Alright, I’ll admit it. I’ve been scoffing at Pinterest for years.
The only context I’ve ever heard Pinterest in is one of arts, crafts, and recipes. And this was always, always, only discussed amongst my female friends. None of my bros were on Pinterest.
This idea was enforced even further when all I kept reading was how Pinterest was made up almost entirely of women.
So, naturally, I felt no desire to join. I didn’t see the value of Pinterest in my personal life, and my business audience wasn’t on there either. (or so I thought)
My brother even tried to convince me to join, citing all kinds of awesome uses for Pinterest that many don’t know about. He actually wrote about it here for my blog. I still didn’t listen. (I’ve been told I’m stubborn, but I refuse to believe it)
Turns out, I was completely wrong about Pinterest.
4 Reasons Pinterest is different from other social networks
After reading countless material on the subject and listening to many industry experts rave about it, I setup my Pinterest account about a month ago. Here’s what I’ve learned about Pinterest so far, and why I feel it’s different from any other social media platform.
1. Pinterest posts go on and on and on and on…
The staying power of Pinterest posts is unlike anything the other social media platforms can provide.
When you post something on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram, the shelf life is limited to at best a few days. (In Twitter’s case, often just a few hours, unless you’re fortunate enough to go viral)
With Pinterest, the content you pin to your boards can be repinned over and over again. When someone finds your pin and decides to repin it to one of their boards, it shows up in the feed of everyone who is following that user.
If you create great, shareable content on Pinterest, it can be shared over and over to new users as they discover it. Indefinitely.
2. Pinterest is actually a massive search engine
Every other major social media platform is all about the main “feed”. That place you go to to scroll through all of the latest posts your friends, family, and influencers have shared.
While Pinterest does have a feed as well, it is not the main method that users interact with the platform.
Most Pinterest users navigate to Pinterest because they are searching for something, just like they would with Google. More specifically, they are searching for ideas. A new Nutella recipe, tips for traveling to Norway, a way to repurpose their leftover barn wood from their last Pinterest project.
This creates a massive opportunity to make evergreen content that last for years, and optimize it just as you would with Google. As far as I’m concerned, future SEO strategies should also include Pinterest.
3. Pinterest is full of highly engaged people
Facebook is an advertisers dream, and therefore can feel like the loneliest corner of the driest desert when you don’t want to pay to talk to with people.
Between that and the “fake news“, it can be incredibly frustrating to find smart people with engaging content.
Twitter, as much fun as it is, is probably 60% made up of fake bots by now. And when you do find a real person, they’re either a complete weirdo or they just spit out the same tired links with their automated social media scheduler. (Thanks, Buffer.)
Instagram is slowly being ruined by its new Facebook-like algorithm and the ability to live stream your life that isn’t worth streaming.
Pinterest, on the other hand, is where creators go to socialize. They search for ideas, make connections with people in their niche, and help promote each others work. It’s beautiful, frankly.
But what really makes Pinterest stand out is the deep collaboration it offers. Pinterest group boards are an incredibly valuable tool that help you discover new content that’s actually worth your time, as well as promote your own content.
When I use Pinterest, more often than not I walk away from it having learned something new. And that is almost entirely thanks to its users.
4. Outside of organic search, Pinterest is the easiest place to get high quality free traffic
This one is kind of cheating, because it’s mainly due to reasons 1-3 that #4 even exists. But I don’t care.
If you want to get a decent amount of traffic from any other social media platform, you have to pay for it. And even then, you almost need to be an expert just to make it work. (I’m looking at you, Facebook)
With Pinterest, you can get a ton of high quality traffic to your website or blog just by actively using the platform. And that’s the way it should be.
Because if you can get such great results for free, imagine what you could get if you invest some money into it?
Pinterest is the first social media platform I’ve used that I actually want to spend my hard-earned cash on. That says a lot.
Where I’m going from here
I’ll admit that I’m still a relative noob when it comes to Pinterest. That said, I’ve learned a lot, and I’m already seeing great results after just 30 days of very minimal effort.
If you have a business to market online, and you have any kind of a social media strategy, you simply can’t ignore the power of Pinterest.
The extended shelf life of your Pinterest posts, the powerful search engine, and passionate audiences all combine to create a marketing machine that can bring free, high quality traffic to your site.
I have seen the error of my ways, and walked towards the light. That beautiful, hand-crafted, ethically sourced, re-purposed light.
I encourage you to do the same.