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Pinterest seems to be the latest craze in social media. Those who use online media as their preferred method of communication and work have learned the hard way that no matter how good your writing is or you ad copy, there’s one thing that we never outgrow. That one thing is pictures. Pinterest is the site that uses the most direct form of capitalizing on this phenomenon and they offer their site to online users free so that they too can benefit from the image craze.
The idea of Pinterest is to capture the attention of the audience using images and captions. Viewers see the image and are able to click on the link to the original source, such as a website or blog. Once there, they can see your other content. But, how to use Pinterest to drive traffic? That is the question.
Images and Internet
From the time that a child learns to read, they want to see pictures with their reading materials. Like the love of new toys, our fascination with images doesn’t go away as we get older. If anything, it gets more refined and we have higher expectations. To drive this point home, consider the advances in technology that have led to things like high-definition television, 3-D imagery and even digital cameras whose pixel numbers only get higher as technology advances. The world is obsessed with images.
Yahoo and Google have proven this point with their studies that reveal where a person’s eyes go first when they open a page, as well as where they stay the longest. The images get far more attention than any one word or group f words. In fact, it’s the image that drives us to want to learn more. We want to know exactly what the image represents. For those who work online, this can mean the difference between a reader taking the time to read through the article or simply moving on to a different page. Like every other form of advertisement, the key to success in the online world is return visitors who share their experience to bring in new visitors.
How Pinterest Works
Pinterest is a fairly new site. As such, you can only join by invitation. You can get an invitation to Pinterest by asking your online friends to invite you. Once invited, you are able to sign up for your own Pinterest account. By signing up under the person who invited you, you’re automatically listed as following them.
When you sign up for the site, you can choose to do so through your Twitter or Facebook account. When you sign up for one of these accounts, Pinterest has access to the information on your account. For instance, if you sign up through Facebook, Pinterest will have access to your friends list.
After signing up, you’re taken to a page where you can choose your own interests. Pinterest has such a simplified process that you literally just click on images that represent specific categories. When you pick your categories Pinterest has you following active users in those categories, including friends from your Facebook account that have indicated similar interests as yours.
You can create your own categories or add to existing ones. In fact, if you go to a page that needs categorized and isn’t yours, you can also categorize it for the owner of the post. Those who wish to use Pinterest to drive traffic to their site would do well to use this feature to narrow down their categories as much as possible in an effort to aim for the most viable audience.
When you choose to post items to your account, you can even create your own category. For instance, if you’re a writer who reviews technology items, you might create a board specifically for technology. Post your well written reviews there and people will soon see you as an authority on the subject. Like other social platform that allow you so follow or subscribe to posts, the more followers you have, the more you are seen as an authority on the topic.
Don’t forget to be interactive on the site. When you “like” quality content in a category, you aren’t just seen as someone who is trying to promote their own work, but also as someone who has an ongoing interest in a subject. You’re also more likely to generate followers using this method than if you only post your own work.
Google and Pinterest
It’s no secret that Google has been making more of an effort to track what Internet users do. This is of significant importance for anyone who works online, whether they have a website or write ad copy for several sites. Everything you do online is tracked. Pinterest is just another way for you to use this to your advantage. To establish yourself as an authority on any topic, you have to be active in that area. When you consider the way Google tracks your Internet usage, you can easily understand how you would never be considered an authority in auto mechanics if all you read about, like, follow and share is content about flower gardens.
Pinterest allows you to demonstrate your authority on a topic by using images to draw attention to your content while redirecting back to your own site or article. In other words, you’re exposing your work to a whole other medium with a fresh audience. You’re using images as the drawing point, which is a sure-fire way to grab the attention of your audience, yet you’re also having your own attention grabbed. Using the category feature, you’re attracting an audience that you know has an interest in your content.
When you think about Pinterest and how you can use it to draw traffic to your site, think in terms of sites like StumbleUpon, only better because you’re using a proven method (images) to get the attention of your audience. Using the same premise, the more active you are with other users’ content, the more of an authority you become on that site.