Pinterest has long been our office obsession. It is our go to place for personal inspiration and most days I hear someone saying “Oh that’s cute!” only to turn around and see them gushing at Pinterest.
If you’ve been under a rock, Pinterest is a virtual pin board that allows you to share all the beautiful things you find on the web, but it’s fast evolving from a way of sharing inspirational and motivational images to a key social media strategy for brands.
Pinterest has had rapid growth over the past few months becoming a Top 5 referrer for retailers, as well as becoming one of the Top 10 most trafficked social network sites. Unique visitors to the site has increased by an estimated 429% from September to December 2011.
Pinterest has even been used by reporters to share newsworthy pics, such as Canada’s CTV news’ coverage of Occupy Wall Street.
There are two ways brands are using Pinterest:
1. The brand pins an image that has no direct branding, instead styling the image to reflect their brand/product. Brands can then provide a link to their website for pinners to click through and browse/purchase products.
2. Of late pins like this have started to show up on our feeds. Need I say anymore.
We have had several office discussions about the path that Pinterest may go down when brands start to take over with blatant branding to gain awareness. The consensus: It will ruin Pinterest!
The problem with the latter Pantene “pin” is that it takes the experience away from being about the style of the image and forces it to be about a product. The experience of browsing un-intrusive images is what people go to Pinterest for, once the boards become filled with branding I personally will never return.
We hope this isn’t where Pinterest is headed – what would our next addiction be?!