Pinning The Dot on Pinterest

Another week, another social network. Facebook. Twitter. LinkedIn. Tumblr. Instagram (for iPhone users, sorry Android). The reemergence of MySpace (don’t laugh – over 1 million new registrations). Let’s explore the new social media darling, Pinterest.

Pinterest is a virtual pinboard. “Organize and share things you love” is their tagline and it is that simple. Pinterest allows users to organize and share various things of interest or inspiration on the web. The selected images are known as Pins and they are placed on customized, themed Boards, which can cover any subject matter imaginable. Users have created Boards for mood boards for brands, looks and feels for designers, or references for DIY projects. Interest and subject matter ranges from food/cooking to home improvement/DIY to beauty/fashion and more.

Users’ pinboards are browsable allowing for discover and inspiration with those of similar interest ranging from fashion styling, home decoration, food recipes, or even wedding plans. Pinning is done via the official Pin It Button, a drag-and-drop extension, where you click the button and select the corresponding picture. You simply click an image you like and assign the pin to a Board, add text, and that’s it. There is even an iPhone application available to help you with your Pinning.

The hook of Pinterest is the communal aspect to pinning items onto Boards. Users can search Boards by category. Commenting is available for Pins. You can simply Like Pins or Repin to one of your own boards. In addition, you can follow a board to receive constant updates. Pinterest is integrated with Facebook, so pins are shareable cross-social network.

Some statistics to put Pinterest in perspective:

  • Pinterest hit 10 million U.S. monthly unique visitors faster than any independent site in history
  • Nearly 12 million monthly unique visitors. Over 10.4 million registered users. 9 million monthly Facebook-connected users
  • The amount of traffic Pinterest sent elsewhere has risen accordingly, becoming a top five referrer for several apparel retailers
  • Currently, 97% of Pinterests’ Facebook fans are women.
  • 100+ brands are on Pinterest including: Gap, General Electric, Whole Foods, West Elm, Nordstrom, CBS New York, The Wall Street Journal, Today Show, Major League Baseball, Bergdorf Goodman, Michael Kors, American Airlines.

Infographic photo credit: Mashable.com

The marketing potential of Pinterest varies: exposure for your brand on a new network; promoting your own product/brand; an additional connection to your pre-existing social networks (Facebook, Twitter), a new vessel for curation and collaboration with strategic partners as well as brand loyalists.

Currently, Pinterest is making money “appending affiliate links to some pins,” most notably from Amazon, eBay, Target, and other merchants. When someone purchases an item via a click via one of the Pins, creates a commission for Pinterest. How brands can monetize the latest “it” social network beyond branding considerations remains to be seen.

Sources: Mashable.com, SocialMediaToday.com, ReadWriteWeb.com, and Pinterest.com

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