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Pinning Milwaukee
Seven bridges, five racing sausages and one albino giraffe.
Halle Cottis of Whole Lifestyle Nutrition uses Pinterest to market to different audiences that are pinpointed to her specific target market. “For my organic gardening posts, I have a direct channel right to my target audience, which increases my traffic and helps Whole Lifestyle Nutrition to grow,” says Cottis.

That differs from other social media channels – like Facebook – that rely on relationships (think: friends) to help users find content their interested in. Pinterest uses what’s called the “interest graph,” which allows users to follow their interests and make connections based on those.In the past, Cottis has seen Pinterest increase her website bounce rate. People would see something they liked, go to the website to grab it and then quickly leave.

This encouraged her to tweak the website to encourage Pinterest followers to stay longer. “My bounce rate has steadily been decreasing as my referral traffic from Pinterest continues to grow,” says Cottis. “The changes I made to my website has encouraged people to stay longer and browse.”

Cottis isn’t the only one monitoring Pinterest traffic. Danny Maloney has built an entire marketing platform around this concept.Tailwind, Maloney’s Pinterest analytics company, caters to more than 12,000 brands worldwide, including Fortune 500 companies. Services at Tailwind include constructing and maintaining an online dashboard to monitor the trends, as well as specific pin usage data. All that results in some interesting data.

Maloney picks up the “Pinterest in Milwaukee” datasheet and points to the top 10 pinners. “Look at this,” he says. “The top 10 have a reach of half the population of Milwaukee, that’s incredible!”

In addition to Halle Cottis, the top pinners consist of local businesses, fashionistas, artists and bloggers. “A few are food related, which doesn’t surprise me since Milwaukee and Wisconsin in general are known for their staple food and beverages,” says Maloney.

Maloney goes on to state how it’s surprising that with a city full of Fortune 500 companies, none are predominant on the list. “They are really missing out,” he says. “Two years from now, every business is going to have to have a Pinterest strategy.”

Sitting in our number four seed, artist Alaina Burnett opened her Pinterest account in 2011 with a creative board called “My Fashion Style” just for fun, but it didn’t take long before she realized how lucrative it could be for her as a business woman and artist. “I found that a lot of people who liked that board ended up just following me overall, which means that every pin I post gets sent to them. I now have 13,168 followers. That was my “aha!” moment and I put together a simple board showing off some of my jewelry,” says Burnett. “Just one week later, I sold a pair of earrings from my online shop and the Australian buyer let me know that she found me because of Pinterest.” Burnett now has 1,189 followers on her “Jewelry I Made” board.

Milwaukee Top Pinners

Taste of Home 131,560
RED STAR Yeast 43,595
Toyas Tales 26,275
Alaina Burnett 12,938
Halle Cottis @ Whole Lifestyle Nutrition 10,515
StampTV & Gina K. Designs 9,987
Steve Uhyrek 8,819
~Melanie Rogers~ 7,507
OPTIMA Batteries 6,500
Beth Pickhard 5,981

Milwaukee Top Pins Repins

Albino giraffe in Milwaukee County Zoo 834
Octopus. If I were an animal…By the amazing Stephanie in Milwaukee, WI 792
Kevin giving Kate a forehead kiss against lighted trees 742 
Wisconsin-Texas Wedding Trista & Alton 555
“Journey” horizons by Phil Koch, Milwaukee, WI 485
Autumn in Seven Bridges, Grant Park, South Milwaukee, WI 351
“Lilacs” Horizons by Phil Koch, Milwaukee, WI 348
Milwaukee, WI 311
Milwaukee Art Museum 289
Milwaukee Brewers Sausage Race 286

*based on Tailwind data from February 2014. Numbers are subject to change. 

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POSTED 1/12/2015