Understanding what makes Pinterest stand out so prevalently in a sea of social media channels competing for attention is fairly simple. Just open your eyes.
It’s been said “a picture is worth a thousand words,” and for good reason. It takes mere seconds for a still photograph to convey a complex scenario that might take hundreds or even thousands of words to describe in a text-only environment. This concept is what allowed Pinterest to break through the clutter to capture the attention of millions of users.
While many sites (such as Furl and del.icio.us) have tried to play off the collector in us, and many sites (such as Flickr and Photobucket) have played off our love of images, Pinterest is the first to effectively combine the two.
The difference Pinterest brings to the mix is the addition of imagery to the curated items. In a social media–heavy world where Internet users are choosing to consume more and more information in less time, Pinterest serves a very useful purpose. Ideas can be gathered and pinned to topical boards where they can easily be revisited and either pruned or researched over time.
Consider the way we seek out and manage information online. Historically, we’ve run searches on search engines, visited content sites we’re familiar with, and maybe read information posted by friends and family or bloggers we follow. We might read about the beauty of the tiny village sprinkled along the Cinque Terre in Italy. But, we don’t always get the full picture.
Pinterest allows users to take in a far greater amount of information and to make more concrete decisions about what they’re interested in quickly. Although someone planning their next vacation might spend weeks or even months reading reviews and researching various destinations on blogs and travel sites, it might take only a few moments to fall in love with a destination while browsing through the “Travel and Places” category on Pinterest.
Pinterest recognizes the level of that visual impact and plays to it effectively. It boasts one of the cleanest designs on the Web, with nothing to take away focus from the images until users decide to roll their cursor over them to start interacting.
Still, Pinterest isn’t just about saving images to categorized boards; it’s about sharing visual representations of ideas: the various cakes you might make for your son’s next birthday, the kitchen cabinet organization idea that will make your life easier, or the collection of infographics you’re gathering for your next big presentation.
One of the ways in which Pinterest turns traditional social media on its head is by creating a system where curators are rewarded as much, or more than, content creators. Channels like Facebook, YouTube, and blogs require companies to invest time and effort into creating engaging content strategies, whereas Pinterest operates off a platform of shared resources.
Becoming a Pinterest power player requires nothing more than an eye for good content and an ability to categorize it properly. Some of the most popular Pinterest users never generate a single piece of unique content on the Internet. They simply serve up a consistent dose of curation that attracts legions of followers who want to share in their discovery. This is, in part, why Pinterest is such a powerful platform for business.
A very important thing to understand about Pinterest and why it can drive so much traffic is the concept of Pinterest as a social media gateway rather than as a social media destination. When people visit a site like Facebook, they are visiting to connect with friends, to share photos and videos and to generally socialize in an online environment. When people visit a site like Pinterest, they are looking for ideas, for inspiration, and for a place to store information for later. What’s more, people are looking to buy on Pinterest. In fact, recent data from Monetate, Pinterest is the top referrer of high-value orders to e-commerce sites.
For now, Pinterest offers some attractive real estate. Every business—large or small, capital heavy or budget minded—has the same chance to build their following and promote their stream. Pinterest becomes more about what you can offer than how much money you have to push your agenda. In a world where marketing purse strings are forever tightening, that makes Pinterest a welcome addition to a brand’s social media arsenal.
Join Jennifer Cairo of Sugar Spun Marketing for this webinar on Pinterest Marketing: What You need To Know.
Date: March 5, 2014
Time: 12:30 PM EST – 1:30 PM EST
About the Presenter:
Jennifer Cairo is the President of Sugar Spun Marketing, a small, boutique firm specializing in strategy and education.
For more information visit: http://www.sugarspunmarketing.com/