Pinterest is a new social-oriented photo sharing website. Except that it’s not just photos you’re sharing, it’s what goes with the photos…a recipe, an idea for a project or craft, a hairstyle, anything you can think of. According to the brief introduction provided at the top of the homepage, “Pinterest is an online pinboard. Organize and share things you love.” Pinterest is managed by Cold Brew Labs out of Palo Alto, California.
Development of Pinterest began in late 2009 and the site launched a closed beta version in March of 2010. The site continued to operate in invitation-only open beta status for several months and was later open for new user registration. Here’s an idea of how and when Pinterest started receiving notice:
- Time named Pinterest in it’s “50 Best Websites of 2011” column. October 2011:
- Pinterest secured $27 million in funding from Andreessen Horowitz, which valued the company at $200 million.
- Pinterest received over 420 million pageviews in the United States alone during the month of October. December 2011:
- Pinterest reached top 10 social networks with 11 million visits per week (according to Hitwise). January 2012:
- Pinterest drove more traffic to retailers’ websites than LinkedIn, YouTube, and Google+.
- Named best new startup of 2011 by TechCrunch.
- comScore reported that Pinterest had 11.7 million unique visitors, making it the fastest site in history to reach the 10 million unique visitors mark.
Pinterest allows users to curate their own themed image boards, using the “Pin It” button to populate their boards with images from the Internet, or by uploading their own images. Pinterest has become a social phenomenon because it allows users to follow the activity of other users. A perk of Pinterest is that a user can follow whichever boards of another user they want, rather than having to follow a user’s entire set of boards. According to Wikipedia, Pinterest derives its income “from modifying users’ affiliate links to commercial sites. By replacing the original affiliate tracking code with a Pinterest version, any affiliate payment is passed to Pinterest instead of the original affiliate.” (Check out this post from The New York Times blog and this one from MarketingLand for more information on Pinterest’s interesting revenue model.)
New data, explained in an article from VentureBeat, has shown that Pinterest retains a very high percentage of new users, much higher, in fact, than any other site has at the same stage in its development. In a report published today, “RJMetrics founder and CEO Robert Moore looks at the behaviors and activities of the startup’s members. The data show that Pinterest retains and engages users two to three times more efficiently than Twitter did at the same time in its history.” One of the most interesting pieces of information is that “80 percent of all pins are re-pins, meaning that an overwhelming majority of content shared on site is recycled between users . . . For comparison, just 1.4 percent of tweets were retweets at a similar time in Twitter’s history, according to another study.”
While Pinterest may not be a good fit for every small business, says Jason Keith on his blog, we did stumble across Adam Helweh’s post “3 Ways to Use Pinterest for Marketing Research.” These three steps can help you leverage important information about your customers and potential customers. Here are the basic ideas…abridged, of course:
1. Discover what people are pinning from your website. You can have Pinterest show you all of the things users have pinned from a specific website. To do this, type the following into your web browser: http://pinterest.com/source/”yourdomain.com” where “yourdomain.com” is replaced with whatever website you want to look up.
2. Understand customer perception. After you have found everything that has been pinned from the site of interest, take a look at the names of the boards pinned things show up on. Click on them and take a look at what users have grouped in with things from your site.
3. Capture the information. Now that you’ve taken a quick look through what’s being pinned from your site and have gotten an idea of why people are pinning it, it would be nice to know how to capture that info and save it for a more in-depth session later. Scroll all the way down to the bottom of the page (from step 1) so everything has loaded, hit “control + a” to select all, and go paste (“control + v”) it into a blank document or spreadsheet. Note: the images will not be captured, but all the other information will be there.
We are very interested to see where Pinterest is headed in the coming months and
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