Got gorgeous photos? Get in the game with Pinterest

February 6, 2012

Pinterest, the social tool for visual types, is the darling of the internet this year – and for good reason. It’s easy and pleasurable to use and it completely sucks you in.

Even better, according to a story on Min Online, Pinterest can turn into a traffic boost for the right brands. The piece quotes Tina Imm, general manager for Time Inc. Lifestyle Group, as saying that it’s the number-one traffic referrer for recipe sites myrecipes.com and cookinglight.com – and for the latter, the third-highest referral site overall.

But the catch, notes the article, is that Pinterest referrals aren’t really coming from the brands’ own accounts. Instead, they’re coming from completely independent “pins” – saving of images by site visitors – which then are shared around the community. In this way Pinterest is like Facebook – for many brands, traffic referrals are invisible, as they come from user shares rather than your own Facebook page.

What does this mean for the rest of us? Well, if your site has lots of pretty images – especially if they’re related to fashion, decor or food – you’d better make sure your site plays well with Pinterest. Sign up for an account (it’ll take a few days to go through – they’re still limiting registrations, presumably to prevent server melt-downs) and try pinning images from you site. Is it easy or is it hard? Is there a way to make it work better – for you and for the user?

This is one of those cases where signing up for and running a brand account might not be worth your time (unless you’re really interested). But checking the tool out and making sure it works well – and watching the numbers – definitely is.

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