Where would a person go to find inspiration for a children’s birthday party, planning a wedding, funny quotes, adorable animal pictures and top-rated recipes? The answer isn’t Google; it’s the web’s rapidly exploding new social sharing site: Pinterest
People are pinteresting, pinning, and re-pinning like crazy! If you haven’t caught on yet, you’re missing out.
So what is Pinterest?
Pinterest is a virtual pinboard. Although the website’s definition is plain and simple, to millions of pinners it’s so much more than that. It allows users to post images, videos, items for sale, and categorizes them by genre with links back to the original content. The pins are then shared with other users on the site, then allowing them to re-pin what they like to individually created boards.
First-time visitors on the site must first receive an invite to join, after signing up users must also integrate their social media accounts, like Facebook or Twitter. By incorporating those heavily saturated social sites, users are instantly surrounded by the boards, likes, and pins their social media friends have already created.
What does it look like?
Some of the site's most unique features are its layout and interface. Once users sign on, they are immediately flooded with a melting pot of images from different categories already shared by other users.
Recent studies have shown that products and ideas are much more readily accepted if it comes from a relative, friend or acquaintance, like a stamp of approval. Pinterest follows this mentality by serving up not only content from strangers but from an individual’s Facebook friends.
Who is using Pinterest?
Although the website is predominantly used by women, but men too are quickly catching on. Because the site is separated by categories like Humor, Crafts, History, Art, Weddings & Events, Apparel, Cars, etc., there really is something for everyone. The graph below illustrates the astonishing growth rate Pinterest has experienced, especially in the last quarter of 2011. Beginning in January of 2011 the site had roughly 55K unique visits and by December roughly 7.2 Million
What does this astonishing growth rate mean for online marketing and search engine optimization?
Let's say you are selling a cool new tablet that is 4G compatible with unlimited data. You created a really cool picture of this hot new device that is sure to go viral. You added all the right text, and now it's just a matter of getting it out to the masses right? Let the pinning begin! If the image is interesting to your audience, you could receive some serious linking from Pinterest directly back to the cell phone's product page on your website!
Senior Search Consultant, Zach Griffith tells us, "Pinterest is a force to be reckoned with from an SEO perspective. If you aren't figuring out a way to incorporate it into your viral strategy, you should be." Now that I’ve finished this post, I guess the next best question is, “What will I pin next?”