Google and Bing—the major search engines–constantly update and change their formulas for searching. This means that online reputation management consultants must also be updating and changing their approach.
However, sometimes those changes don’t come directly from the search engines themselves like Google or Bing. Sometimes they are caused by a new social media network.
In this case, it is Pinterest, whose sudden exponential rise has garnered much attention. Initially, the virtual “pin board” site was seen as just another social media site, but has now become in a short time a driver of referral traffic—more than sites such as Google+, Reddit, LinkedIn, and even YouTube.
As a result, SEO and reputation management professionals have begun to realize that Pinterest can become instrumental in online reputation management campaigns.
One consultant is Steve Giovinco, of Steve’s Online Marketing, a firm that specializes in SEO and online reputation management in NYC. Reports have shown that Pinterest can be a valuable social media marketing tool, and as a result, is a way to help drive successful reputation management campaigns. Steve Giovinco says, “Pinterest drives traffic and referrals in unprecedented ways. Very quickly it has become a proven tool, which is very helpful for reputation management professionals.”
Giovinco says Pinterest could prove especially useful in managing online reputations as well as creating an enhancement of a brand. Enhancing a brand is similar to traditional reputation management approaches where negative online postings are suppressed by the creating a stream of positive online content: in this case, there are no negative posts—instead, the focus is on inundating the search engines with positive information.
Social media networking campaigns for enhancing a brand has become standard, which is where Pinterest comes into play. “Social media sites like Twitter, Facebook and Tumblr have been a great way to build a brand online and interact with users,” says Steve Giovinco of Steve’s Online Marketing. “Pinterest is now on par with those services, and continues to grow.” Pinterest is helpful, like the other social networks of Facebook and Twitter, to drive more traffic to existing sites and campaigns.
Even with its rise, Pinterest is online one tool for reputation management professionals. “Buidling either brand awareness of repairing an online reputation is complicated and requires a wide range of online sites, including social media,” says Giovinco. “Pinterest is important but wont replace blogs, fresh content updates, newswires, and other online sources. This is true with enchaning a brand where its important to establish a trust worthy source with users.”
Steve Giovinco also cautions that although Pinterest has risen quickly, it is still very new, and its popularity could also be due to its intergration with Facebook.
For online management professionals, Pinterest presents many possibilities to generate more awareness—that could either make or break a company’s online presence. “How you use a tool is as important as the tool itself,” mentions Giovinco. “You could send a large volume of traffic to your site, but what is the ultimiate impression for the user, and how do they engauge with it? Could it alienate your users or give a negative impression, creating more harm than good? The ulimate goal is to drive people to see you, and one way of doing that is to improve your search rank and to fill it with positive information about you.” Giovinco suggests businesses and their owners to make sure their online presence is active but is constructive.