Joining the Pinterest revolution

English: Red Pinterest logo
Image via Wikipedia

WalesOnline has joined the Pinterest revolution – or leapt on the bandwagon depending on your point of view – and it’s early days (and invite-only) but the prospects for good social sharing and driving traffic through specific curation activities are looking pretty bright.


Pinterest has become very fashionable in recent weeks with 2.2m users a month, and was bolstered last month by news it was driving more traffic than Google+ to retail sites.
We’re currently focussing on the female-friendly aspects of Pinterest, and specifically promoting content from our Lifestyle section – fashion, cosmetics, crafting, fitness and diet – onto boards. 
So, for example, this pin about how to enjoy family-friendly holidays… 





… is promoted on our Family pin board, and  links to this story
Meanwhile, the one below, on tanning, which links to here, is promoted on the Products We Love board. 

Both have been repinned by other users and we currently have 17 boards with six topics – I expect that to increase, and gain some serious momentum as Operation Get Ready For Bikini Season starts up (OGRBS is, of course, a MSM churn phenomenon that kicks in around April and involves diets, exercise, fake tan, hats, sunnies, sarongs and a host of other be beachy accoutrements). 
The ’embed pin’ option allows more bloggers access to our images and content than before, with in-built links, and it displays attractively.

It’s too new for analytics on traffic to show any real uplift but, since these sections have traditionally required a lot of promotion on social media – such as relevant Facebook pages – to reach the required audience (Lifestyle has a niche audience and WalesOnline tends to be more heavily weighted towards men, user-wise) an external site that can boost the number of visits and users is a gift. I’ll update this post as I get more numbers for visitors and visitor paths.





Personally, I sign up for more new things in the social web than I ever really use, but I don’t advocate the same for work as I’m conscious that sometimes these shiny things take up more time than they are worth. And sometimes go paid for-only (hello Dippity!), or close after you’ve put time and effort into them (hello Trunk.ly!)


But I suspect Pinterest is different (not least because you can add the handy Pin it! extension to your browser bar and pin without pause) and it really does add value. The more we use it for curating our own and others’ content the richer source we become, and the greater opportunity there is to reach new people. 
Currently we’re Pinterested in Lifestyle content as a pathfinder, but next sport and news will need to follow, sport being a particular opportunity.


Of course, there will be pitfalls – look at this source code image Zach Seward tweeted today…

…but the potential is exciting. I’ve been using Pinterest myself to gather images, video and graphs linked to my MA dissertation around innovation, disruptive industries and leadership. I think it works ok for that but (as a member of the community rather than an interested individual) I’m actually more interested in the lifestyle pinboards – that’s what I’d browse in my lunchhour five spare moments eating a sandwich at my desk. 
Also, I still like Pearltrees for displaying curated web pages, though my main bookmarking site is Diigo, which autoposts to my Delicious.

Meanwhile,this post 17 Free Resources & 59 Tips For How To Use Pinterest For Your Business  is excellent for getting started. If you’re thinking of using Pinterest as a media organisation, I recommend bookmarking it. 

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About Alison Gow

I'm a journalist, particularly interested in story-telling, networks and digital innovation.
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2 Responses to Joining the Pinterest revolution

  1. Ben says:

    Pinterest is definitely an interesting phenomenon and we're trying to work out if it's worth using or not. It feels like it's come out of absolutely nowhere (though it has been around since 2010) – I guess it's hit that famed tipping point and it is tremendously viral. And it's very easy to use. I guess there's just so much going on with it that's there's a risk that the amount that we're bombarded with daily is just going to keep going up and up!

    Like

  2. Alison Gow says:

    I know what you mean Ben – there's always that danger of signing up for anything new, without considering the time and effort that might go into it. Pinterest's Pin It bookmark cuts down on the time, and I see we're getting content shared (some of the images on the 'Cute' board is proving quite popular – animals ftw!)but it's not a traffic driver. Yet, anyway. Maybe more of a branding exercise at the moment.

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