Is Pinterest a fit for your Business?
So who are these guys?
Social network Pinterest has been around for almost two years now, growing quietly under the radar, and just in the last few months has seen an explosion in members and traffic. Compete.com shows 7.2 million users as of November 2011 and according to Hitwise.com, “the invitation-only site received nearly 11 million total visits during the week ending December 17, 2011”, 40 times the traffic they received six months ago.
For those who haven’t experienced it yet, Pinterest is a highly visual, often beautiful, social medium where users create interest boards (“pin boards”) to post images of things they like from around the web. Users create categories such as ‘Awesome Design’, ‘Favorite Desserts’ or ‘Dream House’ and in effect create a visual montage of who they are and what inspires them.
Pinterest.com Home Page
Pinterest Pin Board ‘My Style’
Pinterest users can do many social things:
• Sign up via Facebook or Twitter
• Create themed pin boards
• Add a Pin it widget to their browser
• Invite friends to join
• Like a Pin
• RePin an image to their own boards.
I recently created my own account and found it fun to use, and very easy to get caught up in the visuals. It’s not often that I personally enjoy a new social network, but this one I’m loving. When signed in with Facebook, recent Pins are automatically added to your timeline.
What does this mean for businesses?
It’s no surprise that brands are taking a very big interest in Pinterest. From both the user and business perspective we can easily see the high viral potential of the network. According to a report from Shareaholic.com, in January 2012 Pinterest drove more referral traffic than Google Plus, YouTube and LinkedIn combined. And Twitter and Pinterest traffic are neck and neck: Twitter 3.61 percent. Pinterest 3.6 percent. Wow, that’s a big statistic and the social network is still growing.
Pinterest Referral Traffic vs. Social Leaders
Google data shows a highly targeted user profile for Pinterest at this time:
• 82 percent female worldwide.
• Biggest age group is 25 to 44 years old.
• 87 percent have had at least some college
• Majority fall in $25,000 to $75,000 income range.
Does Pinterest fit your business?
Pinterest is a highly visual medium, lending itself most readily to highly visual businesses, especially those that cater to the feminine. The site is dominated at this time by fashion, art and design, home goods, and food images. Inspirational quotes and nature are also popular themes.
Some sure fits:
- Fashion clothing
- Design agencies
- Specialty foods
- Interior decoration
- Home goods
With a little creativity the venue can be used to represent the brand essence and philosophy of many businesses. For example, a green energy company might create boards of the latest eco-friendly innovations and of inspirational quotes for living well. Imagine the possibilities for a Nike ‘Just do it’ board or a Newsweek board of the best political cartoons. For companies with a clear brand vision, the potential is far reaching.
Granted, it may be difficult to promote coat hangers or accounting services on Pinterest at this time, but the possibilities are intriguing with some imagination.
Getting a hint of the potential
A client in the couture fashion industry has been seeing an increase in referral traffic from Pinterest over the last few months. We saw a sharp spike in traffic on December 15. This surge was related to one single Pin of one of their fashion pieces, and the Pin went viral. This is an example of how a casual Pin by any user can result in great traffic.
This month the client continues with a steady stream of Pinterest traffic resulting from many (150!) different pins. The exciting thing about this is that traffic was truly spontaneous and shows just a hint of the high volume potential. What happens when we start adding some strategy?
Taking it to the Next Level
We just placed a Pin it! Button throughout their galleries to encourage those shares, and they’ve started building their own brand pin boards. We’ll keep you posted on how things progress.