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Is Pinterest on your radar?

By Danyl Bosomworth 17 Aug, 2012

Pinterest to soon become the fourth largest referrer of traffic?

In February 2012 I shared data suggesting the potential of marketing using Pinterest to increase awareness and sales for companies. Shareaholic have now updated their referral report and this coincides with some interesting developments in Pinterest and our new Smarter Guide to Pinterest Marketing.

New Pinterest developments

These are the recent changes to the Pinterest platform to be aware of which are aimed at encouraging further adoption of Pinterest.

June 2012 referral report

The latest data from Shareaholic shows that Pinterest referral traffic will soon overtake Yahoo! organic traffic and Pinterest will become the fourth largest traffic source in the world after Google, Direct traffic and Facebook, although significantly lower than these.

The data source for this referral data is based on a sharing widget used by than 200,000 publishers who reach more than 270 million people each month.  So it's worth remembering that it isn't representative of commercial sites with many publishers actively using Pinterest. We think it also underestimates the importance of Twitter and LinkedIn, particularly for B2B sites. We find our Twitter traffic is five times greater than Pinterest and LinkedIn is 3 times greater than Pinterest, although Pinterest does refer more visits than Google. So treat this data with caution, review the use of Pinterest by businesses and consumers in your sector.

Since we like to take a balanced view, we also took a look at the Google AdPlanner data; this tells a different story with the hockey stick growth ending around April, so as always with digital marketing it will be a question of watching further adoption.

The Adplanner data certainly shows engaged users compared with many sites and it's worth remembering that Pinterest also helps sharing via other social sites and creating new backlinks.

January 2012 referral report

According to aggregated data from Shareaholic, Pinterest has had meteoric growth, accounting for only 0.17% of referral traffic in July last year, whereas today it's 3.6% of referral traffic. Similar to Twitter, not great considering its comparative age. Of course, Facebook heads the pack on 26.4% (4.3% via mobile!).

What is Pinterest?

Pinterest is a 2 year old social bookmarking site, it enables users to collect and then share things that they like or find useful, it's driving increasingly significant amounts of traffic to retailers’ websites - which begs the question, should it be on your radar?

Users create “pinboards” to collect and shares thing's they're interested in. Members can use Pinterest’s “Pin It” bookmarklet tool and iPhone app to save things they see online and offline, and explore and repin the images their friends collect via their personal newsfeeds.


Which brands will win on Pinterest?

It's hard to say at the minute, though as a consumer brand that targets women you'd have to be figuring out how to get involved. Women account for 58% of Pinterest’s traffic, according to Hitwise.

The popular categories are home decor, food and wedding inspiration - at least those are the kind of popular areas for users at the minute (and yet it still drives that much referral traffic!). You can only imagine that it'll grow much wider.

What are your views on Pinterest? Have you used it as an end-user or for business?

By Danyl Bosomworth

Dan helped to co-found Smart Insights in 2010 and acted as Marketing Director until leaving in November 2014 to focus on his other role as Managing Director of First 10 Digital. His experience spans brand development and digital marketing, with roles both agency and client side for nearly 20 years. Creative, passionate and focussed, his goal is on commercial success whilst increasing brand equity through effective integration and remembering that marketing is about real people. Dan's interests and recent experience span digital strategy, social media, and eCRM. You can learn more about Dan's background here Linked In.

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