Pinterest = Site Traffic

Pinterest brings website traffic

Pinterest TipsProblem: You’ve been struggling to increase traffic to your website. It’s okay; you’re not alone. This is an issue that a lot of brands face. Consumers are using the Internet to make buying decisions, and your website is the key to getting them to choose your services or products over other competitors.

Solution: Pinterest. Social media platforms are taking over other traffic sources power. Organic search (Google, Bing, Yahoo, etc.) is responsible for the majority of site visits. However, things have shifted and consumers are beginning to rely less on search engines. Instead, people get their news and information on social media. And Pinterest takes the power of social media one-step further by enabling users to leverage beautiful images that drive traffic directly to your site.

Need more convincing that Pinterest could really increase your site traffic? I understand. Here are some statistics that may surprise you:

  • 27% of active Pinterest users follow a brand on the network.
  • Since January 2015, over 30% of social media users use Pinterest.
  • Pinterest is the 2nd largest driver of social media traffic after Facebook, even though Facebook was founded in 2004 and Pinterest in 2010.
  • At the end of 2014, Pinterest brought in more than three times the traffic of Twitter, StumbleUpon, Reddit, Google Plus, YouTube and LinkedIn combined.
  • 47% of U.S. online shoppers made a purchase based on recommendations from Pinterest, beating Facebook and Twitter.
  • Pinterest users spend more money when they follow through on purchases via social media than users of other social networks. On average, Facebook users spend $80.22 and Pinterest users spend $179.

Those statistics should be all the motivation you need to get started with a marketing strategy for Pinterest. If you need help getting started, let us know!

Pinterest is about more than food, fashion and crafts

Pinterest Misconceptions and FactsPinterest has been around for three years. It’s still shocks me to learn how many brands are missing out on a huge opportunity to leverage this platform in their marketing. I will admit there are a lot of misconceptions out there about Pinterest. When you add in the confusion on how to use the network to gain traffic and revenue, it is easy to understand why there isn’t a higher adoption rate. But don’t worry; I’m here to help you understand why you shouldn’t count Pinterest out when it comes to your social media marketing strategy.

Misconception #1: Pinterest is a network for women. With over 70 million users, the majority of its audience is female, however, men are joining in on the fun. In 2014, the male audience grew 41% and their average time spent on the network tripled to more than 75 minutes per user.

Misconception #2: Pinterest can’t generate revenue. Pinterest users spend more money, shop more frequently, and purchase items more often and in larger quantities than users on any other social network. In fact, a recent study showed that 47% of U.S. online shoppers bought something as a result of a Pinterest recommendation. Last year, Martha Stewart’s boards brought her 10 times more traffic than her Facebook account.

And now for the facts…

Fact: Pinterest kills it when it comes to site traffic. According to a report by Shareaholic, Pinterest drove approximately 7.17% of all social media referral traffic to websites in March 2014 – second only to Facebook. What’s even crazier is that Pinterest brought three times the traffic of Google Plus, YouTube, Twitter, StumbleUpon, LinkedIn, and Reddit combined.

Fact: Pins outlast tweets and Facebook posts. Ben Silberman, Co-Founder and CEO of Pinterest, explained, “You never see a tweet older than 48 hours, unless it’s ironic. I wanted to create a service that’s a bit timeless.” According to WebpageFX, the average lifespan of a Pinterest pin is 3 ½ months, which is 1,600 times longer than a Facebook post and 6,300 times longer than a tweet.

Fact: You can advertise on Pinterest. In 2014, Pinterest rolled out its own advertising unit called the Promoted Pin. It is very similar to Facebook and Twitter advertising where you can pay for additional impressions of organic content. Recently the network has announced that they will begin adding additional targeting options, a new test ad format and animated ads. These advertising opportunities will really allow organizations to focus on channel growth and website traffic.

Okay, there you have it. Hopefully it is clearer why Pinterest needs to be incorporated into your marketing strategy. The potential is really limitless. If you are looking for help setting up your Pinterest page or implementing a Promoted Pin campaign, let us know!

Pinterest Adds Messaging Feature

Planning weddings, cataloging cute puppies and mapping out elaborate vacations just got a whole lot easier. Last week, Pinterest unveiled a new messaging system that is about to change the way we pin.

Early last year, Pinterest released their “Send A Pin” function that allows users to send a pin directly to an individual person. This has been an incredibly successful addition to their platform, and they estimate 2 millions pins are sent daily.  Now, with the new messaging function, you can send pins to someone or a group of someones and actually have a conversation about it.  This concept forces people to stay within the Pinterest platform longer, inevitably making Pinterest more of an integrated and valuable part of your life.

I love this new function – what do you think? If you are on Pinterest – shoot us a message! 

We are currently pinning to: packaging.

The Art of Hosting a Pinterest Contest

pinterest-contestWe not-so-long-ago blogged about how Pinterest is a smart social media asset for certain brands. While Pinterest isn’t the new kid on the social media block anymore, it’s still an emerging platform and one of the the latest trends is to host a contest on the virtual pinboard. But how do you go about engaging your followers and connecting with them via virtual bulletin boards? While these campaigns are still relatively new, here are some key fundamentals you need to include when planning a Pinterest campaign:

Strategy.The objective for the campaign should absolutely fit smoothly into your larger marketing strategy and achieve at least one of your overall marketing objectives. Utilize other platforms and online assets to promote your campaign, spread the word and peak interest.

Easy Entry.Make it super simple for your users to enter the contest. A popular mechanism is to ask them to create a themed board and then re-pin a prescribed number of pins from a board of images that you provide (of course in keeping with the overall theme of the contest).

Tag It.The use of the hashtag is quickly permeating other social platforms — and that’s ok! Require your entrants to tag each pin with a hashtag that you create, as well as label their board a name you require.

Entry Form Required.If you are using this campaign to build your Pinterest following, require your audience to enter the campaign on the platform where you have the largest following. For instance, Facebook tabs are programmable to be used as a contest entry mechanism. Require entrants to submit their email addresses (so you can notify them if they win), their Pinterest name and a link to their board.

Sweet Swag. Always offer great prize options. If you’re going to ask your audience members to go to lengths to create a pinboard, re-pin a few pins and then submit their info, offer them a great incentive that is relevant to the theme of your campaign.

If you are present on Pinterest, contests are great ways to peak interest and increase your following. It may seem like a convoluted logistical nightmare, but running a Pinterest contest really can be a breeze. We are always watching other brands to see what they’re doing on social media and think David’s Bridal, HP and CountryLiving have done an swell job at running successful Pinterest contests.

The top 3 social media campaigns that inspire me

Top 3 Inspirational Social Media Campaigns

Peugeot Pinterest Puzzle Social Media CampaignSocial media is no longer the shiny new toy. By now, most companies have integrated some sort of social media into their traditional marketing plan.  As a result, there is a saturation of campaigns, some good, some not so good. But, through the thick of it all I still find those campaigns that really stand out and inspire me to find creative and unique ways to integrate social media into our larger marketing plans. Social media isn’t about being a stand-alone method, it is about how effectively you can integrate them into other methods. Here are my top 3 favorite integrated social media campaigns.

#3 Peugeot Pinterest Puzzle

I love it when I see a campaign that makes me want to drop everything and participate. This is exactly what happened when I saw the Peugeot puzzle contest on Pinterest. In an attempt to gain more engagement with their fans, Peugeot decided to run a fun, engaging competition on Pinterest. They created boards with five images, four of which said “missing” and one with a picture of a part of a car. Users were then asked to scour Peugeot’s website and Facebook page to find the other four missing images, to complete the puzzle. The first people to complete the puzzle board and share it with Peugeot won discounts, cash and prizes. Not only did this campaign strengthen their social media presence, it also educated consumers about their products. During this campaign, Peugeot saw a 50,000 increase in likes, follows, and re-pins on Pinterest. In addition, this campaign saw national media coverage, further promoting the Peugeot brand. When I am brainstorming a Pinterest contest-this is my go to campaign for inspiration.Ben and Jerry's Fair Tweets Campaign

#2 Ben and Jerry’s Fairtweets

This is my favorite twitter awareness campaign that I have seen. Ben and Jerry’s decided to think outside of the box when they launched their Fairtweets campaign. In doing research, they realized that twitter users rarely utilized all 140 characters that are given to them. So, in an effort to raise awareness about World Fair Trade Day they created an application that would “recycle” the left over characters in tweets. Users downloaded a twitter-integrated Fairtweets application that allowed them to tweet normally. Their leftover characters were then turned into a custom message about Fair Trade Day with the hashtag #fairtweets and a link to a microsite with more information. Ben and Jerry’s was able to use twitter to push people to their website where they were showcasing World Fair Trade Day on a larger level. I love this campaign because it takes very little effort on the part of the user, but effectively pushes the message. The users don’t need to remember to mention World Fair Trade Day, they simply tweet and the message is created for them.

#1 Human Rights Campaign – Red for Equality

It is pretty hard to ignore a campaign that completely infiltrates your Facebook timeline. Last week, the Human Rights Campaign launched the most effective campaign I have seen to date. Their Human Rights Campaign Facebook Campaignmessaging was concise: change your profile picture to their logo in red. Within hours, their original photo was seen by 9 million people, and shared 77,000 times. The thing that I love the most about this campaign is that they kept it simple. They didn’t try and use any magic tricks; they purely asked users to change their profile picture. It always amazes me to see campaigns that stay true to what
social media really is: word of mouth marketing. For those who didn’t know what the red logos were for, they took the next steps to research what they were seeing on Facebook, which ultimately lead them to the HRC website. This campaign taught me that sometimes its good to stick to what you know works.

With all of the social media campaigns out there it can be a little overwhelming. I have found that creativity is contagious and I am always looking for that brand that really goes the extra mile to help keep me on my toes.



When Food Brands Go Social—Photo Sharing Platforms Become Your Best Friend

With photo sharing becoming all the rage, it is time for food brands to get serious about serving up delicious photos with social media.  It is no secret that on social networks, photos are all the hype.  There are even social platforms like Pinterest, Instagram and Tumblr that are completely photocentric, and a multitude of sites and apps like Fiddme, and Foodspotting that are strictly food-based. Why then do some people overlook the value of these graphics and have what seems like endless amounts of text with no images in sight?  It’s time to feed the photo frenzy.

BTB1Photo sharing is powerful and sure to increase engagement on social outlets, especially when it comes to foodtography. There is no better way to market food than visually, so food brands should have a social content strategy that is very heavy with imagery. Food photos are captivating and among the most highly shared visual content, so surely this is an area where food brands can finish strong. For one of our food branded clients, Better Than Bouillon, we use photos on social to compliment the recipes we share. Often generating a huge buzz, we have audience members responding with comments, culinary success stories and recipes of their own.

Visual marketing can be a very influential tool within the Food and Beverage Industry; it fosters more engagement than your average textual post because you are showing and not just telling. People like to see what they are getting, not told. It gives followers a chance to see the end product and it gives viewers ideas about different ways they can enjoy the product.  Show off your product, include pictures with recipes, people enjoying your product or lifestyle photos that convey your brand’s personality. You’ll have viewers drooling over these photos and the best part is, photo sharing sites like Pinterest, Instagram and Tumblr are fairly low maintenance.  Yes, it is important to keep your content fresh, but beyond the upload and minimal copy, users do most of the work by commenting, sharing, and repining. BTB2

It is likely that your food brand already has a presence on many of these photo sharing platforms, whether you like it or not, your brand has probably been hashtagged. Users upload millions of photos to social sites daily, if you search your brand on these sites you may be surprised as to what you find. If you are not using this to your advantage, then shame on you. It’s a chance for marketers to interact directly with users of their brand and many followers are often very clever; finding new ways to use your product, many you may have never even thought of yourself. It’s also a way of giving your brand a social presence by becoming part of the conversation and making your photos their delicious inspiration.  So foodies, get on board with this trend because it is officially The Age of Photo Sharing. It’s really a no brainer.

Why does Pinterest work so well for some brands and not for others?

Pinterest-Logo-Icon1When crafting your social media marketing plan, it’s hard to ignore Pinterest as a key player. With almost 30 million unique visitors and the fastest-growing social media site on the block, this virtual pinboard drives more site traffic than Google+, LinkedIn and YouTube combined. So, you might think that you can just create a Pinterest account and it will grow like wildfire, right? Wrong. It’s proven that Pinterest is an extremely powerful tool for certain brands and not for others — but why? The entire site is a visual experience that allows its users to escape their realities and express their passions, inspiration and interests. To be successful on Pinterest, your brand must be visually enticing, which is why design, cooking and fashion are the top categories pinned daily.

Food brands and products, for example, do particularly well on this platform because they can promote their own products and recipes, while also pin external recipes that are relevant to the product or brand. For instance, one of our clients, Better than Bouillon, pins not only its own products and recipes, but also recipes by other chefs, cooks and foodies that would benefit from the Better than Bouillon flavor base.BTB_Delicious Meals

Designers — particularly interior, fashion and graphic — do well also because their Pinterest accounts allow them promote their own style and services, while also inspiring users for future projects. River Glass Designs, also one of our clients, pins photos of their own work in homes throughout Northern Virginia and Maryland, but it also creates boards that pull inspiration for common home design projects, such as bathrooms and kitchens, from other design experts in the industry. Rather than a spirit of competition within an industry, Pinterest fosters a feeling of unified inspiration and passion for a shared interest.



Just as any social media platform has the potential to be a great marketing tool for you, it’s imperative to ask if it’s the right tool for you. Not every brand can successfully exist on Pinterest, but for the right brand, it could be one of the smartest marketing decisions you make.

The Next Big Thing In Social Media – Pinterest (Part 3)

Last time we talked, I was raving about Pinterest, the new darling of the social media world, and why it’s such a big deal.  But if you wanted the download on how brands should leverage this pintastic momentum, it’s your lucky day! Here’s a handful of tactics we’ve already gotten traction with here at The Cyphers Agency.

Set your objectives.

Like any other marketing tactic, your approach needs to line up with your strategy. What’s the end game for you? It’s easy to track site traffic from Pinterest with Google Analytics, and this is a no-brainer of a benchmark to use. But more than site traffic, it’s important to think about your overall desires. You should shoot for lots of interaction and repins galore if brand awareness is your aim, but not so much if you need straight sales. Instead, track who is checking out at your online store, if they came from Pinterest, and which pins were able to seal the deal.

Create a branded Pinterest account. 

When exploring a new social network, it’s easy to think: “I’ll just stick my toe in, test the waters, before we commit to a plan…” But that’s a rookie mistake. The second you decide to create a Joe’s Plummer Pinterest account, you must assume that anyone searching your business’ name will discover it. You don’t want their first impression to be one that isn’t aligned with your brand. So plan out your copy, your look and your approach the way you would any new marketing initiative.

Spread the word!

Once you go live, one of the best ways to create an audience on a fledging platform is to recruit your enthusiasts on your more established platforms. Tell your Facebook fans and Twitter followers that you are on Pinterest, and include the news in your next email blast as well.

Do a test run.

Now what about that content? When you are first starting out, it makes sense to test-run a variety of pins to see what sticks. As with all social media content, we recommend 25-50% promotional stuff, with the other 50-75% of your material curated from other sources. Of course, all of this should be on-brand. Whole Foods does a great job of pinning their own recipes and products from their website, as well as repinning things their audience is into – from recycled products to gardening tips.

Make sure your pins are SEO’d.

Especially when you are first establishing your audience, you should make it as easy as possible for folks to find your pins. That means using a clear description along with each and every pin with plenty of keywords. The principles of search engine optimization apply within Pinterest, but optimized pins will help you out on Google and the other big boys, too.

Let your audience lead the way.

Once your test run is in full swing, track which pins are receiving the most likes and repins to shape your content strategy going forward. Also, it’s super easy to see what from your website is really taking off on the Pinterwebs. Just type URL into your address bar, and you’ll see all the pins coming from your website. You’ll be able to know exactly what pinners love, so you can create more content for your website that folks can’t wait to pin.

Think visually.

Speaking of pinnable content, make sure that all your online content lends itself to the very visual format of Pinterest. Since the platform is all about images, make sure that your images are crisp, attention-grabbing and easily understood. While this is a must for the images you share on Pinterest, it’s important for all the images you share, period, if you want to have a pin-friendly brand.

Give your website the “Pin It” button makeover.

The most surefire way to entice folks to pin your stuff? Add “Pin It” buttons to your website, both to your blog content and any products or services you highlight. That way, you make it easier for your customers to bookmark you and seal the deal later, and tell all their friends while they’re at it.

Let’s cut to the chase.

There’s a multitude of ways to implement Pinterest for your business – someone’s probably thought of a few more while I wrote this. But the takeaway really is: Start off on the right foot, don’t be afraid to try a few different things, and measure it along the way. And have some fun – I know I am!

The Next Big Thing In Social Media – Pinterest (Part 2)

Part 2 of 3 in a series!

Earlier I blogged about our newest fascination on the web, Pinterest. Today, I want to answer the question I left you with: Why should this social networking website, addictive and beautiful as it may be, really matter to businesses?

Social Media’s Next Big Star

I think I made it clear in my last post how fun Pinterest can be. I’m not alone in feeling that way. The site is shaping up to be a big player in the digital game. Mashable recently wrote that Pinterest drives more traffic to websites than Google+, Youtube and LinkedIn combined. Those are not piddly platforms, ya’ll. Twitter is actually just barely beating Pinterest out… and Pinterest is a social networking site that’s only been around about a year.

Why has it taken off so much? It’s still too soon to answer that question in a scientific manner, but there are some tried-and-true principles of marketing and social media that Pinterest appears to be capitalizing on. For one, it’s been proven that women are more social creatures, and therefore more prone to share online and be more active on social networks. While the site is not too frilly, it lends itself to a feminine audience. There are similar sites like Tumblr that are more unisex in nature, but the reason Pinterest is such a dynamo is because it’s so popular with women. Don’t forget, women hold the purchasing power in most households. And while women are clearly the site’s target audience, the variety and volume of content shared by its users means that regardless of your budget, background or interests, there will be something for you there.

The thing that really impresses us about this site is that it allows businesses to do what they have been trying to do for years – get people to remember you. Whether you’re a blogger with a recipe you want folks to try, or a brand with a spankin’ new product you want everyone to know about, Pinterest allows you to not just get in front of your audience’s eyes, but it allows them to decide to save you, and share you. In fact, that’s the whole purpose. It’s like ripping an ad out of a magazine and mailing it to all of your friends. How many of us do that 20 times a day? Multiply that by Pinterest’s 13 million (and rapidly growing) users, and you get an idea of just how powerful this platform is.

How To Make It Work For You

So we know that Pinterest holds great potential for reaching new audiences and driving lots more traffic through its ultra-visual, user-friendly format. But how do you harness that potential? Plenty of folks, from bloggers to big brands, have been testing the waters with different techniques and having exciting results. Whether it’s a big time Pinterest contest integrated with a campaign, or simply taking a temperature check of what your target audience is pinning from your website, there’s a bunch of ways to utilize the platform as a marketer. I’ll get into the nitty gritty of just how to do that in my next blog post!

The Next Big Thing In Social Media – Pinterest (Part 1)

Part 1 of 3 in a series!

A seemingly innocent, but dangerous, addiction has been spreading like wildfire at The Cyphers Agency. Many of our lady employees, and a couple brave men, began dabbling in a tempting activity, just for occasional fun. Soon, we realized we were in too deep. Rather than try to escape the clutches of this dependency, we encouraged others in the office to join us on the dark side and also become hopelessly addicted… to Pinterest.

Pinning 101: Intro to Pinterest

Maybe you’re familiar with this irresistible website and know all too well about it’s devices, stealing every moment of your free time and convincing you that, Yes! You can bake those cupcakes, knit that scarf, build that super easy end table, design that enormous mansion that you totally will have one day!

If you’re not so up on Pinterest, however, this isn’t an empowerment workshop. Pinterest is a virtual bulletin board that “lets you organize and share things you find on the web.” Basically, Pinterest works like bookmarks, saving anything and everything you find on the Internet, but it’s a visual system. The thrill of Pinterest is that, by collecting all of your favorite ideas and images on your “boards,” you kind of feel like you have already bought those shoes, or sewn that dress, or taken that vacation. For those of us who can’t afford a shopping addiction, pinning is the next best thing.

The site says that it’s mission is to “connect everyone in the world through the ‘things’ they find interesting,” and it’s doing exactly that. The website is still invitation only, but here’s a rundown of how it works:

Much like other social networks, you can follow others (and find on Pinterest through your existing Facebook and Twitter profiles), which means their pins will show up on your homepage in Pinterest, sort of like your Facebook news feed. You can choose to just follow select boards of folks, if you want. You can also browse the latest pins from all over Pinterest, not just those you follow. And if you like what you see, all you have to do is click “Repin” and you’ve now pinned their pin, saving it forever on your own board, and send it forward to be viewed by everyone that follows you.

That’s just a basic explanation, of course. The best way to learn is to play around! If you’ve gotten an invite and you’re interested in more nuts and bolts, here’s a great beginner’s guide from blogger Sorta Crunchy.

And of course, I know you’re thinking, Pinterest is clearly a fun online toy and all, but why all the fuss? I’ll get into just why this is such a big deal in my next blog post!