How to Leverage Pinterest for Public Relations

Pinterest is the hot social media platform right now and definitely a tool that should be considered by PR practitioners and their clients in 2012. According to Experian Hitwise, Pinterest’s total visits grew from 10 million to 17 million the first three weeks of 2012 (see chart below). That’s impressive.

For those who haven’t heard of it, Pinterest is a social curation site that enables users to generate virtual bulletin boards where members create, view and follow image collections of things they like from the Internet. For brands, the beauty of Pinterest is that it creates a visual platform to engage with your fans.

Your success using Pinterest to generate interest and win fans depends on how visual your product or service is. Members of Pinterest can “repin” images of anything they find interesting on other people’s Pinterest boards, enabling them to connect to others with similar tastes and interests visually.

You can have as many categories as you like, but some of the most popular ones are do-it-yourself, crafts, bridal wish lists, recipes, books, home décor, fashion photography, and travel. A mother of one of our staff members describes Pinterest as a magazine you create yourself, and I think that hits it dead on.

So who’s using Pinterest? Well, plenty of people. It ranks No. 7 on the list of top visited social networking sites for 2011. Fifty-eight percent of Pinterest users are females between the ages of 25-44.

So should your brand be on Pinterest? That depends. Consumer brands can target audiences directly through visually engaging content. Successful examples include Nordstrom and Whole Foods. B2B brands may have a harder time.

Here are some Pinterest basics and advantages to help you whet your appetite:

Setting up an account: It is by invitation only. Some people have waited for weeks or even months after requesting an invitation from Pinterest.

Custom profile: No custom wall or profile yet. It is plain with a short profile description and as many “boards” as you wish.

SEO value: Pinterest can help your SEO efforts and increase your search results. Pins automatically store original links on the platform, so each time content is repinned your Web site is linked back to, increasing search engine ranking.

Brand recognition: Pinterest can increase your organization’s brand or product recognition due to repinning and engagement.

Is Pinterest worth the time? Again, it depends on your goals. Pinterest is mostly personal right now, and it’s hard to measure any results yet. However, if you like to stay on top of social media trends and have a consumer product, Pinterest could be a great platform from which to gain fans for your brand. PRN

[Mark your calendars for the PR News Webinar on Pinterest on March 27.]


This article was written by Bonnie D. Shaw. president of Clearpoint Agency, a PR and marketing communications firm based in San Diego. Shaw can be reached at