Have you signed up for Pinterest yet?
Like any new social media service that catches the imagination of social media enthusiasts and brands (e.g. Tumblr, Twitter, Facebook), Pinterest has caught fire over the past few months. Everywhere you seem to go, the digitally savvy are talking about Pinterest. As important, Pinterest is gaining traction with brands that see it as a new way to engage consumers.
So why has Pinterest become so popular in such a short period of time. There are plenty of explanations but, fundamentally, it may have to do with how Pinterest is a visual service. Pinterest users "pin" graphics, photos and videos that meet their personal or professional interests. Pinning something is easy, particularly using a browser plug-in, which is a key part of Pinterest's appeal.
Content marketers have jumped on the Pinterest bandwagon because it is a user-friendly way for brands to create "content". This resonates with brands because creating content can be a challenge. With Pinterest, there is less of a challenge.
A good example of a brand that is effectively using Pinterest is Chobani Yogurt, which has created 17 boards featuring 448 "pins", to engage with consumers in a new way.
Another important aspect of Pinterest is how it has become a way for brands to generate traffic to their Web sites. By embedding links within graphics, photos and videos, brands can offer consumers a new way to experience their products and services, and make it easy for them to visit a Web site for more information or, ideally, to make purchases.
For content marketers, this represents the Holy Grail - interesting content attracting consumers who then visit a brand's Web site. In other words, Pinterest is an excellent sales funnel vehicle.
The chart below demonstrates Pinterest's dramatic growth over the past few months. In December, it had 7.2 million unique U.S. visitors, a 62% (yes, 62%) spike from 4.4 million unique visitors in November.