This 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 pin boards 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 down’t clear things up. Three years ago my wife and I dressed up for Halloween as Facebook and Twitter. http://adriandayton.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 lesson 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.