A ‘you’ve got to come to me’ sort of thing…
Most Pinterest users are on Pinterest actively seeking out new content, ideas, and products via the search engine and their feed.
Think about it as sort of a fun, shareable, and visually beautiful Google.
How do you guys use Pinterest for your business?
The biggest mistake businesses and bloggers make on Pinterest: Asking for the sale too soon.
A buyable pin or direct link to a product is not going to be shared virally and is not maximizing Pinterest’s potential reach.
Since we want to use Pinterest’s insane viral capabilities, we pin relevant blog posts and articles to have them engage with our content FIRST before introducing our product.
This is also why we get pins with 10s of thousands of repins: Using Pinterest has allowed us to generate over 500,000 unique visitors a month without spending a dime on traffic!
We share helpful content they love and will pin for later (and that that their friends can see)! Only once someone is on our blog and has read some of our content will they ever be “sold.” Eventually when we grow a big enough following, we will try out buyable pins to our fans.
For now, the smart business model is long term growth > short term sales.
This is the smart way to use Pinterest right now.
Anything else I really need to know?
The best way to learn Pinterest is to get started using it! There first thing you should do is check out this article to get started: How to Drive 300k+ Views/Month to Your Blog
Follow the step-by-step process and get started using it today. I hope this post served in giving you a better understand of what Pinterest is all about.
Additional Topics and Resources:
- 10 Pinterest Tips and Tricks for Beginners
- How to Get More Followers on Pinterest
- Pinterest for Business – The Ultimate Beginner’s Guide
- 10 Marketing Mistakes “Experts” Still Teach
And our ultimate resource for success using Pinterest for your business: Pinterest Organic Traffic Avalanche
Create something awesome today!
Create and Go
P.S. What are some of the questions you had about in this post that did NOT get answered? Did you get what you needed? Let me know in the comments below!
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Alex & Lauren
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