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Pinterest: The Social Media Rubik’s Cube

By November 15, 2012October 13th, 2017No Comments

As a kid, I was fascinated by Rubik’s Cube, a toy that was simple in function, but complex in practice. Turning the sides of the Cube isn’t difficult, but aligning all the colors is tricky. I could figure out one or two sides, but never did get the Cube back to its original state.

My newest Rubik’s Cube is Pinterest. I understand how to use it, but not how to realize its full potential. (For those new to Pinterest, check out our previous post on the social media platform.)

As a 23-year-old male, I am not a part of Pinterest’s main demographic.

Most of my social media time is spent on Facebook and Twitter. While I understand the advantages of those platforms for promoting yourself or a business, I have had a hard time seeing how Pinterest can be used in a similar way.

However, as the third largest, and fastest growing, social media network, Pinterest is poised to have just as much of an effect on the business world as Facebook and Twitter, if not more.

Alex Littlewood of Pinfluencer, a company dedicated to Pinterest web analytics, recently hosted a webinar highlighting the importance of Pinterest and the advantages of analyzing user patterns.

Why Pinterest?

Why buy a Rubik’s Cube if all I’m going to end up with is a messed up paperweight? The answer, of course, is because it’s fun. For Pinterest, that might be reason enough to sign up for an account, but it isn’t going to get a company very far when looking to promote a brand or product.

As Littlewood sees it, Pinterest’s advantage comes from the purpose it serves for its users. While Facebook allows users to chronicle their lives, and Twitter is used for real-time updates, Pinterest is focused on user aspirations. Users post (or “pin”) the products, services and lifestyles they aim for.

What That Means for Businesses

Eighty percent of pins are website links. Those pins drive viewers to content on that site increasing page views. Analyzing what users pin allows a business to organize its Pinterest content to reflect followers’ aspirations and encourage engagement with other users.

While Pinterest has a smaller number of users than some social media sites, it still generates a large number of clicks.

The average page views per visit for the top three social media sites are:

  • Facebook – 7
  • Pinterest – 4.1
  • Twitter – 2.7

For Littlewood, this means Pinterest will quickly become a significant source of revenue for companies able to develop effective Pinterest strategies.

Including the Influencers

Like any social media tool, identifying influencers and advocates on Pinterest is a key step in developing an effective strategy.

Littlewood defines influencers as authorities on certain topics, while advocates are seen as authorities among a smaller groups. An influencer has a large number of followers, but does not follow as many people. An advocate maintains a balance between the number of followers and the followed. Both can be important players when it comes to generating clicks back to a company’s website. Companies that like and comment on pins from these authorities can go on to establish and build relationships.

A marketing and analytics platform for Pinterest, like Pinfluencer, can help companies study what followers are pinning, repinning and when they are most active on Pinterest. Analytic tools assist companies in determining what competitors are pinning and which strategies have been successful. Replicating a competitor’s success can potentially draw in that competitors’ followers.

Like Rubik’s Cube, Pinterest isn’t impossible to solve, and offers multiple solutions. It just takes practice and a little help to find the right one.

To view Littlewood’s webinar, click here.