There's a very good possibility that, if you're anything like us, you looked at your Facebook News Feed, saw all of your friends posting things they pinned and asked yourself, "Pins? Virtual boards? What is Pinterest, and why does everybody have it but me???" If you're not yet in the loop of the newest social media darling, don't worry. In this post, we will introduce you to Pinterest, explain what benefit you can get from using it, as with all of our social media training, why you should know about it and best of all, how you can join the pin and board craze.
Pinterest: A Virtual Dream Board
For many people, gathering ideas is a fun process involving scissors, pins and a corkboard. When they see something in a magazine or a newspaper that they like -- a picture, a recipe, a story -- they cut it out and pin it to a board or tape it to a scrapbook. Boards and scrapbooks become sort of their "dream board," where they can collect things that make them feel good, that they enjoy or that they want to someday try.
So what is Pinterest? Pinterest is the equivalent of an idea or dream board online. You can create a pinboard on whatever interests you and "pin" things to your board that you see around the Internet. Whether it's online recipes, home-decorating ideas on a website or just things you've found in cyberspace that make you smile, you can put the scissors and the pins away when you have Pinterest. You can also follow other people's boards, re-pin things you've found thanks to them and share your boards on other social media sites like Facebook and Twitter.
Benefits of Pinterest
The cool thing about Pinterest is that it's nothing like the collection of boring bookmarks on your Internet browser. When you go to a site and find something you love that you decide to "pin," Pinterest pulls the image and pins it to your pinboard with a link back to the site where you found it. Basically, you're collecting all of your favorite things online in one nifty place.
That's all well and good for ordinary folks, but why do social media marketers need to know about this? What is Pinterest to them? It's a great way to get your product known and it drives traffic to your site. The more people "pinning" your stuff to their boards, the more traffic you're going to get. While Pinterest frowns upon using your pinboard for promotion, it is nevertheless a great way to get your product out there while fostering relationships with others and getting your product or service known by a community of people.
Here's a fun little fact about Pinterest: the site got started pretty slow, and it took from late 2009 to July 2011 to get 1 million unique visitors. But then something incredible happened: word spread like wildfire and in just seven months, Pinterest spiked to 12 million users! Although Pinterest is not the fastest-growing site on the Internet, it's definitely one of the most widely used. In fact, some sites doing business online have found that they get more business from Pinterest than from YouTube, Google or Facebook combined! Not too shabby for seven months.
Getting Started in Pinterest
Now that you're not asking yourself, "What is Pinterest" anymore, it's time for you to join. If you're ready to jump into the Pinterest bandwagon, you need to go to the website and request an invite. Once you receive an email from them in your inbox, just follow the instructions and start pinning away!