Social Media Marketing Primer: Pinterest

By: Christina Sagarino & Kristen Bania

About Pinterest

Pinterest is a social media platform that was created in 2009 and later launched in 2010. The site was created by three men: Ben Silbermann, Paul Sciarra, and Evan Sharp. The founders describe the company as being a “catalogue of ideas,” rather than a social network. Pinterest can be accessed on the internet, as well as smartphones and tablets like the iPhone or iPad. The website only allows you to look at it’s content if you are a registered user with a valid email. Pinterest is valued at $11 billion dollars, as of 2015, and has 100 million users worldwide. The site has 50 billion pins, 1 billion boards, and 75% of market of usage derives from mobile phones. Pinterest is considered one of the four ways people find things on the internet these days. Aside from using Google, Facebook and Twitter to find information, people also resort to using Pinterest to capture ideas to help them with projects, cooking, etc. The website seems to be more popular amongst women, at a 70% usage rate, as apposed to men in the U.S.

Pinterests’ Features

Pinterest is a no-cost catalogue of ideas used by many users around the world. Users can upload, save, sort, and manage images, known as pins, and other media content throughout their Pinboards. Pinboards are different boards (picture a bulletin board with pictures/notes tacked to it) that users can attach and see all of the ideas that you have bookmarked on the site. Users have the option to create different Pinboards and name them as they like, for example, “Recipes”, “Tattoo Ideas”, “Wedding”, etc. Some of the top searched boards are Food & Drink, DIY and Crafts, Women’s Apparel, Home Décor, and Travel. Users use the “Pin It” button when they see something that they like and want to refer back to it for later use. Say, for instance, you see a recipe for chocolate chip cookies that you really would like to try making. All you have to do is click the “Pin It” button and it will pin to your profile and be easily accessible for later use. The images come directly from the internet so if you are searching for a certain type of shoes, say Uggs for instance, many different styles will come up and the picture that you click on will take you to the actual website of the Ugg distributor, where you can purchase the shoes.

On the site, you can follow users and they can follow you. When you follow someone you are allowed to see their boards and what they have been pinning. This can be helpful if you are supposed to be picking out a gift for someone, this can allow you to see what the other person likes and maybe wants to buy for themselves in the future. Another feature Pinterest offers is being able to link to Facebook and Twitter. This makes it easy for you to post tweets about the pins you’ve been posting to your boards and also to post to your Facebook wall so that your friends who don’t have a Pinterest can see things you’ve been looking at.

Pinterest and Marketing

Pinterest is one of the most fast growing websites right now and it recently just hit 100 million visitors, which is an extreme success. It has made a huge impact on businesses and does an awesome job with driving traffic, leads, and sales. Pinterest drives lots of traffic, you cannot just rely on your website to increase sales, and you need to generate traffic in order to increase sales or leads. Pinterest is a great way to increase links back to your website which drives more traffic. It does an even better job at directing traffic back to the websites unlike Facebook and Twitter and other social media websites. Pinterest is already driving more traffic than Google+.

Pinterest Drives Traffic

Another major component is how pins get you more inbound links. Right when the viewers see what they love on Pinterest, all you have to do is click the picture and the link of the website is right there. Every pin includes a link, which is extremely easy to use. “Links built through images are some of the best links you can acquire when it comes to actual engagement,” says John Jantsch of Duct Tape Marketing. Almost all 95% of the images on Pinterest were either pinned or re-pinned from the web.

Pinterest is such a good way to see what is trending or what kind of fashion is trending, for example. This really gets all the viewers and consumers engaged easily in going through the website and pinning different items or ideas that they love.

There is such a high interaction and engagement on this website because this website is purely visual. It is so much easier to see things that you love when they are images and click on the links to see to get directed to the website unlike other websites. People have used the saying “Pinterest is so addictive.” This is true because it is a collection of images and a visual website of what is trending. Pinterest also integrates with your Twitter account, website and Facebook profile. This makes it possible to post pins onto their Facebook news feed so all of their friends can see it. Everyone who is friends on Facebook with you will be able to look at the pin bringing even more traffic into the businesses websites. Marketers can also add a “pin it” button to their website or blog making it so much easier for visitors to see the products. Pinterest has just introduced their new Buyable pin feature, this means that users can directly make purchases from the companies that include ‘Buy It” buttons on their pins. This feature makes it easier for the customers to purchase their item and contribute to the bottom line of their brand.

Pinterest does such a great way of exploring and showing new trends from fashion to ideas such as new recipes. It is an excellent website for marketing company’s products for everyone to see. Pinterest makes it possible for increasing links back to websites, which drives traffic and increases sales every single day.

13 thoughts on “Social Media Marketing Primer: Pinterest

  1. Teresa Polli November 17, 2015 / 7:41 pm

    I think that Pinterest does not get as much recognition as it deserves. When you think of social media Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter would come to mind before Pinterest. I recently downloaded a Pinterest and I my only regret is not getting it sooner. I am surprised to read the numbers above because I did not realize how popular it was. I think this popularity may be in the numbers but I don’t think Pinterest is a social media that is checked daily by its users. However, I would encourage anyone to create a Pinterest Account. Instead of sharing status’s, Pinterest allows its users to share their ideas. I go to Pinterest for everything from recipes to DIY gifts. Now that it has a shopping button I am on it even more. Not only do I recommend users to create an account but it is a great way for business to market their product!


  2. Nicole Viselli November 17, 2015 / 7:43 pm

    Love what they had to say about Pinterest. I never knew much about pinterest before reading this. After reading what they had to say it definitely made me want to go and get one. This social media app is not just like one your normal social media apps you check daily, this is one that gives you inspiration and can help you when it comes times to creating new things or needing to give birthday presents. This has definitely helped me when it comes time to having my friends 21st birthdays, this site gave me inspiration for giving them all cute birthday gifts for the BIG 21!


  3. Marisa DeLuca (@marisa___deluca) November 17, 2015 / 7:46 pm

    Personally I believe that Pinterest is a social media app and website that is unlike any others. There are so many different features, and such a different overall concept then the basic twitter and Facebook applications. I think that a business can show much more of their personality through this platform.


  4. Whitney Torgerson November 18, 2015 / 4:17 am

    I’ve noticed that Pinterest is gaining popularity upon businesses in recent years. It has become a helpful tool to search for products, based on customers reviews or likes, as well as possible brand influencers without having to look at a company website for information as your only source.


  5. Jules Amann November 19, 2015 / 7:20 pm

    This is great post about Pinterest and gives a good layout about how Pinterest functions. I think that it is a really helpful tool with brands that feature a lot of different products because they can have different boards to organize them. For example Vera Bradley is a good example because they have products that are designed with different styles of patterns for their bags, accessories and more. They do a really good job at organizing each pattern on a different board and displaying their products.


  6. Melissa Santos November 20, 2015 / 10:12 pm

    I loved this article. I really think Pinterest is an excellent way for brands to promote their products. In this day and age, most individuals want to receive information as fast as they can. The quickest way one can absorb information is through visuals. As the cliché saying goes, “a picture is worth a thousand words” and that is precisely why Pinterest has and will continue to thrive on social media. With this particular platform, we are able to see products immediately. When seeing a product instantly, this conveniently cuts down on a good amount of potential search time for users. Personally, that is one aspect of Pinterest I really value. I believe that that time saving aspect has and will continue to enable Pinterest to further succeed.


  7. Jameson Pinette November 29, 2015 / 12:37 am

    Mobile friendly websites and apps are the biggest trend. Snap-chat, Instagram, etc. have made their mark by transforming browsing, “liking” and information sharing quick and easy. As Melissa stated, a picture is worth a thousand words, and what better way to share information than through images. To couple this concept with educational undertones or product purchasing, is genius. The every day consumer is use to information at their fingertips and want information instantly. Again, as Melissa stated, time saving is key as well as easy of use and effortless capabilities. Pinterest will absolutely continue to grow, and you can see many other traditional websites are changing their structure, such as Facebook and LinkedIn. The majority of information shown in a persons “feed” is primarily images or videos that grasp attention. Very few posts actually show up that are strictly text. You will see many other websites switch to this format in the future.


  8. Courtney Aznavoorian (@CourtneyGraceAz) November 30, 2015 / 10:38 pm

    I think that Pinterest is a good platform with useful features. However, it is not exactly used as a way to actually buy items or interact with a company. People typically look on Facebook and Twitter for businesses to find out what they have going on. Pinterest is used for people to find pins that inspire them or things that they want. It has the potential to be used better for marketing, if more businesses get on it and give people a reason to go to Pinterest to find certain things from them.


  9. Olivia Martin December 3, 2015 / 5:25 am

    I agree that Pinterest is far more engaging than other forms of social media. I know that I am way more likely to click on an advertisement if it is a good visual. Pinterest is definitely very addictive, and a lot of the purchases that I have made have stemmed from advertisements and people I follow pinning certain brands on the site.


  10. Jane Paradise December 7, 2015 / 9:14 pm

    wow, I really learned about about Pinterest from this article — I wasn’t aware that they wanted to be a catalog rather than a “social network”, even though it technically is a social network. After reading this, I want to start using Pinterest myself. I knew they were growing quickly but I had no idea they were up to so many users so far.


  11. Sam Velonis December 8, 2015 / 12:51 am

    I’m not very familiar with Pinterest but after reading the article I think I have a good idea of how the process works. It seems like a very interesting concept and I may look into creating a profile of my own. I learned that there are many features within the platform and that it is not used exclusively for image sharing. I really like how user profiles are filled with positivity and things that bring them happiness. This is extremely unique, as I find that I come across just as many negative posts on Facebook and Twitter as I do positive ones.


  12. Rebecca Armstrong December 10, 2015 / 6:27 pm

    Pinterest is an interesting concept. I am not a frequent user of it but I have seen some of the different features it offers. It is a very engaging website and it can catch the viewers eye by the pictures. There is many different life style “boards” that I find interesting and could see myself using this site more. I think there is room to grow for this social media site and gain more users.


  13. Kevin Poulter March 1, 2016 / 8:08 pm

    I believe Pinterest is a very underused app and deserves more exposure. Although I am not a user I can see its true potential. It is very user friendly that engages the user with their interest. The reason why it is falling behind against other social media apps like Facebook, Instagram, and twitter is the interactive aspect. If they can add something where you can communicate with people they would receive more viewers. It could be something as simple as people that share the same interest or a product rating app.


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