It is already getting more web traffic than major social networks, LinkedIn and Google+, as its number of users continues to grow at a rate of knots. Pinterest describes itself as an online pinboard and its mission is to “connect everyone in the world through the ‘thing’ they find interesting”, via a platform which inspires and encourages idea sharing.
The concept of Pinterest doesn’t exactly sound like the most intriguing of things but once you start ‘pinning’ there’s no turning back. The online pin board allows users to curate collections of images from across the web and categorise them onto different ‘boards’. In less than a few clicks, users can search images and if they see something which takes their fancy then a quick ‘repin’ (pinterest talk for posting it) attaches it to their own board.
So, why has it done so well?
Pinterest provides an area similar to a scrapbook, just more organised and one that doesn’t involve the cutting and sticking. According to Josh Constine, a tech journalist for TechCrunch, “Pinterest has struck a chord with people’s desire to portray their identity in a more stable fashion than content streams like Facebook and Twitter”.
What sets Pinterest apart from its counterparts is that unlike Facebook and Twitter it doesn’t emphasise what users are doing, are going to do or have done but focuses more on what the person’s aspirations and interests are in life. The site has the ability to make us all believe we are the next Kirsty Allsopp and can create that vintage French house look (you know the one I mean).
Pins range from the weird and wonderful to the mundane and mind bogglingly strange but the most popular tend to be those which people have not heard of or seen before which makes it a great discovery tool.
The female audience are typically the most active pinners, which has inspired the arrival of more male friendly ‘pinning’ sites so men too can join in the fun. Manteresting and Gentlemint describe themselves as the ‘more manly websites’ where a cupcake or pretty dress is no-where to be seen. According to Andrew Lipsman, Comscore’s Vice President of Industry Analysis, 68% of the site’s visitors worldwide are female and account for an impressive 85% of the activity on the site.
Like us (you can find our Pinterest here), the CIPR have jumped on the bandwagon and created an impressive board with 634 pins and 556 followers, so how can we use it to our PR advantage?
Well, considering nearly 12 million users from the US and UK surged to the virtual pin board in January alone the audience reach is phenomenal, and this will only get bigger. The boards are essentially snippets of a person’s personality. But now brands are also using the platform to show off their zany side or simply create themselves an online glow which goes beyond their usual avenues. By simply ‘pinning’ their interests or linking and posting about relevant industries they are building relationships. It’s also a great opportunity to showcase their campaigns or products directly to consumers in a more engaging way.
As mentioned before, inspiration is key for Pinterest to work, and for those PR campaigns to work it’s essential you have a bit of it. With such a great platform of ideas at the click of a button Pinterest is the optimal place to spark creativity for what could be a brilliant campaign idea.
What do you think of Pinterest? Are you a user? How has it inspired you?