Just when you were almost done reeling from the addition of Google+ to the Facebook/Twitter/YouTube/Foursquare, etc. universe, along comes yet another social network that’s getting a lot of talk and buzz, Pinterest.
2-year-old Pinterest is, at its core, a social bookmarking site. You see something you like on the web, you “pin” it to a board you created so other people can see it. When they see it and click it, it takes them to the originating site. It’s easy, addictive, and fun to look at. Therein lies its appeal. Let me boil that appeal down for you even further.
Pinterest works because there are hardly any words.
I wish I could make it more complex than that, but it’s not. Visual content drives engagement, and you don’t get much more visual than Pinterest. That’s probably why traffic to the site quadrupled from September to December, with 7.51 million unique visitor in December alone. It’s also probably why users spent an average 88.3 minutes on the site in November.
The rap has been that Pinterest is a “woman thing.” We’ve heard traffic levels of 58-70% female. But you’re sure to read in just about any article about Pinterest that men are also starting to come aboard in droves. For those that aren’t, there are competing male-dominant sites such as Gentlemint attempting to pick up any testosterone-laden slack.
So what are we as brands to do with this development? That depends on your brand. For retailers, Pinterest is worth some solid consideration. It’s become a top 5 referrer for several apparel retailers, including Land’s End, Nordstrom, and Bergdorfs. This infographic will tell you that story…visually of course.
Pinterest is proving, if nothing else, that the catalogue is not dead. People like looking through pictures of merchandise and ordering it if they like it. Pinterest users are, for all practical purposes, strolling down a busy street, window-shopping. If they like what they see, they just may click your product and come into your store.
Is it a Facebook or Twitter-killer? Hardly. It’s an entirely different experience. But it’s an experience that does illustrate how rapidly social users are flying through their social content and how critically important it is that whatever you put in front of them catch their eye. No matter what your product or service, you’ve got to find a visual way, be it through stills or video, to attention-grab. It’s true of Facebook, and it’s especially true of Pinterest.
When you combine the catalogue nature of Pinterest with the eCommerce interaction it’s quite good at facilitating, you may soon have a potentially powerful ROI story to tell. A friend pins a cool blender on their board, I see it, I click it, I buy it, then I pin it on my board where other future buyers can see it. That could turn into quite the smooth-running commerce machine if brands play this right.
But first, you’ve got to make the cut and get pinned on users’ boards. And that means making sure your imagery genuinely has the power to turn heads. Once your visuals are that strong, then Pinterest may be of interest.