Pinterest, the social website that allows users to create their own virtual pinboards, has been exploding with growth in recent months. With more than 10 million registered users, the site is growing steadily, and causing a stir with its immense referral power.
Last Thursday, GateHouse News & Interactive Division held a webinar that took a detailed look at how news organizations can best use Pinterest to drive traffic and referrals to their websites.
Here are our top takeaways:
THINK VISUALLY: Remember: Pinterest is a visual site. The kind of content that works well on Pinterest is photo-driven and visually engaging. Any features photography you have on your website will play well, but compelling news photographs can also work.
Tip: Pin any story or gallery from your website that has great images. Create a “Photo of the day” board that collects your best photos from each day.
KNOW YOUR FOLLOWERS: Users go to Pinterest to create pinboards, which are photo-driven collections of things that inspire them, crafts they want to tackle, recipes they want to cook, places they have traveled and things that are important to them.
Tip: Food is one of the most popular categories on Pinterest, so you should always pin great photos from restaurant reviews, recipes or other food-related items from your website.
PIN YOUR BEST CONTENT EACH DAY: The GateHouse News & Interactive Division has developed a content strategy for our newspapers on Pinterest. You can download our content recommendations at this link.
Aim to pin at least two items per day, but don't be stuck in a specific content schedule. Be smart about what you pin. Look at the content you have each day, and choose based on what has the best images, or is the most compelling.
Tip: If you have a great story that doesn't have the best photo to go with it, use a quote board instead. Choose the most compelling quote from the story, and pin it to a board called “Quotables.” Download our quote board template here.
THINK ABOUT SEO: Because of its immense referral power, Pinterest is a great way to boost SEO for your website. You should link back to your website every time you pin and use SEO keywords in your board names, categories and pin descriptions. Click here for more on SEO and Pinterest.
Tip: While being clever is always a plus on social media sites, don’t get too cute. Be very specific when describing your pins, and use search engine friendly language so users can find your boards when they are searching for content.
BE SOCIAL: Pinterest is a social site, so don’t be afraid to engage with your followers. If someone comments on one of your pins, or engages with a story through Pinterest, make sure to encourage them by following up on their comment.
Tip: Use the social nature of Pinterest to your advantage by asking people to repin, comment on, or “like” your pins. Set up a board for your monthly callouts that can be added to by your community. Ask followers to comment on a pin to be added to the board.
LEARN MORE FROM PINTEREST. Pinterest has many resources available for first time and veteran pinners alike.
Tip: Visit the Pinning 101 section at http://pinterest.com/about/help/ to get started with your site. Keep up with updates from Pinterest at their blog: http://blog.pinterest.com/
OUR RESOURCES. Want to learn more? Here is a PowerPoint recap from the webinar. We also have an FAQ and a how-to that walk you through the steps of setting up your new Pinterest page.