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!