Pinterest – For Fun or For Business?
If you haven’t heard, Pinterest is currently the fastest growing social network, not only that but it is one of the fastest growing websites ever. Launched in March 2010, the site began to take off late last summer after Time magazine noted it as one of the best websites of 2011. Since then the rate of growth has been phenomenal (the site now has over 2 million daily Facebook connected users) but is it simply a fun online network or does it have potential to be a serious business tool?
What is Pinterest?
So what, first of all, is Pinterest? Imagine a virtual pinboard that you can use to pin visually stimulating things that you find online on and you are halfway there.Then imagine being able to share your pins with other users and have them share theirs with you. Pinterest’s vision it to connect everyone in the world through things they find interesting.
Pinterest is succesful because of it’s simplicity, ease of use and because it appeals to those who appreciate eye candy. Pinterest users tend to be females between 18 and 40 and they spend on average 98 minutes on the site.
Is Pinterest a Viable Business Tool?
People may be spending time on the site but what I want to know is – is it a viable business tool? Many tech bloggers and social media heavyweights have yet to be convinced (many of them are male and most have yet to think of a professional use for it) and some have gone as far as ridiculing it, so I decided to ask our friend Sue Sinclair of Raspberry Kids. Raspberry Kids is an online store that sells kids toys, litterless lunch gear, books and gifts. Their target audience closely resembles that of Pinterest users and Sue has been using the virtual pinboard for a few months now. Raspberry Kids’ website has seen an increase in traffic as a result. Not only that but customers have been sharing and pinning images of Raspberry Kids products – RK made it easy for them to do so by adding the Pin It button to each product page on their site. This has spread the raspberry love to new audiences and sales have resulted.
I’m really excited about Pinterest because it is such a game changer for ecommerce sites and businesses like ours. – Sue Sinclair, Raspberry Kids
Pinterest appeals to creative thinkers, to right brained types who appreciate visual stimulation. It also appeals to consumers and shoppers and lovers of cute cat pictures but that aside, we believe that Pinterest could become an important tool for businesses of all types. The obvious benefactors are companies like Raspberry Kids whose target audience is similar to the demographic Pinterest appeals to but other organisations can benefit too: design firms of all kinds, photographers, fashion houses, clothing retail, and other image rich businesses will be able to use Pinterest to extend their reach.
To test the waters, we launched our own Out-Smarts Pinterest page recently and we’re already discovering benefits. For example, the infographic we shared on our blog last week called Timing Your Tweets was found on Pinterest and we are using it to track and share other useful images that our audience might find valuable on our social media, Internet and email boards. We see it as a great tool to visually represent our brand, to share useful content and to show followers what Out-Smarts stands for. From a selfish perspective it is also a great tool to help us keep track of brands on Pinterest, widgets, books worth a read and more.
Whether Pinterest will eclipse Facebook remains to be seen (and is a long, long way off) but for now, Pinterest is without a doubt a fun way to share eye candy and it also has huge potential to help businesses reach new audiences (especially if those audiences are young women), display their wares, visually convey their brand and drive traffic to their websites.
Brands on Pinterest:websites.
Some well-known brands already on Pinterest include Whole Foods, Etsy, Mashable, General Electric and Sony Music. To find them, simply type in the Pintererest website (http://www.pinterest.com/) followed by the company's name. For example, if you're looking for Etsy, type this in your URL: http://www.pinterest.com/etsy/ and if you're looking for Out-Smarts, type http://www.pinterest.com/outsmarts/
Written by Mhairi Petrovic, founder of Out-Smarts Marketing. Passionate about social media and Internet marketing, Mhairi blogs and podcasts regularly.
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