Last week my assistant informed me of a big spike in traffic to my website over the last month. Even more strange was the fact that Pinterest (a social networking site that allows users to create virtual pinboards of their favorite images) was now the second largest referrer of traffic after Google. While I normally expect about 4,000 visitors to my site each month, suddenly my site witnessed over 6,000 visitors. This was unusual because I hadn’t done much writing. So what happened?
Two words: Pinterest and Halloween. Ok, so maybe that still doesn’t clear things up. Three years ago my wife and I dressed up for Halloween as Facebook and Twitter. https://adriandayton.wpengine.com/2009/10/social-media-couple-costume/
Because of the graphical nature of Pinterest, suddenly this old blog post with pictures of our Halloween costumes were being pinned all over the world by people looking for good ideas for Halloween couple costumes. We were also featured by http://brit.com in an article titled The 25 Best Couple Costumes Ever
So what is the business lesson here? Just to be clear, this traffic to my website is for the most part worth very little. Think about it, a couple thousand people interested in Halloween costumes are visiting my website that focuses on social media for the legal industry? Not exactly my ideal client. If you look a little deeper though, there are a couple of practical business lessons here- first, people prefer articles with images in them, especially interesting images. And second, articles with images in them may stay relevant much longer.
In addition, if your blog includes writing only, without images, you are unlikely to have readers that are as highly engaged. Studies have shown that 79% of readers simply scan posts and they spend less time on blog posts that are missing images. In addition, images are searchable, so even long after your content may be stale your images will continue to be evergreen.
Should firms start paying more attention to Pinterest? Not necessarily. It doesn’t appear to be a relevant driver of traffic in the professional services arena for the average lawyer. However, for certain IP lawyers, or perhaps even start-up lawyers that can use graphics and images to tell their stories- Pinterest may more helpful.
What’s your take? Have you or your firm had a different experience with Pinterest? Let me know.
Btw, while we are on the topic, my friends Ryan and Lauren Nielson dressed up as Mr. and Mrs. Bates from Downton Abby this year. Great costumes.
I agree when you said your clientele isn’t looking at Halloween costumes. We all need to find where our clients are and go there. I’ve spent a little time on Pinterest and haven’t found my clients are there, so don’t bother anymore. Thanks, Adrian.
Thanks Tom, I think we sometimes suffer from shiny object syndrome online. Pinterest may be new and unique, but that doesn’t make it a good fit for professionals.
Hi Adrian, I’ll take an extra 6,000 visitors via Pinterest, please. It’s a good reminder that building an archive of interesting content can be a powerful marketing tool. Think 2% of those readers might come back again for a more relevant read?
If I could get 2% to return, it would be a win, but the audience is so random that I would be lucky to get .02%. I might get lucky with a few, but in my 4+ years of running this blog I have yet to receive a call from a potential client claiming to have found me through the Halloween Costume post.