By Robert Evatt
Copyright © 2013, Tulsa World. All Rights Reserved
For most of us, Pinterest is a handy place to share recipes, ideas or other things we just find interesting.
For companies and organizations, the social network is another opportunity to spread their message.
Although Pinterest is relatively new, an Oklahoma City-based company, Pinleague, is on a mission to help businesses commercialize the popular website.
Danny Maloney, co-founder and CEO of Pinleague, said among its 650 clients are big names such as Nike, Target, Microsoft, the Humane Society and Pacific Sunwear. Tulsa-based clients include Take Heart Tulsa, Social Media Tulsa and Speakeasy Market Strategies.
But the original plan wasn’t to provide the analytics of Pinterest. Pinleague accidentally discovered the power of the social network while working on BridesView, a now-dormant social network focused on sharing wedding ideas.
“We were building BridesView when we saw it had healthy traffic growth in Pinterest,” Maloney said. “We went from 1 percent to 30 percent of the site’s traffic coming from Pinterest.”
That’s when Maloney and his company decided to switch gears. The rebranded company now analyzes information on Pinterest to help companies target users in two different ways.
In the first method, companies give Pinleague a number of parameters they want to find, such as keywords, what types of pins are posted or what pins people have searched for.
When Pinleague finds users that match these parameters, companies can then send them notifications on Pinterest’s recent activity ticker or via email.
“In the process, a certain percentage will follow the product or start repining them,” Maloney said.
In the second method, Pinleague analyzes data within Pinterest, Facebook and Twitter to show companies what users are interested in at any given time. This helps companies address potential issues, craft their message as tastes change and reward loyal customers.
The goal is to make sure the message is something the recipient might actually take an interest in, rather than carpet-bomb everyone with the same thing.
“Users hate getting spam,” Maloney said. “They hate getting offers that aren’t relevant to them personally.”
Kersten Anderson, owner of Speakeasy Market Strategies, a Tulsa business-to-business marketing firm, said she has never encountered another service like Pinleague.
“I’ve been having a hard time finding good analytics on Pinterest,” she said. “The few that are out there don’t give you anything more specific than how much traffic is going to your website.”
Anderson incorporates data from Pinleague in her marketing efforts for other local clients. One way she uses the information is to determine which users of social media are truly influential.
“It really shows you who your traffic drivers are,” she said. “It’s not just blog posts but content-sharing that is very popular.”
Maloney said Pinleague has four full-time employees and five helping out part-time.
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Robert Evatt 918-581-8447