Every month a new 'next big thing' in the social media world emerges and if you are a Shrewsbury based business or social media user it can be a big headache trying to keep up.
Despite their heralding with trumpets and fanfares, none of them ever seem to have the weight to make much of a dent in the popularity of the big boys - facebook and twitter.
In fact, new platforms are enjoying increasingly shorter lifespans, quickly being steamrolled into submission by the mainstays, as they battle for social media supremacy, or attaching themselves to these heavyweights in order to gain a good reputation from the off.
Pinterest, however, is proving it has the mettle to stand up and be counted and is bringing something almost new to the table. It started out in 2010 as a simple virtual pinboard where users 'pin up' their favourite things, everything from a Victoria Sponge recipe to a design for their dream bathroom, but in a few short months Pinterest has become slicker, smarter and is now the third most visited social media platform (in March 2012) behind only Facebook with seven billion visits and Twitter with 150 million.
Unlike the other platforms which centre around text-based status updates, Pinterest is image-based and is a gallery of each user's personal preferences, sentiments and images and populated by their favourite products and brands.
Brands, therefore, have been forced tosit up and take notice and it has been a case of 'if you snooze, you lose' - not only because of Pinterest's exponential growth and almost unprecedented popularity, but also for the simple fact that each pin on the social sharing site represents a personal endorsement by the user - an endorsement which is then shared over and over again.
In the US, Pinterest has a strong demographic concentration with approximately 70% of the site’s 12 million users being women aged 25 – 44, half of which have children.
In the UK though, it's far more even with 56% of users being male of the same age range. The UK usage may currently be dramatically less than the US, but trend analysis suggests it is only a matter of time before the UK catches up with a female stronghold and with usage shifting away from marketing and venture capitalist content to being design, fashion and product-led like the US.
Like all social sharing platforms, the key to cracking the crowd as a retailer is interaction. Pinterest users are happy to support brands' advertising efforts, just not intentionally. Pinterest isn't solely about self-promotion like Facebook and Twitter, it's about providing value-added content - telling the world what your brand likes are and gaining popularity and boosting awareness as a result. If you are a service-oriented business and not product-led, remember, pins should complement the lifestyle your brand promotes and most importantly they should be fun.
It's still early days for Pinterest and there are several issues that need to be ironed out, copyright for one and the fact it is prone to crashing (popularity curse), but if you're still wondering if there's room for Pinterest in your social media strategy, then consider the fact that in January 2012 Pinterest drove more traffic to business websites than Google Plus and YouTube combined. A fact which no one can argue with, or perhaps, afford to ignore.
If you would like to learn more about your social media needs and how it could help your business go further, call us here at thebestof Shrewsbury on 01743 454959.
Member since: 12th June 2012
I am a PR and copywriting specialist and handle much of this work for the bestof Shrewsbury. I am passionate about living and working in Shrewsbury promoting the people, businesses and services which operate...