Pinterest started out as a website where individuals could share pictures they’d found online, like cute cats, pretty dresses and original artwork. People can pin their favorite items to their own boards to share with their friends – or any fellow cat, dress or art aficionados on the Internet. It’s a way for people with similar interests to find each other and easily discover more items that they’re apt to enjoy.
One of the website’s appeals is that people can quickly browse through images that are all laid out on a well-organized page. It’s easy to pin things to your board from almost any outside website, or to grab an item from the board of someone else who inspires you – so it’s an effortless and easy-to-use model. The combination of appealing visuals, convenience and simplicity speaks to social media’s strong suits – so in a way, it’s no surprise the website is doing so well.
In January 2012, the site boasted 11.7 million unique visitors – and even in the short time since then, traffic has increased 145% to make Pinterest the third-largest social media outlet behind only Facebook and Twitter.
But it’s not just about traffic, it’s also about sales. Although Pinterest was designed to allow people to share their visual inspirations, those images actually link back to their retailers’ sites. For example, if you have a shop on the indie e-commerce website Etsy and your item is getting shared all over Pinterest, people will click through to visit your page and check out the rest of your wares.
According to a report by Spotify in 2012, not only were just as many visitors coming to e-tailers through Pinterest as through Twitter, people who came to shop through Pinterest actually consistently spent more money than those coming through Twitter or Facebook.
Check back next week for some interesting demographic info about the people who are using Pinterest – and how you can appeal to them with your brand.