Pinterest has taken the Internet by storm, especially among mobile users with its iPhone app. Acting as a visual pin board, users can take photos of something with their iPhone or “pin” images they find online and bookmark said photos onto various categorized boards. The Pinterest homepage is customized to your interests and allows you to log in with Facebook or Twitter, so you can instantly see what your friends are pinning. Users can comment, like, and “repin” photos onto their own boards. Each photo contains a backlink to a landing page from which it was curated.
This website has been around for just over a year, yet in the past few months has rapidly gained popularity among SEOs, social media pros, and other marketers. Time magazine named the social bookmarking site one of the Top 5 Social Sites in 2011, alongside Google+ and Klout. Pinterest is estimated to be worth $200 million while the founders currently work on developing a business model. The site was initially started as an outlet separate from blogging for people to express themselves online.
So what’s the deal – is Pinterest a reliable marketing tool and/or good link-juice?
As far as usability, the interface is attractive, fun, and easy, but there are some glitches to be worked out. Women are the primary users, but that could change as marketers catch on.
- Product, entertainment, and travel-based industries fare well by pinning their lines or promotions; Etsy.com, a major online shopping site, reports that much of their traffic is driven today from Pinterest.
- The site is searchable by content, implementing a search bar that aggregates image results by keywords
- “Pin It” buttons can be added to any product page or blog post to boost branding
- By searching for phrases within your industry, you have more outreach (similar to the Twitter search tool) – Pinterest currently has over 3 million monthly active users
Without knowing it, Pinterest serves as great link-bait as well as an effective social platform to share content with a greater outreach. Although it’s not widely used for commercial purposes yet, it looks as though Pinterest founders can expect a lucrative 2012.