Pinterest has now been around in many versions since March 2010, when it first launched a closed Beta Version. Their plan was to trial and test the site, while easing into the technology world a new format they call ‘Social image-bookmarking platform’. It was hoped that by adopting this approach, it would build up a large ‘want’ within the marketplace, similar strategies have been adopted by companies such as Spotify with their trail & Beta versions. Apple adopts this with many of their new product launches, to create a so-called buzz around a new product or service launch.
Pinterest is very similar to other image sharing social channels such as Reddit, Digg, Stumbleupon and Tumblr. Pinterest is currently (or so it says) right up there and prevalent with current trends online. With the ever-increasing usage of rich media content online, over heavy (most boring) text driven content or blogs. Other channels such as Twitter and YouTube have looked to make more of this so-called Rich Media content count in searches in recent months by fundamentally changing their layouts when showing imagery on user’s timelines.
All the pin-fuss…
The launch of the Mobile app in early 2011 opened up the platform to the masses. This was one of the most crucial changes to the platform, creating a position for itself within the market. This then lead onto the site becoming one of the top 10 largest social networks according to data from ‘Hitwise’. They received approximately 12 million visits a year. However online pick-up has been significantly lower in the UK in comparison to the US. With circa 200,000 unique visitors in 2011 compared to 12 Million in the US. Us Brits are yet to really accept Pinterest or so the statistics suggest.
What’s pin-happening now?
The more traditional view of Pinterest was that its users were middle-aged females who were interested in sharing the arts and crafts online.
According to a review by Sprout Social Insights, “Pinterest continues to gain popularity among brands with the recent acquisition of VisualGraph, an image recognition and visual search technology. The aim behind the purchase is to “build technology to better understand what people are pinning”. This ability will now make it easier for Pinterest to target users with specific content, but more importantly for them, with relevant advertisements.
Pinterest is great if you want to primarily share Rich Media such as video’s or image content. Heavy text driven content may be better placed elsewhere if we split usage up into the following:
By Individuals- Pinterest is most commonly used by users as a way of sharing fun images with friends. Others use Pinterest as a hobby, as a way of scrapbooking events or milestones within their lives.
By Companies- Pinterest is used by companies looking to provide rich engagable content with their end users. Sharing pictures of events or new product ranges are most common uses.
Obviously, an image sharing social platform is not applicable to all business. As an example, an accountancy firm in Reading might struggle to share fun and engageble content on this platform. That is always the thing to consider. Are my users or customers there? If so then I should be there. It is purely as simple as that. If you are a business and you are looking for an account to formulate your balance sheet, you would not use Pinterest as your ‘go to’ search engine tool? Would you?
You may………It is also important to consider that 29% of overall Pinterest users are in the highest income.
Social Media providers such as Pinterest make their money via their B2B offerings. Over the past year, Pinterest has supported brands with features like rich pins and native analytics. It has also won praise for referral traffic and driving sales.
Pinterest has some great numbers in terms of total shares, clicks and order values. See the latest stats from Addshopper:
Why be on Pinterest? In a recent study by social markets Piquora it is stated that each pin generates an average of 78 cents via e-commerce platforms. Sales or referrals from Pinterest actually increased in comparison to 2012. The one major advantage to companies having a presence on Pinterest is the shelf life of ‘pins’ or posts. With posts on other channels such Facebook, they can drop down Timeline feeds quite quickly.
So what is going to happen in the future? Pinterest hope that the term ‘to pin’ or ‘pin’ will be become such a renowned verb, similar to ‘like’ or ‘re-tweet’ on other well-known social channels. Within one of Facebook’s biggest ‘rollouts’ in 2012, the term ‘Pin’ is now being used throughout the site as an engagement term. This can only aid Pinterest moving forward.
The platform started fantastically well with all the pickup rates around the world particularly in the United States. It is at this point now that Pinterest need to develop within the market and continue to be current and fresh. With recent acquisitions, this should help with paid advertisement on the platform and obviously their company bottom line. As other more well-established social channels look to increase the opportunity of sharing rich media, the danger to Pinterest is in watering down their unique position and coverage over time. Pinterest also need to look at incorporating two important factors used by other social media sites; instant messaging and location based services.
Increased importance of keywords
As with all online offerings SEO and keywords used are very important. Pinterest search uses exact match search, therefore it is important that title of the image correct. Although Google can now read and rank Pinterest images accordingly.
Do Pinterest long for a multimillion or billion pound take over from the likes of Facebook to take this to the next level? We shall wait and see….
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