Several months ago, the social media site Pinterest was hailed as "the next big thing." Skeptics weren't entirely sure this would hold true, but the online pin board site continues to outstrip Google +, YouTube, and Twitter in driving traffic to websites and in translating that traffic into online sales.
So what's with all the hype? Essentially Pinterest is a social sharing site based on "pinning" or posting visual images onto categorized boards - much like the corkboards many of us used over the years in our homes and offices.
We traditionally used corkboards to attach reminders, notices, souvenirs, or photos of favourite people, adored celebrities, or the family dog.
Pinterest takes our common inclination toward collecting and sorting and gives it a clean, simple, and visually compelling online home that is easy to use and (dare I say it) highly addictive.
According to Mediabistro: North American users of the [Pinterest] social network spend an average of one hour and 17 minutes a visit on the site, well ahead of Twitter (36 minutes), LinkedIn (17 minutes) and Google+(6 minutes).
In fact, Pinterest gets more monthly usage than all of these other platforms combined.
Pinterest has yet to catch up to Facebook in terms of time spent on the platform per visit but what's important to note is that Pinterest users drop more cash.
What makes Pinterest so powerful? Pinterest offers an almost unlimited source of gorgeous eye candy covering a staggering range of interests.
Whether you are keen on food, shoes, comic book covers, social media infographics, travel, dream kitchens, or fast cars, you can find, repin, like, and comment on hundreds of thousands of images.
And - every image is linked to its source, effectively a one-click direct link to your website.
Facebook research shows that photos are shared 50 per cent more than any other type of update, making a visual sharing platform like Pinterest a natural for engaging our online imaginations.
Businesses and brands that are using Pinterest are seeing an ongoing increase in both traffic and sales.
The largest demographic base of Pinterest users is well-educated, employed women between the ages of 25-40. Their income stats: $35,000 to $100,000 plus per year.
This is a big niche for marketers or businesses interested in accessing this market.
Pinterest is an obvious choice for retailers of women's clothes, shoes and accessories, as well as home and garden, lifestyle, do-it-yourself and the latest trend in all things vintage.
But, I would caution against these limits on two counts.
The first: women's interests reach far beyond these traditional niches and we powerfully influence consumer decisions and trend-making, and secondly Pinterest offers enormous scope for nearly any business that can visually represent their products, services, or outcomes.
In my biz, we have an old saying "Go where the traffic is."
The traffic is on Pinterest.
Vicki McLeod and The Social Chicks will offer more insights on Pinterest for Business at the monthly social media session on Thursday, Oct. 25, from 5 to 6: 30 p.m. at the Maple Ridge Pitt Meadows Chamber of Commerce. Call the chamber at 604-463-3366 to register.
Vicki McLeod is owner of Main Street Communications and is happy to answer questions. Send them to her through www.thesocialchicks.com