The power of Pinterest for pet businesses.

You may have heard about Pinterest, and you may have signed up and are actively participating. If so, that's great!

If not, you will want to look into Pinterest as a way to boost your brand and traffic to your site, as well as attract attention for your pet business products and services.

At first I wasn't sold on Pinterest because of their early terms of service that stated anything that you pinned, they now owned and could sell. The terms also stated that all the liability of pinning content was on the user.

In the beginning their 'pin etiquette' actually encouraged users to 'avoid self promotion' because they state, "Pinterest is designed to curate and share things you love. If there is a photo or project you're proud of, pin away! However, try not to use Pinterest purely as a tool for self-promotion." That statement has also been removed from their 'pin etiquette.'

The old terms, along with Pinterest encouraging users to pin others content rather than their own created a major conflict. These issues have now been revised in their new terms of services released on March 23, 2012.

These early terms statements discouraged me from experimenting fully with Pinterest in it's early days. However since the change in these terms, I've reignited my test Pinterest account that I originally created for one of my other businesses, JohannTheDog.

So what is Pinterest?

Pinterest defines their mission as, "to connect everyone in the world through the 'things' they find interesting. We think that a favorite book, toy, or recipe can reveal a common link between two people. With millions of new pins added every week, Pinterest is connecting people all over the world based on shared tastes and interests."

Pinterest has been rapidly gaining users over the past year actually surpassing Google+ and Linkedin. Here are the current number of users utilizing the most popular social media tools (at publication date):

1. Facebook: 7 billion
2. Twitter: 182 million
3. Pinterest: 104 million
4. LinkedIn: 86 million
5. Tagged: 72 million
6. Google+: 61 million

Since the change in terms of service, my experiment has been with pinning my own content and sharing a wide variety of blog posts for Johann The Dog and Raise A Green Dog, as well as my Squidoo lenses.

What I've seen has been pretty amazing. Here is an example of one experiment:

While I was not actively participating on Pinterest someone pinned my blog post on Raise A Green Dog that outlines a recipe for Homemade Frosty Paws. The pinning and repinning of that blog post drove a good amount of traffic to the Raise A Green Dog blog; increasing my visits by about 100%. So when I actively engaged with Pinterest after their terms of service update, I decided to create a 'Dog Yums' board and pin that same blog post along with some other recipes. Within just a few days it went semi viral, increasing traffic to my blog by well over 4000%.

So what's key in getting attention from folks on Pinterest and getting your pins, repinned (or reposted)? First, I think you need to understand the audience on Pinterest, so let's explore that.

An infographic from Mashable, outlines the current demographic audience on Pinterest, stating:
  • 87% of Pinterest users are female, 23% male
  • Primary ages range from 25-54 with approximately 23-25% for each of the three segment breakdowns of those three age ranges.
  • Two primary income levels utilize Pinterest - $25-49,000 and $50-74,000
See any similarities? Yep, it's primarily the same demographic for pet product and service purchasers, which makes it a super audience for pet business marketing.

With that in mind, here are my top thoughts on what pins are most likely to attract attention for your pet business:
  • Extremely well written and thoroughly researched original content, whether written on your blog, or your website.
  • An article, blog post or similar that's unexpected, unique and not a copy of the same old, same old information out there on the web currently.
These items mean more work, but also can reap more rewards. More advice is to stick within the realms of your brand, staying true to your brand; and write about what you know.

Here are a few additional articles that may be of interest:

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