What Is Pinterest And Why You Should Care?

Red Pinterest logo

Red Pinterest logo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Pinterest is the new cool kid on the block in social media.  It was started in December of 2009 and has already attracted over 20 million fans.  Don’t worry if you haven’t caught up with it yet, someone will be tweeting you with a link to their Pin Board soon.

Why should you care?  Because “Pinterest is Among the Fastest Growing Social Media Sites Among Women.” In fact some reports are calling it Facebook on steroids… now if only Pinterest founder and CEO, Ben Silbermann can get Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg to fork over another billion dollars like he did for Instagram

This just in:  Not so fast says, USA Today article: Pinterest Growth Comes Back to Earth.  It seems growth has slowed and legal issues loom for this Internet whiz-kid.  Is Pinterest destined to be the next Instagram as its value shoots to the stars or will it fall into the ocean like so many North Korean “satellite launches”.

I still can’t get my mind wrapped around the $1 billion price tag for Instagram.  I’m still shocked I had to pay close to $90 to fill up my 1994 Cadillac Sedan Deville…oh yes I did pin it…and yes, I do drive it.

So, what is Pinterest?  To me it is like the cork board at the office where people post items that they want to promote or sell, but let’s get the technical definition from the Pinterest homepage:

Pinterest is a virtual pinboard. Pinterest allows you to organize and share all the beautiful things you find on the web. You can browse pinboards created by other people to discover new things and get inspiration from people who share your interests.

So, who is on Pinterest? Your customers.  At least if you market and sell products and/or services to 25-34 year old females, which make up the largest percentage of …hmmm…what do we call them…”Pinners?” Check out this awesome infographic from Mashable.   I don’t know about your business, but this is a sweet spot for the real estate industry, as single females comprise about 20 percent of home buyers according to National Association of REALTORS®  data.

What is a pin?

A pin is an image added to Pinterest. A pin can be added from a website using the Pin It button, or you can upload images from your computer. Each pin added using the Pin It button links back to the site it came from.

How do I install the “Pin It” button?

See instructions and a video tutorial to install the “Pin It” button on the Pinterest Goodies page.

What is a board?

A board is a set of pins. A board can be created on any topic, such as Cool Posters, Recipes For Dinner, or Wishlist. You can add as many pins to a board as you want.

So, to answer the big question…should you jump into Pinterest if you are a large, global enterprise? My recommendation is that you may want to wait a bit before asking for that pitch meeting with the CMO.  Don’t want to push a Pinterest technology that may pop with the next pin.  However, if you are a small company with products or services that benefit from visual marketing, then I see no reason not to start pimping…errr pinning your products on the easy-to-use social site. It interacts very well with Facebook and Twitter.

Personally - I’ve always heard that a picture is worth a 1,000 words, and as a writer, I’ve always hated that phrase, but with Pinterest the written word is once again threatened with extinction.  Oh, who am I kidding, visit my Pinterest page and check out some of the online images that I find cool at http://pinterest.com/mattgentile/.

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