Have you heard about Pinterest? A virtual pinboard to organize and share the things you love, Pinterest is the latest social media craze. I can hear you groan now, “Another social media network? But I already Tweet, Facebook, Stumble, do Google Plus and LinkedIn!”
Surely you would think social media had reached a saturation point by now. Take Facebook who reportedly started shedding users in the US. Almost like a Starbucks on every corner, it seems that everyone that wants a Facebook account has one. Save China, Facebook has a significant presence in most of the world. The last frontier was Brazil, but Facebook is gaining users there despite an entrenched Orkut.There are several interesting things about Pinterest that bears looking at. Yes, the concept is not exactly new, it’s an image sharing site; but it has sidestepped (at least for now) the copyright issues that have bedeviled other social sites. When you “pin” an image from a web page that you find on the internet to one of your Pinterest boards, attribution to the original source is automatically included. While the permission of the original author is not part of the transaction, most site owners are fine with (and actively encourage) their work to be shared as long as they get credit. And if not? There is a way to “Report Pin”.
Pinterest is also different enough from Twitter, Facebook and other competitors. You aren’t tweeting links, or “friending”, you are collecting images and sharing them. It’s the next take on a bookmarking service – and as visually appealing (and easy to use) as the iPad Flipboard app. You can use it to save your favorite recipes or plan your next vacation. This makes it useful in a way that Facebook and Twitter isn’t (although I must admit, I have a tendency to tweet links that I want to keep track of).
With the built in attribution link and it’s viral nature – not only can you “Like” and “Re-pin” the image within Pinterest itself, but you can Tweet, Facebook Like and Embed the image – there is some serious potential traffic and SEO benefit here. The “Cookies” cartoon is courtesy of a seomoz pin that I embedded. I get a cool fun image and seomoz gets a followed link. Early adopters are reporting that their campaigns are getting a boost from their Pinterest pins.
Pinterest is currently by invitation only. But if you have a mainstream friendly topic: celebrities, food, fashion or travel (or even if you don’t) you might consider jumping on the Pinterest bandwagon.
How will you be using Pinterest?
Kathy Alice Brown is a SEO expert specializing in Technical SEO and Content. In her spare time she loves to get outside.