Why You Care About Pinterest
(even if you don't know what it is)
Pin*ter*est is a social network that very quickly has garnered a staggering amount of traffic (about 30 million visits a month, according to Quantcast) and is on its way to rivaling Facebook for the referral traffic it sends to its members' websites. In fact, in December, 2011, Pinterest made Hitwise's list of the top ten social networks, sitting at #5 and beating out big names like LinkedIn and Google.
What is Pinterest?
Pinterest is a website and social network that allows users to visually share, curate, and discover new interests by "pinning" images or videos to their own or others' pinboards (i.e. a collection of "pins," usually with a common theme). Users can either upload images from their computer or "pin" things they find on the web using the Pinterest "Pin It" button or a URL. You have probably already noticed the Pin It button on some web pages.
As Pinterest puts it, this is a social network meant to "connect everyone in the world through the 'things' they find interesting."
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Why Does Pinterest Matter? Pinterest matters for the same reason Facebook and Twitter matter: it's a way to be a part of your audiences' lives and drive traffic to pages on your website (or other places) that help your business. Pinterest is the hottest thing on the Web right now. That means that it deserves the attention of merchants and marketers.
Early research indicates that Pinterest is more effective at driving traffic when compared to other social media sites, even Facebook.
In October, the website of Time Inc.'s Real Simple magazine got more traffic from Pinterest than Facebook. (Advertising Age; 14 December 2011)
Eye glass retailer Warbly Parker reports that 11% of their social traffic is coming from Pinterest compared to 18% from Twitter. (Twitter; @warbyparker)
If you are using the "Pin It" button on your pages and your images or information are "pinned" to a Pinterest board, all the pins will include a link back to the your pages. That is why HubSpot's blog has accumulated more than 640 links from Pinterest in just two weeks.
Pinterest still is somewhat new and it's evolving, but there is no doubt it is being seriously used in large numbers to connect people with their passions and, therefore, deserves a serious look by performing arts professionals.