Having been a social media fan for over a decade now and an active user of the likes of facebook and twitter, I have ashameably only just discovered the wonder that is Pinterest. I surprise myself that I have taken this long to get onto it with stats such as 83% of Pinterest users are women and it’s the fastest growing social media site ever! I guess I always thought that I had enough from social media sites like Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn that I couldn’t possibly need something else. But alas I have fallen for it and have yet again become part of a statistic:

For those that are still yet to be made aware:

Pinterest is a social media site where users can upload and save their pictures (or ones from other websites – but this is a sore spot in terms of copyright), known as pins on their pinboards. Everyone on pinterest can search for eg kittens and your pin (if it has kittens in) will show up. That person can then like, repin or comment on your picture. Pinboards are normally themed eg Food or Beauty and pictures (or pins/repins) can be organised by adding them into the relevant board. It’s a bit like a blog but just for pictures.

It was originally only open to personal users but has recently been opened up to companies which in my opinion is a brilliant thing. Brands can show their personality through their picture choices or even show their new products via the site which I think is great!

Reports suggest that Pinterest drives more referral traffic than Google Plus, LinkedIn and YouTube combined and is also attracting consumers who have not previously interacted with a social media, a big pull for companies to get on it! There is an untapped market which for the likes of beauty or food companies in particular is the exact consumer base who have yet to be ‘social mediafied’ previously. This is reflected in research that suggest that Pinterest is not just raising brand awareness but is also driving purchase behaviour with around 25% of consumers reported purchasing a product or service after discovering it on Pinterest!

In addition the market research is invaluable to any company. Brands can look into their followers boards and pins and see rather than be told (the market researchers biggest aim in life) what their interests and wants/needs are, at no cost.

Words of advise to brands moving to Pinterest:

  1. Add a Pinterest button to websites, blogs etc
  2. Make it visual
  3. Avoid shameless self promotion (like any other form of social marketing)
  4. Make it relevant
  5. Be creative – there are no rules yet!
  6. Be careful of the copyright issue

Words of caution to new users:

  1. Remember to eat and sleep too because the hours will fly by!
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