Pinterest has quickly become one of the fastest growing social media sites, now boasting over 11.7 million unique visitors per month and 17.8 million registered users. Pinterest’s rapid growth is the result of a few key factors. First, their platform is visually appealing. Users select items of interest based primarily on imagery, so there is very little text to read, ultimately retaining a user’s attention for much longer.
Another factor is that Pinterest users can sign in through Facebook or Twitter, which automatically integrates them into their existing social networks. This means that sharing across social media platforms is already built into Pinterest, even if one may not have any Pinterest “followers” yet. Yet another key advantage for Pinterest is in its easy-to-use interface. People can navigate it and create new boards without much trouble or confusion – very clean, and very simple.
There are shortcomings, however. Pinterest offers fewer discovery methods when compared to other leading social media sites. There can be a bit of work involved in tracing a pin to the original pinner, making it more difficult to directly engage with fans. The site does not employ an algorithm of any kind that recommends pinners or boards to follow based on a user’s activity. Although this isn’t much of an issue for individual users, it can make things a little less convenient for brands that are trying to build an audience on Pinterest.
Pinterest’s demographics are also unique compared to Facebook or Twitter’s. 68.2% of Pinterest users are women, and 50% of users are parents. Comparatively, Facebook’s user demographics by gender are 57% female and 43% male, and Twitter’s gender demographics are about the same, with females slightly outnumbering males. Although there isn’t a great disparity between female and male users on Pinterest, it is enough to potentially cause a mismatch between a particular artist’s audience and a Pinterest audience.
If your audience is predominantly female, it might make more sense to communicate to your audience via Pinterest. If not, Pinterest is still useful, but primarily as an external engagement tool and not necessarily as a fan accumulation tool. For these reasons, it is important to note that Pinterest would work best, from a music marketing perspective, for connecting and engaging with your current fans, and not as an audience-building or music discovery platform.
The Benefits of Sharing on Pinterest
If you have fans that are passionate enough to follow you across multiple platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube, it is safe to assume that they will also likely follow you on Pinterest as well. Pinterest is a great place to connect with fans on a personal level because it allows you to showcase your tastes, as well as things that interest you individually. On Pinterest, users share primarily pictures (videos too), and again, there isn’t much writing involved so it is more visually appealing and can be easier to capture people’s attention. Pinterest is not a site that is driven by music at all, so it is essentially a platform for purely sharing content with fans.
Pinterest can be an effective platform for building relationships with audiences, but is an ineffective platform to “sell” to them. By sharing on Pinterest, your fans get a better sense of who you are as a person, and you can build emotional connections with them, which should be one of the main goals of any brand-fan relationship. Fans are more willing, by far, to spend money on and support (word of mouth shall not be discounted!) those artists that have made a personal connection with them.
Tools for Pinterest
Pinterest has a variety of tools for sharing. You can always post a picture of something directly within the site, of course, but you can also pin things from other web sources as well. You can install a “Pin It” button to your browser (Safari only currently) so that you can easily share anything you come across on the web. You can also choose from a variety of Pinterest icons to link your Pinterest account to your website or blog. The site also offers “Follow Me on Pinterest” icons. You can now also add a Pinterest tab to your Facebook Timeline.
While these tools are great for getting your fans to follow you on Pinterest, the site also offers ways for fans to pin your work to their own boards. This is an incredibly helpful way to get fans to interact with your art directly. The “Pin It” button for websites allows you to add an icon next to your pictures, videos, quotes, or anything else for your fans to share. This gives you the opportunity to make viral impressions, as your fans will share your art and interests with their followers. All of these tools are available in the Goodies section on the site.
Third Party Apps
There are a few third party apps out there that are useful for building a strong community on Pinterest. One such app is called Shareasimage, which allows a user to highlight any text from anywhere on the web, and then converts the text into an image that you can share on Pinterest (you can also use this app for Facebook and Twitter).
Url2pin.it allows users to take a screenshot of a website and share it on Pinterest. You can use this as a purely promotional tool for your own website, or as a new and interesting way to share your favorite sites with your fans. Snapitto! does the same thing, but with a greater variety of options and capabilities.
Pinterest can be a very fun and addictive way to connect with your fans and build more meaningful relationships with them. When using Pinterest and other social media sites, it’s important to remember that the point of social media is to be social. It's best to not use Pinterest, or any social media site for that matter, to just sell to your audience. This tactic has not only proven to be ineffective, but impersonal as well. The fans that you build lasting personal relationships with today are the ones who will support you and your art for years to come.