I’ve recently become
a member of (and also ridiculously addicted to) Pinterest. If you are reading this post you are probably one of two types of people. The first type is probably squinting at their computer screen, trying to discern if I have made a typo or if that really does say ‘interest’ with a ‘P’ in front of it. The second type probably only got through three or four words before clicking back over to the window with Pinterest opened to check if anyone had pinned anything new. This blog post is dedicated to the source of my strongest internet addiction since I became a member of Twitter: Pinterest. I’ll first give you a brief overview of what Pinterest is, then discuss its growing popularity and finally take a look at it from a PR/Social media perspective.
What is Pinterest?
There are two main components to Pinterest: “Pins” and “Pin Boards”. The concept is actually very simple. If you find a photo on a blog or website that you want to share you can ‘pin’ it via a browser extension. You can also browse other users pins (from people you follow, or other members of Pinterest based on categories) on the website. Once you find a photo you’d like to pin, you can create a ‘pin board’ to pin it to. For example, if I found a photo of a delicious casserole, I’d pin it to my “Food” pin board. Then, my followers would see my pin. If they liked it they could repin it to one of their pin boards.
If you find a pin you like, you can click on the photo to see it larger. If you click on it again, it will bring you to the webpage it was taken from. So, if I saw a photo of a do-it-yourself project that I wanted to try, I could follow it to its original source and find instructions on how to do it.
You can also like someone’s pin, comment on it or mention another Pinterest user. You can link you Facebook and Twitter accounts to your Pinterest account and post your pins on both social networks.
Why is Pinterest so popular?
Pinterest has a very specific demographic of users right now. Mainly women 25-45 are users. They are pinning and repinning home projects, do-it-yourself projects, wedding ideas, recipes, etc. However, they are finding themselves more and more addicted and spending hours and hours on the site. The key to Pinterest is that there is always new content to browse. Much like Twitter, the users you follow dictate what content you see. If you are bored with what you are seeing, you could always browse pins from other Pinterest users by categories. There is literally always new content and it is the easiest and quickest way to find new ideas.
Pinterest from a PR standpoint
So far, I’ve only painted the picture of Pinterest from the standpoint of an admitted addict. However, it actually has a lot of potential to have PR implications to blogs. Remember how I said pins are linked to the website they come from? Well, many of these sites are actually blogs. So, if you can get a good photo of something from a blog post, pin it to Pinterest and generate a lot of repins, it will drive traffic back to your blog or website. You can share on Facebook or on Twitter, but the main point of Pinterest is sharing.
Right now Pinterest is still invitation only but I think as Pinterest grows, you will see the demographic change as well as the types of pins. Maybe as more people begin using Pinterest the focus will shift away from home decor, food and DIY to technology, gadgets, etc. Or maybe it will be a place where creative businesses can share their products. Photographers can promote their material by posting pins. Artists can post their work to the site. No matter what, it will bring traffic to the website.
Are you on Pinterest? If so, feel free to follow me (Sara McClendon). If you are interested in joining, go to www.pinterest.com and request an invitation. My invitation was sent within an hour of my request. Happy pinning!