Articles about "Pinterest"


Pinterest analysis: PBS, USA Today engage with readers most effectively

Several websites, including this one, have published articles recently about how journalists are using Pinterest. But none of these offers data-based analyses that measure whether newsrooms are using Pinterest to engage effectively with readers.

As a way of measuring engagement, follower counts are a basic metric. But knowing how critical the tweet to retweet ratio is for measuring engagement on Twitter, I sought to apply this principle to Pinterest. I wanted to compare average repin to pin ratios for a variety of local and national news organizations.

So, I submitted a request to three newly launched Pinterest monitoring services. I asked each to provide a board-by-board follower comparison and repin ratios for 13 big city dailies, broadcast news and financial publications. My editor and I selected news organizations that were active on Pinterest and represented diversity in audience size, geography, niche and ownership.

Pinerly was the only monitoring company of the three that provided exactly what I requested quickly and enthusiastically. Using the data they provided, we analyzed Pinterest boards for:

Follower counts

The Wall Street Journal emerged as the only newsroom in our group of 13 to exceed 5,000 followers on any single board, and eight of The Wall Street Journal’s boards surpassed 10,000 followers.

Most followed content

Travel boards curated by the Wall Street Journal, San Francisco Chronicle and USA Today topped the list of most followed topics among this group, tied with food boards by the Denver Post, Los Angeles Times and Orange County Register. Repinly’s report on Pinterest activity generally put travel and food interest much lower. The difference is notable because it may reflect the news organizations’ awareness that these subjects are of particular interest to their readers; simultaneously, loyal readers may know and trust the news organizations’ coverage of those topics (for example, USA Today and travel). The alignment reinforces the brand identity and introduces new audiences to it.

The Washington Post‘s most popular board was its five-pin Presidential Campaign board. Chicago History was at the top of the Chicago Tribune’s most followed list at the time of this analysis. The Guardian’s five-pin Andy Warhol tribute board excceeded their International Front Pages and Photography boards by over 500 follows.

Repins to pins ratio

The digital newsroom with the highest overall repin to pin ratio was PBS. On average, a single pin on PBS was repinned six times. Following in a cluster were USA Today with an average of 4.4 repins, Newsweek/The Daily Beast with an average of 4.3 repins, and the Wall Street Journal with an average of 4.2 repins per pin. The remaining news organizations had average ratios between 1.1 and 2.2 repins per pin.

The average ratios ranged from .6 to 6.2 repins per pin.

Supernovas, PBS’ most popular board, includes actual cosmic supernova photos and also a pin of author Maurice Sendak.

Using the word “Supernovas gave us the flexibility to place pins for people like Maurice Sendak and literal supernovas together,” said Kevin Dando, PBS Director of Digital Marketing and Communications. As PBS had produced shows on both topics, the images were already on file. For Dando, combining “Supernovas” actual and metaphoric wasn’t much of a stretch. “It’s the kind of thing people associate with PBS,” Dando said by phone, “Newsy, eclectic and smart.”

I asked Dando to explain the connection between the Supernovas board and their high repin to pin ratio. “It’s not a billboard for PBS content,” Dando said. “Our Pinterest account is for both PBS content and content that PBS finds interesting. If there’s particular content related to our programming we’ll pin it.” But interesting content unrelated to programming gets pinned as well.

This chart — and similar ones for the other news organizations we studied — shows two metrics: one a raw measure of popularity (followers) and the other a measure of engagement (repin to pin ratio). As you can see from the “Natural World” board numbers above for example, a less popular board can still have high user engagement.

Dando believes substantial referrals from Pinterest are not yet a realistic goal. “We are focused on engagement,” he said.

“We know the clickthroughs will come and the way to get them is through engagement.”

“Every time someone wants to use it from the main ‘NewsHour’ accounts, I make sure that they have a clear idea, and don’t want to use it just because it is the shiny new toy,” explained Teresa Gorman, former Social Media Editor at “PBS NewsHour.” Gorman collaborated with education team members and local PBS member station reporters on a series and Pinterest board profiling American Graduates. Although Pinterest, “hasn’t been a huge traffic driver in any way, shape, or form, that’s OK … because it has been successful in other ways.

Wondering how this might differ in a revenue generating newsroom, I asked Daniel Schneider, an online news producer at The Denver Post, who concurred. “It’s not a driver of clicks at all,” he told me. The problem with Pinterest, Schneider explained, is that “it’s only fun if you just hang around on the site — not clicking away.”

The infographic below details findings from this analysis.

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Recipes, vertical photos shared most on Pinterest

Dan Zarrella
Social media data analyst Dan Zarrella has tracked what kind of content gets “repinned” most often on Pinterest.

The lessons: Items about food (particularly recipes) and tall vertical photos seem to get the most sharing traction. So the photo embedded here, for example, seems almost irresistible to a Pinterest user. Images about design and style are the most commonly pinned overall.

The most pinned words are: love, home, things, style, ideas.

Related: Those Pinterest recipes? Sometimes not so good (Gaston Gazette) | Pinterest is now the 3rd most-visited social network (AllFacebook) | Amazon, eBay add Pinterest sharing buttons (TechCrunch) || Earlier: How journalism professors are using Pinterest (Poynter) | Pinterest updates terms of use (Poynter). Read more


Pinterest’s new terms make way for private sharing, API

Pinterest | Forbes
Pinterest has updated the legal policies governing its service. The terms lay groundwork for new features: private pinboards and an API. They also set strict rules against copyright violations and clarify that Pinterest will not sell uploaded content. || Related: How The Wall Street Journal uses Pinterest (10,000 Words) | Pinterest drops its “avoid self promotion” directive (The Wall Street Journal) || Earlier: As Pinterest grows visitors 52% in one month, journalism profs find news uses for it (Poynter) Read more

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As Pinterest grows visitors 52% in one month, journalism profs find news uses for it

comScore | Fortune | MindShift
The number of people visiting Pinterest exploded by 52 percent in February to 17.8 million, according to new comScore data. The curation-focused social network reached that mark faster than Tumblr, Twitter, Facebook or YouTube and has “added an estimated 40% to 50% more subscribers each month,” according to a Fortune Magazine feature that asks whether Pinterest is the next Facebook. CEO and Co-founder Ben Silbermann tells Fortune:

“When you open Pinterest, it should feel like someone has hand-made a book for you,” he explains. “Every item should feel like it’s handpicked for you by a person you care about.”

Handpicked — and legal. After photographer Kirsten Kowalski blogged about copyright concerns on Pinterest, Silbermann called her and they spoke for more than an hour. “The company will shortly update its terms of service,” Fortune confirms, “though Silbermann notes they follow the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.” Read more


Pinterest says it’s conscious of copyright issues

Washington Post | The Next Web
Pinterest is telling content creators it does care about the potential for copyright violations as its millions of users “pin” images from all over the Web. The company notes it lets any website opt-out of having content shared to Pinterest, and is responsive to takedown requests. Most sites seem happy to work with the burgeoning network, however, because it drives significant traffic. Facebook, Google and YouTube are among the biggest beneficiaries. || Related: Revamped Pinterest profile pages, iPad app coming soon (CNN) | How to track your website’s content on Pinterest (Mashable) | Women trust Pinterest more than Facebook or Twitter (Adweek) | Pinterest fueled by curation-over-content trend (ReadWriteWeb) | Founder talks about the road to success (Inc.) || Earlier: A list of newspapers on Pinterest Read more


How Austin360, Mashable are using Pinterest to cover South by Southwest

If you want a visual representation of South by Southwest, start searching on Pinterest. A simple SXSW search turns up photos of musicians, event posters, styles you’re likely to see, and infographics detailing the festival’s history.

Hoping to reach Pinterest users, Austin360, the Austin American Statesman’s entertainment site, created its own SXSW boards. The boards — which showcase bands that will be performing, SXSW music parties and SXSW Interactive speakers and events — add a visual component to the site’s coverage and help capture the festival’s spirit.

“You see through the pictures and through the party posters just the tremendous visual energy that there is at SXSW,” Assistant Features Editor Sarah Beckham said by phone. “I think what we’re doing on Pinterest is a really good reminder of that.”

Austin360 already has plenty of visuals in its coverage. But by putting those visuals on Pinterest and linking to related coverage, Austin360 has the potential to reach new audiences that may not have otherwise come across the site’s content.

Attracting an audience on Pinterest

Maira Garcia, the Statesman’s social media editor, created Austin360′s SXSW boards after talking with Melissa Martinez, who runs the site’s events calendars. Martinez told Garcia she had created her own Pinterest board highlighting various SXSW party posters and thought it might make sense for Austin360 to do something similar.

Garcia said its Pinterest site, which has a few boards related to food, drinks and music, started to gain more followers after creating its SXSW boards. This makes sense, given that SXSWi tends to attract early adopters of social media who are likely using Pinterest. It helps, too, that Austin is a progressive city.

“Pinterest has been around for a couple of years already, and I think we’ve seen in Austin a few people within the tech community who have been using it,” Garcia said by phone. “We’re always open to trying new tools, and if they work for us, great. In this case, they have.”

Austin360 has been making sure to include “SXSW” in its pin descriptions so that they’ll appear in Pinterest search results. And it has been engaging with other users on the site. Garcia said an active Pinterest user made Austin360 a contributor to his “Guide to SXSW 2012” board, which has helped the site gain exposure. (Anyone who creates a Pinterest board can invite others to contribute to the board and share control of it.)

Some of the pins on Mashable’s SXSWi board, such as this one, link to related Mashable stories.

Mashable also hopes to develop its Pinterest presence during SXSW. Mashable Community Manager Meghan Peters said the site’s SXSWi board will feature images from the festival, some of which will link back to Mashable’s content. The site also plans to use Twitter and Facebook to let readers know about its boards.

Pinterest and SXSW complement each other well, Peters said, because they’re both outlets for sharing inspiring ideas.

“They’re able to motivate their communities in a very powerful way,” she said via email. “…In our experience, people love to look at photos from SXSWI — whether they attend the event or not. Pinterest gives us the opportunity to present these images to our readers in a more compelling way than other social networks.”

Measuring the impact of Pinterest

Garcia is measuring the success of Austin360’s Pinterest accounts by tracking how many people are following their boards and repinning their content. She’s also been paying attention to the traffic Pinterest has brought to Austin360. Almost all of the site’s pins link back to Austin360 content.

Austin360′s “SXSW Music Parties” board.

In particular, Austin360’s “SXSW Music Parties” board has helped drive traffic to the site’s database of SXSW parties.

“We uploaded the photos into the database and then we pinned them. So not only did we get that material in there, but it also clicks through to our bigger database, which is already immensely popular,” Garcia said. “We promote the database pretty heavily on our site and on other social media sites, but this has been a big way to show it off more visually, and we’ve definitely seen a spike of clicks from Pinterest to the database.” (She didn’t have specific stats to share.)

Some of Austin360 SXSW’s boards feature YouTube videos of bands that will be at SXSW, while others feature images that bands and speakers sent to the site. Strong visual elements, Garcia said, can help draw people to your site’s content. Given concerns about copyright violations, Austin360 is pinning only images that it has permission to use rather than repinning others’ images.

Growing your newsroom’s interest in Pinterest

Austin360, which will have more than 20 staffers covering South by Southwest, has asked them to include photos and videos in their coverage whenever possible. “That obviously makes it easy for us to pin them on boards,” Garcia said.

Encouraging staffers to think about how they can contribute to your site’s social media efforts is an important part of developing a presence on any social network. Social media efforts often work best when multiple people in the newsroom know how to use a variety of tools and can suggest ideas for implementing them.

“I plan to look for ways to use Pinterest while I’m at SXSW myself,” said Austin360′s Beckham. “The ways I’ve used it personally have been repining posts I’ve found on other websites, but I hope to have a chance to pin some of my own photos — time permitting.”

Data analysis from RJMetrics shows that 80 percent of users — like Beckham — repin content rather than posting their own.

“I’m going to be editing and tweeting, too. It’s part of the balancing act that we all have to do,” Beckham said. But the effort is educational. “For me as an editor, it helps to look at SXSW from another perspective,” Beckham said. “Seeing what Austin360 is doing on Pinterest helps me think in terms of visually presenting stories. I think that as we learn about Pinterest, it will consciously become a bigger part of our story planning.”

Pinterest has grown quickly as news organizations have been experimenting with it. The growth signals opportunities for news sites that want to cover events differently, find new platforms for distributing content and meeting audiences where they are.

Do you know of other news sites using Pinterest to cover SXSW? Let us know in the comments section. Also, here are 25 SXSWi panels journalists won’t want to miss.
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With growth like Pinterest’s, who needs a business model?

Wall Street Journal | RJMetrics
The Journal examines the business side of the fast-growing social network Pinterest, and finds there really isn’t one. “Pinterest’s monetization strategy isn’t in the oven and it’s not even off the baking table,” board member Jeremy Levine said. Meanwhile, data analysis firm RJMetrics says Pinterest has more growth and sharing than Twitter did at the same stage. “Over 80% of pins are re-pins, demonstrating the tremendous virality at work in the Pinterest community. To contrast, a study done at a similar time in Twitter’s history showed that only about 1.4% of tweets were retweets.” || Related: WSJ creates a guide to Pinterest, on Pinterest | David Pogue reviews the site: “It’s like virtual scrapbooking” (New York Times) || Earlier: Sharing sites like Pinterest raise copyright concerns (Poynter) | It’s time for journalists to pay attention to Pinterest (Poynter) | How to adapt online news in the age of sharing (Poynter) Read more


Pinterest races past 10 million visitors, propelled by young midwestern women

TechCrunch | LLsocial
Pinterest, the hot new network for social curation (scrapbookmarking?), has raced past 10 million unique monthly visitors “faster than any other standalone site in history” as tracked by comScore. Josh Constine says it has 11.7 million unique visitors in the U.S., led by “18-34-year-old upper income women from the American heartland.” The latest question going forward is, will users be turned off by blogger Josh Davis’ discovery that Pinterest is making money by quietly claiming credit for traffic that users’ pins drive to ecommerce sites resulting in sales? Or is that just clever business? || Earlier: Sharing sites like Pinterest raise copyright concerns (Poynter) | It’s time for journalists to pay attention to Pinterest (Poynter) | More Pinterest coverage Read more


Look for NYT on Pinterest soon, but not a Facebook app

New York Times Social Media Editor Liz Heron said during a talk in London on Friday that the Times will have a presence on Pinterest soon. “Pinterest is one up-and-coming platform, but we’re still figuring out what the community wants there and how we can deliver something new,” she said. The Times hasn’t decided what to do with Facebook apps, so don’t look for one like those launched by The Washington Post and the Guardian. Heron said news outlets should consider the relative strength of each platform, saying Facebook is a “conversational hub” and Google Hangouts are revolutionary. And the key question for news orgs in 2012, she said, is how “they distinguish themselves from all the other voices.” Adam Tinworth has more details from her talk. || Related: Huffington Post’s Mandy Jenkins leaves ‘young person’s job’ of social media editor (Poynter) || Earlier: Pinterest gains 55 percent more users in one month (comScore) | Why it’s time for journalists to pay attention to Pinterest (Poynter) | The New York Times’ 8 steps for holding engaging live chats on Facebook (Poynter) Read more