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Brands continue to invest heavily in their presences on social media stalwarts like Facebook and Twitter and when it comes to newcomers, Pinterest seems to be creating the most buzz.
But the company that Facebook agreed to purchase for $1bn, Instagram, is quietly seeing adoption from a growing number of brands.
Pinterest is no longer the new kid on the block - it has clocked up more than 10m users and has proved to be a valuable tool for generating both traffic and conversions.
Furthermore, we've looked at six brands making good use of Pinterest and two that aren't, as well as blogging nine best practice tips for brands.
And here are some of the best Pinterest infographics we've seen, including details on its user base, how marketers can make best use of it, how Pinterest will change social commerce and why pinning has proved to be so addictive...
Prior to Facebook's IPO, a survey asked Americans what they thought of the world's largest social network. The results: more than half believe it's little more than a passing fad.
If you're a retail brand or online retailer, the popularity of services like Pinterest is a reminder of the prominence of images online. Each day, countless photos are uploaded and shared on the web, and many of them relate to products brands and retailers hope to sell.
Which raises an important question: how can they capitalize on this?
American Eagle (AE) was founded in 1977 and now has over 1,000 stores in the US, Canada, Asia and the Middle East. As more and more customers are moving online, AE has been adopted a strategy of bringing offline to online and vice versa.
When you have a store front, it's much easier to get your offline message out to the customers who love your product. They are already coming in to buy so you have a chance to integrate that experience with an online one or just make them aware you have one!
What do Facebook, Buzzfeed, and Pinterest have in common besides keeping us from getting actual work done?
Each of them is powered by pictures. That’s right: jpegs, pngs, graphics, photographs. Facebook’s April acquisition of Instagram and more recent launch of its camera app announced to the world what it’s known for a while.
That the best way to keep users engaged is to give them lots and lots of images to view, post, and share. This will be among Facebook’s greatest successes.
Pinterest is essentially a site where users endorse and recommend images or products they have found, and also where they go to look for inspiration.
For this reason, it’s well suited to fashion, beauty, interior design and weddings, and some 90% of its 12m strong user base is female.
It also means that there is plenty of referral traffic to be had, and brands and businesses are now waking up to the potential of Pinterest for extending their online communities and driving conversions.
Despite rising to become the number three social networking site in the US, Pinterest has failed to capture the imagination of the UK public in the same way.
While around 12m people are busy pinning images in America, on this side of the Atlantic it only has around 200,000 users, although that number is on the increase.
So why should brands bother to take notice? Well, there is evidence to suggest that Pinterest users are more likely to be in ‘shopping mode’, and are worth more than visitors from Facebook or Twitter.
And while these are anecdotal cases rather than a proven trend, it generally pays off if brands are ahead of the trend testing out new ideas rather than coming to the party late.
So with this in mind, I looked at which of the top 10 UK online retailers (based on the ExperianHitwise top 50 list) are using Pinterest as a marketing tool...
Pinterest’s rapid rise in popularity means it is now the third most popular social network in the US after Facebook and Twitter.
As such, marketers can’t afford to ignore it; particularly as evidence suggests that its users convert at a higher rate than those from the bigger social networks.
To see whether brands are taking Pinterest seriously as a marketing tool, I looked at which of the top ten retailers have Pinterest accounts and how they are using them.
One of the main problems when searching for brands on Pinterest is the number of fake accounts that exist. For example, there are around 12 different accounts that purport to be for Amazon.
Pinterest is the current darling of social media, and for good reason. According to Experian Hitwise, it is the third most popular social network in the US in terms of total visits (21.5m visits in one week in January 2012, 30 fold increase vs. July 2011).
Pinterest is primarily considered part of an overall social media strategy, but whilst doing some SEO planning for a Client the other day I realised how well it could also fit within the SEO framework.
This blog gives my approach to using Pinterest to identify potential domains for link building and find relevant bloggers/influencers to build relationships with.
It’s deliberately simple because simple ideas are quicker to implement.
Pinterest has come from nowhere to become one of the biggest social networks in the US, though its popularity in the UK has so far failed to live up to the hype.
Even so, brands can't afford to ignore it, as anecdotal evidence suggests that Pinterest drives more sales than Facebook.
They aren't necessarily those with the most followers, but are good examples of brands using Pinterest to try and engage with their consumers.
And I also included two that need to put in a bit more effort...