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Pinterest Gains Traction for Consumers, Publisher's Referral Traffic

14 Mar, 2012 By: Jackie Jones

PALO ALTO, Calif. – While long-standing social-networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter continue to establish their role in advertisers’ playbooks, many up-and-coming second-tier social media sites are becoming even more popular with consumers, according to eMarketer.

Sites such as Tumbler, Meebo and Pinterest are not only referring traffic to social media giants Facebook and Twitter, but also gaining viewers of their own in return. In addition to retail sites bolstered by holiday traffic, Meebo and Pinterest were two social sites increasing in influence, according to data from Compete, which showed Meebo’s U.S. referral traffic to Facebook grew 314.5 percent in November 2011 when compared to the previous month, while Pinterest’s referrals rose 57.22 percent.

“Referral traffic is interesting to follow,” said eMarketer analyst Kimberly Maul. “Pinterest and StumbleUpon allow you to go from site to site to site quickly; but Google, Facebook and Twitter require a little more effort because you have to click the ‘Like’ or ‘Share’ button.”

Pinterest is gaining users at a particularly rapid rate, according to eMarketer.

“The top sites visited by U.S. Internet users after visiting Pinterest included several social networks: Facebook, 13.94 percent of the time; Blogspot, 8.74 percent of the time; Tumblr, 1.67 percent of the time; and Etsy, 1.57 percent of the time, according to Compete,” eMarketer’s report said. “As a visual-focused social network, it makes sense that Pinterest would refer traffic to other sites with photos and visuals, such as Tumblr and Etsy.”

Pinterest not only drives more referral traffic to publisher Web sites, but content seems to also keep viewers on the site longer, according to eMarketer. Pinterest users in the U.S. spent an average of 88.3 minutes on the site in November 2011. Marketers are taking note: Dial for Men is one of the latest brands to join Pinterest, part of an overall integrated campaign strategy by the brand.

“We are always looking for connections, but we don’t have a lot of money and thought it would be fun to go into this ‘sea of femininity’ and be a ‘beacon of manhood,’” Steve O’Connell, executive creative director at Red Tettemer + Partners, who created the program, told Marketing Daily. “We are doing this in a way that doesn’t cost much; we will have masculine stuff, even aside from our products. We don’t have a huge following on Facebook – about 170,000 people – so the Pinterest program might well generate more interest.”

“The opportunity for marketers lies not only in posting information from their company, but also easily pinning photos and information from partners. The challenge, however, has become copyrights – determining who hold the copyrights to photos,” Maul said. “With Facebook, you post your own photos, but with Pinterest and Tumblr, it’s more about sharing things that are interesting. There must be a way to create the author of the photo.”

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