Pinterest: Social Media's Latest Pin-up

In the world of social media marketing, the latest networking tool that everybody is talking about is Pinterest.

Described as “an online pinboard to organize and share things you love,” you might think that the website is nothing more than a scrapbooking hobbyist’s dream; a place to pull together your favourite images and ideas and showcase them as collections. However, Pinterest is starting to drive some serious traffic and this is one of the reasons why it is being widely tipped as “the next big thing.”

Launched in March 2010, the site has enjoyed a modest following for much of its existence, but in the last few months, traffic has increased massively with more than 7 million unique visitors reportedly registered in December.

The basic premise of the site is that users create ‘boards’ which they can ‘pin’ items of interest to. Users can follow other users, ‘re-pin’ content, like, share and add comments.

At the moment, a large proportion of Pinterest’s users are made up of individuals and businesses whose interests and markets are geared towards visual content. For instance, interior designers, fashion labels and wedding planners are using it to create themed boards and the site appears to work well in these scenarios; providing a platform for ideas, products and services whilst also generating credibility for their business.

One obvious benefit that we can see is the potential to generate traffic to your website. Any image that you pin to a board contains a link to the original source. So if you pin content that exists on your own website, you’re effectively creating a link which will contribute to your website’s search engine rankings whilst also having the potential for Pinterest users to find their way to your site via the link. 

It’s difficult to say at this stage whether the site will have a broader impact as a marketing tool. However, as with any social media platform, the most important issue when deciding whether there is any value for your business is whether or not your market is using it. Given the exponential growth of Pinterest’s following, it might well be worth taking a look at.

What do you think?

Can you see a use for Pinterest as a marketing tool for your business?