With the stratospheric rise of social media giants Facebook and Twitter, the internet had apparently run out of space for another sharing platform for user generated content. Experts were generally of the opinion that we were at saturation point and certainly another site enabling you to share images was nothing new. Pinterest was another one-week wonder that no doubt would vanish soon enough.
But something happened. In the year leading up to May 2012, Pinterest grew by over 4300% (yes that’s four thousand three hundred). Pinterest users weren’t just empty numbers either, research showed they spent more, bought more items and conducted more online transactions than other social media buyers.
Pinterest for Business
But it turned out that Pinterest wasn’t just a cool place for people surplus cash to show off their latest executive toys. Its core demographic wasn’t Hoxton self-facilitating media nodes, but women. And because all the young adults were photographing their non-fat vanilla chai lattes for Instagram, it was the more sophisticated, wealthier and more practical women who were on Pinterest. Nearly one in five of all females online, to be exact.
Business that were positioned for this customer demographic soon began to see the benefits – the number one organic search for DIY Halloween Costumes in October last year wasn’t a multinational conglomerate, it was Goodwill Industries of West Michigan on Pinterest.
In November, Pinterest launched specific business accounts that enabled users to verify their website by uploading an invisible line of code. There is still no direct purchase method, but the use of carefully worded descriptions and hashtags can lead to an increase in traffic to your site even if the ‘nofollow’ tags don’t shoot you up the search engine results like they used to.
Pin when you’re winning…
Pinterest owes a lot of its success to its aesthetic appeal. It’s a pretty site both to look at and to work on; encouraging uploads with its ease of use. This is continuing to fuel the site’s growth, which this month saw it valued at $2.5bn, as well as driving more traffic to websites that Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn and Google+ combined in February.
While the site has yet to start generating a profit for its creators, investors maintain that Pinterest could well become the next Facebook, only with a stronger business model based on commerce and goods to begin with, and engaging a wealthier consumer audience. Men are starting to respond as well, with businesses such as Topman generating more followers and boards suggesting gifts for grooms also on the increase to mirror the popularity of the site with brides-to-be.
For Bristol business websites, it’s a trend worth bearing in mind if you have a photogenic or well designed website, and a ‘Pin It’ button can increase audience exposure to your product photography.