Pinterest has established itself as a major player in the social media game, and 2014 marks an important year of growth for the photo-driven site. Pinterest's latest update introduces personalized pin recommendations and a new topic board designed to give users a more personalized experience. Users can identity their specific interests and Pinterest will consider these settings as it pushes pin recommendations.
This feature is leading toward the inevitable future — paid pin recommendations. Right now, businesses can't pay for pin recommendations, but in order to turn a profit, Pinterest will have to open up its boards to businesses. Businesses looking forward to the future of paid pins can explore the new recommendations feature and align themselves with various categories.
The New Tool
The personalized pin recommendations feature offers an unintended benefit for businesses. If you're looking for a better footing on Pinterest, this tool is a cheat sheet for the most popular categories. Around 80 percent of Pinterest users are women, and the breakdown reflects popular womens' interests. For example, the new dashboard features a home decor category but not a home improvement category. By browsing this section, a DIY retailer like Lowe's will learn to tailor its pins more toward decor than construction. Relevant pins mean more content on your website.
Pinterest is already one of the most influential websites on the Internet. Nearly 5 percent of all Web traffic came from Pinterest in December 2013. That's more than Twitter, Youtube, Linkedin and Google+ combined. Now is the time for businesses to build a robust following on Pinterest. Use this new feature to tailor your content.
A Look to the Future
While other social media platforms rush to monetize through advertising, Pinterest is slowing wading into the water of paid content. Instagram is the latest social platform to integrate ads into its platform. The first ad, a photo of a Michael Kors watch, drew hundreds of negative comments.
"This is super annoying."
"Wow, this is about to get ugly."
"Take this s*#% off my Instagram."
Despite the negative feedback, Instagram didn't back down from its advertising strategy, and it continues to grow rapidly. Pinterest rolled out promoted pins to select businesses in October. It's small scope prevented a severe backlash. Pinterest users commonly skim and skip pictures, so promoted pins may have more success than other social media advertising avenues. The key for businesses will be making their ads look appealing and natural.
Where to Start
If your business isn't on Pinterest, it's easy to get started. It's free to make a profile, and Pinterest provides a suite tailored toward businesses. Here, you'll find analytics tools, widgets to integrate Pinterest with your website, and business success stories. If you need more inspiration, browse prominent businesses in your industry. Companies can learn something from the Pinterest pins from digital agency iAcquire. These Phoenix-based SEO experts use their Pinterest profile to link external articles, internal blog posts and behind-the-scenes content. Retailers have even more examples to explore. Fossil, Whole Foods and Sony all have robust Pinterest profiles.