If you keep tabs on the latest in consumer trends and online social networks, by now you should be familiar with a little site called Pinterest. I know what you're thinking... Really? ANOTHER social network to keep up with? Based on the numbers, this relatively new online community should not be ignored.
In less than a year, Pinterest has gone from about 350,000 unique visitors per month to over 18 million, making Pinterest the 16th most popular website in the US. That's an impressive rise to fame, purportedly the fastest in internet history.
Pinterest is not the next MySpace or Facebook. Unlike Facebook, Twitter and other social media sites, Pinterest moves beyond sharing the past and present and encourages users to envision the future. Instead of posting updates to a running timeline of text, links, and photos that will inevitably be pushed off the page and into an archive, Pinterest users find and "pin" photos, recipes, and other things they find interesting to a number of "boards", allowing them quick access to items grouped by a common theme.
This is where Pinterest has potential to help your business. Let's say you run a flower shop and you're looking to jump into the wedding market. Wouldn't it be great if a bride-to-be could add pictures of your flower arrangements to a board called Wedding Flowers? Then her and anyone who follows her account on Pinterest can see your products, and potentially share those items with friends, who in turn may share with their friends... you get the idea.
Maybe your web site features recipes for the different varieties of fruit grown and sold by your company. If Pinterest users pin your latest apple pie recipe to a Recipes board, that's additional exposure for you and your website that may not have come along through a traditional Google search or a status update lost to Facebook's new timeline format.
There is one caveat for businesses that want to harness the potential of this new social network. It is against Pinterest Terms and generally considered bad form to create an account for the sole purpose of pinning and re-posting your own content. You can promote yourself on Pinterest, but advertising should come as a by-product of your willingness to share and participate in the community.
If you're ready for an audience that looks to the future and isn't afraid to share their ideas with friends and strangers alike, talk to us about how your company can harness the power of Pinterest.
Posted April 27, 2012