Jordan Benedet is a Manager on the Client Strategy and Innovation team at
Social Media Group.

Everyone is in a tizzy about the Facebook IPO today, but when I noticed that Pinterest had raised $100 million in funding, which valued the company at $1.5 billion, I felt the need to write about the platform. Pinterest has been the talk of the town since their explosive growth in late 2011 (which has actually almost leveled off in March). When a platform generates as much referral traffic as Google and Twitter, it will definitely spur many people to write a lot about it, such as explaining what it is, how to use the platform, and of course some obligatory demographic data (spoiler: overall it is around 70% female).

This post focuses on some of the ways people and marketers use Pinterest, sprinkled with some miscellaneous stats, with a side of my personal experience and thoughts.

Usage

Pinterest has so many different usage applications for both consumers and marketers. Users love how they can tell their own story and express themselves through pinning their favourite images, or sharing and discussing with friends. The phrase “a picture is worth a thousand words” really applies here. Content on Pinterest also really gets around—80% of all pins are repins, or things that other users have already shared.

Pinterest is such a new platform, which means marketers are experimenting with ways to connect with consumers to drive brand awareness, and sales. It’s a great platform to showcase products, implement tasteful link-bait strategies, hold contests, and show off a brand’s true “style”. I personally really like General Electric’s Pinterest board; it has a great mix of product focused content, interesting content, and user-generated content in the #GEInspiredME board.

One of the biggest concerns affecting both users and marketers is the legality of Pinterest related to copyrights, which I’m sure will continue to grow as more and more people use the platform.

Personal Experience

Sure, I have a Pinterest account, but I will be honest—I don’t use the platform outside of work. Not personally using the platform does not mean I’m far from it though, and here is why—I’m getting married in July, and moving into a new place with my soon-to-be wife.

Pinterest is great resource for both wedding planning, an interior decorating. My fiancée religiously uses Pinterest to get ideas and inspiration ahead of our big day, and I totally approve because it has also made my life a little easier during this somewhat stressful planning period (although I have not really seen my iPad in quite a while…).  I definitely like Pinterest, and think it has a lot of potential, but like all up and coming platforms, they will need a great monetization strategy that balances both corporate and user interests to stick around for the long haul.

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