This fast growing social bookmarking site launched in May 2011 is gaining some serious momentum. Think of it as a virtual pin board. Users create boards surrounding a particular interest and collect or “pin” their favorite related items on these boards. Then you can find great “pinners” who share your interest and start following them.
How successful is Pinterest? While still in a closed beta stage, TechCrunch reports Pinterest hit more than 11 million unique monthly visitors last month, faster than any other stand-alone site in history.
Unique visitors to the site grew 400% from September to December 2011, and just last week; one study showed that Pinterest drives more visitors to third-party websites than Google+, YouTube and LinkedIn combined.
And the most recent revelation is that Pinterest is secretly swapping links for profit.
But let’s push all the headlines aside for a moment. The bottom line is that Pinterest is incredibly beautiful, enticing and very addictive. Once you are done drooling over the gorgeous photos that capture style, food, crafts, kids and everything else in between, you may want to pay attention to the marketing power this could produce for your brand.
Here’s what I mean. I was looking for great banana bread recipes. I went to the Chiquita site and stumbled upon a delicious recipe of chocolate dipped bananas. I immediately “pinned it” onto my ‘yum-yum’ board.
In less than 60 seconds, the board had 90 “re-pins.” That means that this little known recipe buried on the Chiquita site just found a brand new audience and some new glorious, wonderful web traffic. Isn’t it a beautiful thing?
Sure it’s the hottest thing right now, but that doesn’t mean you should immediately jump on the bandwagon without a little investigation. Use it, and learn it from the inside out. Mashable has a great beginner’s guide on using Pinterest.
I found Pinterest several months ago, and frankly have loved every single moment I have spent on the site. I loved the intimate sharing of the community; it truly felt like a whole new world was opening up to me. So, is it right for my employer?
At Nationwide Children’s we have formed a “Power Pinterest Group” to brainstorm all the ways that we can use this tool in the healthcare field. Will it be right for us? That remains to be seen, but make sure you look before you leap into the shiny new social media pool that is calling your name.