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Marketing pro with insatiable passion for new media, social / corp responsibility, creative solutions, family, pet Aussie, photography, perennials, global travel. http://www.linkedin.com/in/billdahl1

Pinterest: Hitting the Sweet Spot

The verdict is in: Pinterest has hit the sweet spot where social media and commerce meet.

The numbers speak for themselves. In December 2010 the site registered more than 7-million unique visitors. Better still,  stats from Shareaholic show that it is driving more traffic to company websites and blogs than giants YouTube, Goggle+ and LinkedIn combined.
Effective corporate social marketing? Yes. Same old promotional approach? Absolutely not.
Pinterest is personal. First and foremost Pinterest is an online visual pin board that allows you, according to the site, “organize and share things you love.” Instant replay for all marketers: “Organize and share things you love.” Never lose sight of that basic premise, because that is why millions of people are flocking to get pinned. People first, not customers or consumers. Ordinary people from all walks of life.
Of course these ordinary people have extraordinary demographics. The average user is between 25 and 44. 58% are women. Most have a college background and above average incomes. They are all here for a visual experience, not a bunch of clever copy. The visual diversity of Pinterest is stunning. Fortunately the site is organized by popular topics. For example:

Pinterest Pin Categories

From Architecture and Art through DIY & Crafts, Film, Music & Books, Food & Drink, Geek, Humor, Kids, Pets, Sports, Travel & Places and on through Women’s Apparel and many, many more you’ll find category by category stunning photography and illustrations.

Companies are advised to “build a board” or folder of rich images that tells their story visually and through short (shorter the better) descriptions.

Take a look at this page and how one image with a short, compelling message cuts through the clutter:

Engage the Viewer

Pinterest - Engage the Viewer

Think the “KISS” rule.

Keep It Simple with these 3 basic Do’s & Don’ts:


  1. Choose creative images that appeal to viewers emotionally and reflects your vision. Compile those images on a board or in a folder.
  2. If it is a product or service, think “Outcome”- Can it create a beautiful or interesting product? Look at ways customers will use it or the settings in which they may use it. If a service, how does it enrich their life or solve a problem?
  3. Keep copy short. Think ‘headlines’ as much as possible.


  1. Hard sell. Check that expensively developed corporate copy at the door.
  2. Forget to “Pin It”. Add “Pin It” buttons to your website, blogs and any of your social channels that offer the capability.
  3. Behave. If you “Pin” in shameless self-promotion you will not reap the full benefits but you will undermine Pinterest’s etiquette guidelines (see below) . Share images and thoughts that are meaningful and engage on a personal level.

Straight from the Pinterest “Invited” page:

Pinterest Etiquette: Try to…

  • Be Nice!
  • Be Creative. The best pinboards mix products, art, recipes and images from all across the web. Try not to pin everything from a single source.
  • Give Credit. If you blog about an item you found on Pinterest, it’s nice to credit your fellow pinners by linking back to the original pin.
Now, go forth and pin!
You’ll see some from moi in the near future.

Sources cited:

Pinterest Another Social Platform or New Business Tools for Brands?

How Pinterest Is Becoming the Next Big Thing in Social Media for Business

Is Pinterest the Next Social Media Phenomenon?

What to pin, and what not to pin, on Pinterest

Experience some of  the Pinterest Pack leaders:

41 Great Examples of Pinterest Brand Pages

11 Must-Follow Nonprofits on Pinterest

7 Examples of Brands That Pop on Pinterest


3 Comments on “Pinterest: Hitting the Sweet Spot”

  1. ERINMARIE February 21, 2012 at 8:11 pm #

    Hey Bill –
    I am surprised to hear this website had over 7 million registered users in December 2010. I just recently heard about it over the last couple months so for over a year I was not even familiar with this. I wonder what happened to give Pinterest such a boost in consumer knowledge??

    • dahlcache February 22, 2012 at 5:56 am #

      Hi Erin,

      Thank you for your comment–good question! This website has been incredibly viral from the beginning. I started hearing about it from friends before it started showing up as headlines on blogs and websites I monitor. Just talked to a longtime friend and colleague yesterday (creative director/amazing designer) and she loves it! The appeal to share or view terrific images and art without a hard sell has gain the site tremendous word-of-mouth traction. When / how did you first hear of it?

      • ERINMARIE February 26, 2012 at 9:01 pm #

        Hey Bill –
        I first heard about it a couple of months prior to this class. I started to see my friends post things on Facebook being shared via “Pinterest”. I started to see this more often as well as hearing people around work talk about it. Also, I went to a friend’s a couple months ago and she was making a craft project and she told me how she found it on Pinterest. So basically I heard about it through Facebook and since they I hear about it daily 🙂 Based on what little I know about it, it seems awesome and has great potential to become even more popular than it already is!!!

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