* It’s the fastest growing social network!
* Between May 2011 and May 2012 it grew 4377%, both in unique visitors and search engine clicks.
* Site engagement ranks only behind Facebook and Tumblr, with the average user spending 98 minutes a month on the site.
In June 2012 Pinterest scored referral traffic that SURPASSED Bing AND Google for the first time: It now ranks behind only Facebook, Yahoo and Google (organic) for referral traffic.
Launched in March 2010, by mid 2011 Pinterest showed a steadily rising growth curve. Then, after being named one of the “50 Best Websites of 2011″ by Time Magazine in August 2011, its growth rate picked up significantly, in fact, phenomenally!
How is it that this relative newcomer to the social networking scene has achieved this kind of success in such a short period of time?
A quick look at Pinterest will give you your first clues!
* It’s visual (a picture IS worth a thousand words).
* It’s easy to use (visit Pinterest.com to see for yourself).
* It’s succinct (description of images is limited to 500 words – and most people only use a fraction of that).
* It’s linkable (you can include a hyperlink with your pinned image so that pinners can click on it and go to your website or the page where more info lives).
* It’s easy to organize (create ‘Boards’ with titles to describe the images you’ve pinned – a visual filing system).
* It’s easy to follow others and for them to follow you (people and brands, or specific ‘Boards’ of people and brands).
* It’s a great place to get ideas and inspiration (crafts, tips, articles, etc.)
* It can be a virtual store front for home based businesses (Etsy is the most pinned brand on Pinterest!)
Wondering if Pinterest can help grow your business?
According to an article on eCommerceBytes.com, “A Bizrate study found that 25% of respondents who were aware of image-sharing sites such as Pinterest made a purchase through them. The top five categories purchased on Pinterest were: Clothing & Apparel (39%); Jewelry, Handbags & Accessories (23%); Art, Art Supplies & Hobbies (22%); Home, Garden & Pool/Spa (18%); and Health & Beauty (14%).”
While not all businesses may be suited to selling products directly on Pinterest, most can with a bit of thought find a way to build their brand recognition using this platform.
Whether you’re a blogger, a chiropractor, a news media outlet, a construction company, a bakery, a make-up artist, a travel agent or a drug store, there are ways to make Pinterest work for you. It’s all about sharing interesting or thought provoking images that cause people to want to ‘pin’ what you are sharing – and to follow you. And, like all social media, the best ways to engage your target audience is by sharing valuable, interesting and/or helpful information with them.
You still need to either request to join Pinterest or receive an invitation from someone already on the site. If you’d like an invitation send me your email address and I’ll arrange for an invite to be sent to you.
Sue Cockburn is the owner of 911SmalBiz, a social media and internet marketing organization with a passion for helping small businesses increase their impact, expand their market share and improve their bottom-line.
Find out more about Sue and 911SmallBiz at: http://www.911smallbiz.com and on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/911smallbiz