The Conversation Starter

Contributed by Jane Putnam

In the last couple of days websites and blogs have been buzzing with articles about the newfound popularity of Pinterest. One article by one of the most prominent thought leaders and published authors in new media, Brian Solis, revealed an interesting finding: Pinterest rivals Twitter in referral traffic. But it’s not just Twitter that Pinterest is giving a run for its money. Some out there are asking, “Is Pinterest the next Facebook?”

According to Solis, Pinterest’s estimated unique viewership shot up 429 percent from September to December 2011. In fact, the site received nearly 11 million visits in just one week in December.

If the numbers are any indication, odds are pretty good that you’re probably on Pinterest yourself. I am—and am a huge fan. I attribute Pinterest for the success of the coral-and-grey-themed bridal shower I threw for my best friend. SO, the question, or quandary, here is: what’s got us all pining for Pinterest?

Solis sums it up well: Pinterest is an effective marriage of social bookmarking and visual curation with an extremely fervent user base. Pinterest excels because it has put the tool of “pinning” into users’ hands. The “Pin It” tool lets you pin just about any image on a website and it becomes one of millions of searchable images that can be viewed by other pinners. Pinterest has taken all of the pluses of the Internet for crafts, ideas, art, DIY, etc. and put it one convenient, sharable and very social site.

Businesses have a place on Pinterest, too. PPBH pins, in fact you can follow us. But what does pinning do for the organization? On a site where people are looking for and sharing for all kinds of things—from nurseries (that’s my current obsession) to motivational quotes and artwork, it gives you a chance to showcase the visual side of your business. It makes your website visually searchable. For instance, if you search for an item of clothing, piece of furniture or dream destination, you’re likely to see a cute top posted by a clothing line, a retro sofa from a furniture designer or a beachfront condo for rent posted by a travel company among the results. That image then links people back to the site or original location of the image.

The bottom line is this, if your customers or key audiences are on Pinterest, it’s in your best interest to be there, too. But remember, something we always say, don’t get into social media for the sake of social media. Make sure it’s led by a strategy, ties into your business goals and is something your company is committed to.

Happy pinning!

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