Pinterest: The Next Big Thing

In a world wide web of new social media sites, how do you know what one is the next “big thing”? According to Augie Ray, the “mom test” seems to do the trick. The “mom test” consists of asking, “Would my mother use this?” In the case of Pinterest, the answer is undoubtedly yes.

For those of you who have not yet experienced the world of Pinterest, it is a virtual bulletin board where the user can “pin” appealing images or interesting links. Categories on the website include “pets,” “travel,” “fitness,” “weddings,” and pretty much anything else you could want. After the user sees a picture, quote, recipe, hairstyle, etc., they can place that image onto one of their personalized boards. When the image is pinned, it can then be repinned by other users. I have a board for animals, food recipes and even a little used fitness board for all of those exercises I just can’t wait to try. Right.

Once you try Pinterest for yourself, it is easy to see why experts are saying the site is taking the social media game by storm. According to an article on Mashable.com, in January 2012, Pinterest accounted for 3.6% of referral traffic when only six months earlier it accounted for only 0.17%. Just to put that into perspective, in January 2012, the social media giant, Twitter, accounted for 3.61% of referral traffic.

To add to those already impressive statistics, another article on Mashable.com wrote that Pinterest’s unique visitors increased 429% from September 2011, to December 2011.

Even Tim Cigelske, senior communication specialist in the Office of Marketing and Education at Marquette University, sees the power of Pinterest over his particular demographic and now my beloved school now has a Pinterest account of its own.

Personally, even though there may not ever be a social media site that can rival FaceBook’s popularity or size, Pinterest has become my new favorite time waster. It is constantly being updated with different photos and links to keep me interested. If I’m not careful, I could spend up to an hour or two on it. Which, according to Tim isn’t that unusual since the average time a user spends on it is 88 minutes.

But what does Pinterest mean for brands? I think that it has enormous potential, at least for some markets. I think that hotels and resorts, if organized appropriately, can definitely get their name out there in the “travel” category. I know I’ve repinned hotels in Europe and the Caribbean that I think look luxurious and interesting. Car companies could also make the most of these boards. Place a picture of a nice SUV, link it back to the dealer’s website and website traffic is increased by a potential buyer. Retail outlets such as ModCloth.com and Nordstrom have a following of a few thousand.

My vote is that Pinterest is going to be around and popular for a long time, so make the most of your brand and just keep pinning!

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3 responses to “Pinterest: The Next Big Thing

  1. Kerry,
    Very interesting and informative blog post. I liked that you backed up your opinions with article links on Mashable; they complimented your post well.

    I also agree with a lot of what you wrote. Even though I don’t have a Pinterest account (yet, anyway) I plan to sign up and utilize it in similar ways that you appear to. I also agree that it could be a beneficial site for certain companies/brands to jump in on. Relying heavily on visuals, it could jump-start a lot of awareness for some struggling brands trying to break into the market.

    I question, however, how effective Pinterest will be for other organizations. Will Pinterest users really want brands to pop up on friend’s bulletin board? Or will they just want to look at cute puppies and travel destinations? It will be interesting to see if advertising can morph onto this platform without becoming annoying. But, if they could tap into this market and publicize their brands just below user’s conscious threshold, I do believe it could be the next “big thing.”

  2. I’m glad you picked Pintrest as the topic of your post! I think it is such a hot topic right now and a great discussion starter! When I was first “invited” to join Pintrest, I didn’t really know if businesses would be able to view it as a vital marketing tool because I didn’t really see the significance to it or really understand what Pintrest was all about. But now, knowing the social bookmarking aspect of it, I think it has endless possibilities for certain industries. It’s amazing how fast the traffic has increased on this site in such a short period of time. This just shows how much of an impact Pintrest can make for a brand if they have a presence on the network! I think the one hurdle that Pintrest itself needs to work through is how to get more males to start using the site. I think right now the site has a stigma of being someplace where women go to dress children they don’t have, decorate houses they can’t afford and plan their weddings to men that they haven’t even met yet, but it really is much more than that. I think if Pintrest can reposition itself to be appealing to men as well, then its value will DRASTICALLY increase!

  3. Great post and examples at the end of how brands could (and can) use Pinterest.

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