Pinterest, launched in early 2010, is among the most talked about social media tools today. It is the popular pin-board style, social photo sharing website used in social media campaigns to promote websites to a targeted audience. Being a new medium, some common questions are:
What’s the history of Pinterest?
How is Pinterest used?
Is it possible to use Pinterest to gain online visibility for a business?
Pinterest – A Brief History
Pinterest had a tough time attracting new users after the initial launch in 2010. After the development and launch of an official Pinterest iPhone app, however, the service experienced explosive growth. Only a few short months later it was featured in Time Magazine’s “50 best websites of 2011″.
In December of 2011, Pinterest became one of the top 10 largest social networks attracting 11 million total visits per week. The next month, referral traffic from Pinterest to retailers surpassed the amount of traffic sent from many of the established players in Social Media such as LinkedIn, Google+ and YouTube.
Pinterest now holds the record of being the fastest site in history to achieve a mark of 10 million unique visitors. It was no surprise when social media and internet marketing experts claimed Pinterest to be the next big thing in social media after Facebook. In March 2012, Pinterest became the third largest social network in the United States – even surpassing LinkedIn in terms of number of unique users!
Pinterest – How Does it Work?
Pinterest is a social photo sharing website, but differs in functionality from most other photo sharing platforms like Flicker and Picasa. Instead of uploading images into albums, users can pin any photo they like in boards they create. Others can then like, re-pin to their boards, and/or comment on them. The functionality is pretty basic. In the grand scheme of things, however, this platform has revolutionized the means to share and organize photos and videos. It provides a unique opportunity for content creators to mutually build on creativity and engage with other users around the world.
Using Pinterest for Online Marketing
The visual impact available in Pinterest makes it an ideal platform for the online promotion of certain businesses such as online gift stores, fashion designers, florists, photographers, tour guides, and travel agents. All these companies have a unique opportunity to visually engage potential customers through eye-catching photos, textures, and designs. That being said, Pinterest is not equally effective for other types of businesses, especially those companies with products or services that lack visual impact.
Pinterest is about engaging people with things they like, are interested in, or dream of having. Internet marketing experts realize the hidden potential for promoting specific businesses on Pinterest and consider it yet another tool in a broad social media arsenal. Consider one important detail, working with Pinterest is completely different than working with any other social media tool.
As with Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, and other social media platforms, business marketing success via a Pinterest campaign depends completely on the usage scenario. Many factors come into play, including the creative acumen of the campaign administrator, quality of their pins, configuration of the account, and relevancy to the interests of the users they are connected with. In some cases, Pinterest can be the most cost effective platform to utilize your internet marketing budget and/or time. In other cases, Pinterest may be a waste of your time. A consultation with an internet marketing expert can help you evaluate whether or not promotion via Pinterest is right for your business.
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