Today you get an explanation of Pinterest. In our next blog, you will discover how Pinterest can help small businesses with brands to market. Horse before the cart, friends. Like Facebook, Twitter, and other explosively popular social platforms before it, Pinterest must be understood and experienced before being thrust into a web marketing strategy.
So let’s grab the basics.
Pinterest lets you share, save, and sort “all the beautiful things” you find online on a virtual pinboard. Consider the process of bookmarking useful or inspiring links. Now take that public. Pinterest puts all your links, in visual form, on an attractive profile page that can be accessed and “followed” by other users.
After being accepted for an account (Pinterest is an invite-only service), you log in with Twitter or Facebook. You install the “Pin It” button on your browser. Any time you stumble upon a web page worthy of your virtual pin board, clicking “Pin It” transfers the link back to your profile.
As you browse the web and “pin” pretty things, your Pinterest board will be established in a graphic organization based on images from the links. With its masonry-style layout, Pinterest profiles make every user look like the possessor of worthy taste. The unusual design breaks the system of “organizing information online based on reverse chronology,” giving its profiles an aesthetic edge (Kessler, Mashable).
It becomes a gratifying experience as quickly as you begin to build up your pin board. However, as Gigaom.com contributor reminds us, “getting something out of [Pinterest] requires some significant effort from users, because they have to explicitly engage with the product.” If you want to revel in the approval of fellow Pinners, you better have some pretty clever content to curate.
And with nearly 11 million visitors reported for the week that ended December 17, 2011, only the cleverest material will stand out. Experian Hitwise research put Pinterest in the 10th spot for popular social sites in the USA last year, with a user demographic dominated by women (58%).
Not surprisingly, Pinterest has become popular a resource for saving links for home design inspiration, wedding ideas, and fashion fodder. The “Gifts” section lends an Etsy-esque marketplace to the platform, and categories like “Geek” and “DIY & Crafts” connect users with similar interests.
Pinterest appears to be carving out a responsive and valuable niche, which small businesses can engage with directly through this platform. In our next article, we’ll outline some strategies for building a brand presence through Pinterest, and assess what it takes to make an impact on social curation platforms.
1. Johnson, Bobbie. “When is the social curation bubble going to burst?” 14 February 2012. Gigaom.com: http://gigaom.com/2012/02/14/when-is-the-social-curation-bubble-going-to-burst/
2. Kessler, Sarah. “How Pinterest is Changing Website Design Forever.” 7 February 2012. Mashable.com: http://mashable.com/2012/02/07/pinterest-web-design/
3. Sloan, Peter. “Pinterest: Crazy growth lands it as top 10 social site.” 22 December 2011. CNetNews: http://news.cnet.com/8301-1023_3-57347187-93/pinterest-crazy-growth-lands-it-as-top-10-social-site/?tag=mncol;txt
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