Pinterest is going to be huge this year. And I think this not just because I love the site, but because of the burst of user growth in such a short time. This growth even happened despite Pinterest.com being an “invitation-only” network. Plus, according to a Shareaholic’s “Referral Traffic Report, “Pinterest drives more referral traffic than Google Plus, LinkedIn and YouTube combined.” This is HUGE!!!
For those who don’t know what Pinterest is, it is basically a marriage of social bookmarking and a virtual “inspiration board.” Users can see something on the web and “pin it.” Then you organize all these “pins” by categorizing them and placing them on boards. For instance, I have a board called “Yummy,” and within this board, I have “pins” of different recipes I want to try out in the future. It’s akin to seeing something in a magazine, tearing it out, and saving it in a folder for future use. In short, it is a social media network that allows users to show off their taste to friends, organize by topic, and share effortlessly with a click of a button.
To add to its success, Pinterest is connected to Facebook – the biggest social media site out there. This connection can only increase Pinterest attention and traffic, leading to a steady stream of new users. With this kind of momentum, brands and advertisers are being forced to take notice. Once more and more brands join, you can consider Pinterest a success in 2012. However, not all brands should invest in this social, it should be for brands that want to sell a lifestyle.
As a clothing brand or designer, you can showcase different outfit choices for people to “pin.” As a food product, you can add recipes using your product as an ingredient. But word to the wise, do not do what Cabot Cheese has done. They have upset users by spamming friend’s pins with comments on how the recipes would be better if they used Cabot products instead.
There is a lot of potential in this medium, and it will be interesting to see the creative ways brands reach out to users. Though all the potential ways brands will use Pinterest is unknown, we do know (or I think it is safe to assume) that Pinterest will be huge in 2012.