If I am not on Facebook I am on Pinterest, I am Hooked!! Pinterest.com seems to have taken the internet and world by storm, and yet, the very definition of Pinterest eludes most of its users. Pinterest is the digital combination of post-it-notes, cork boards, photo albums and scrapbooking. This is where users pin photographs to digital boards arranged by topic. Popular photographs are then re-pinned to other boards and thus the digital world becomes a beautiful escape. Despite today’s success and the awe inspiring public’s love of this company, the beginning days were not so bright. The determination and dedication needed to develop an internet phenomenon was there, but like many things in the natural world, luck also plays a part in success. Luck and or research into topics take brilliant ideas and ignite the minds of potential internet users. Those are the combinations that are needed to create a winning web venture, but even the best idea needs the determination and motivation of success to become the next web phenomenon.
The overall success of Pinterest was not an overnight process. While there are many accolades handed out to Pinterest, the growth of the company was slow. Pinterest began as an idea in 2009, and launched a beta mode platform in 2010. The path to development and production was long and arduous. It is during that time frame that determination and motivation play a key role. The remarkable thing about Pinterest and its huge success today is that the company’s growth was spurred by word of mouth and that validation has only continued since the launch of the company.
Pinterest – The People Behind The Scenes:
The primary creator of Pinterest is Ben Silbermann, and it is thanks to his persistence that Pinterest exits today. It takes more than brains to succeed on the internet. This can be evidenced by the Website graveyard where crappy websites lay along side the broken dreams of sites that could have been front page news. These broken failures are examples of why persistence is important in web ventures. Many standard products faced set back after set back and failure after failure, and without perseverance, those products would not have become the iconic legends they are today. Perseverance is the key. Most of use have seen the Dyson commercial where Mr. Dyson says this vacuum took X number of thousands of failures before we found success. What is important here is not the fact that things failed. It is the fact that Mr. Dyson learned from each failure. This is the lesson that people need to understand when launching sites on the internet. Having the ability to pick yourself up by your boot straps and dust yourself off is important, but finding the drive to continue is even more important.
Pinterest – Growth:
From beta mode to 1 million unique visitors took one year and four months, which is awesome considering that the primary mode of marketing was by word of mouth. The extreme excitement about Pinterest’s growth comes form the period between July of 2011 and April of 2012. During that period, Pinterest has welcomed over 12 million unique visitors. The balloon in new visitors equates to 11 million new visitors in just seven months. That rate of growth has amplified the excitement around Pinterest and fuelled the fervour of other web developers. The knowledge that giants can still be born and the next Google may still be undiscovered has many people dusting off their projects and trying again. One of the fuels that has created this remarkable growth is the utilization of Facebook as a means of logging in to Pinterest.
Pinterest – The Relationship With Facebook:
A new Pinterest feature that I found today was the ability to add Pinterest to my Facebook time line. The relationship between Pinterest and Facebook is long. Pinterest allows users to sign in using their Facebook account. In the Pinterest terms of service, they explain their data collection programs, and that includes all of your data on Facebook. This is one of the reasons why 11 million users signed up in just seven months. Pinterest is able to market to all of your Facebook friends. This is an important lesson for other sites who are trying to recruit unique visitors. The power of social media sites is awesome. Facebook is not the only social media site that Pinterest uses, nor it is the only site that offers an opportunity for user recruitment. Twitter is another great source and one that is also used by Pinterest.
Pinterest – Applying Pinterest to Business Marketing Plans:
Applying the principals of business to the fundamental aspects of social media is something that large and small businesses should consider. The power of social media is that they contain a great many users. That fact is evidenced in the shear magnitude of unique users who signed up for Pinterest in the last seven months. Applying social media to your business plan takes us back to applying perseverance to your daily routine. It takes more than just signing up to attract followers. It takes an investment of time for social media networks to pay off for business applications.
Turning social media into a winning marketing platform begins with developing a plan for how your business will use social media sites as a tool, especially Pinterest. The idea behind Pinterest is to share beautiful photographs. Not every business will fit into that structure, but there are still ways to promote your business using Pinterest. Complicated marketing strategies will not work well. Ideas need to be simple and clear much like an advertisement in a magazine. The goal is to have your pins shared by everyone who comes into contact with your boards. Since Pinterest is organized around pin boards, businesses and individuals can use either the pin or the pin board as a marketing tool. Creating simple and beautiful pin boards can help businesses to gain followers. Which is better a single, beautiful photograph or an entire pin board full of them? Perhaps neither and yet both may be better. That is the quandary that marketers face when dealing with social media. The important thing to remember is that growth takes both time and energy.
Pinterest has the ability to replace or at the very least compete with sites such as ebay.com. While this may seem like a broad statement, consider the fact that online store front can be an extension of a physical store. If a Pinterest marketing campaign can drive visitors to an online store then the possibility of online sales increases. Ebay.com is a mega-plex of small online stores. The difference is that ebay.com charges for their services when people want to list things to sell. With Pinterest, the sale transaction takes place on the businesses website and not on Pinterest.
Combine the motivation for each social network you use into a marketing plan that encompasses all of them. If facebook is used to find friends and twitter is used to share information, and pinterest is used to share photographs, then use pinterest to enable your friends to share information about products. Using the power of each social media site to your full advantage is not only awesome it is pretty much free. Marketing plans should include some form of activity that occurs on a daily or weekly schedule. Timed promotions encourage readers to visit your pin boards regularly.
Pinterest – Conclusion:
Thanks to Ben and Pinterest team, the latest web phenomenon has eclipsed even some of the larger web giants. The continual upward momentum stirs the excitement pot even for investors. The success of Pinterest is a homage to the perseverance and a lesson that other web developers should pay close attention too. Websites, store fronts, and online marketers can take advantage of the magnetism of Pinterest by developing marketing strategies that work with the strengths of the platform. This may include using the different characteristics of all social media sites within the marketing plan. Businesses should keep in mind the rewards for being persistent by applying daily and weekly aspects to their Pinterest marketing plan.
There are many lessons to be learned from Pinterest, and most of those lessons are positive. The best aspect of Pinterest may not be its function, but rather the fact that it completes a marketing trilogy between itself, Facebook, and Twitter. Marketing is about attracting unique visitors, and now that Pinterest has brought into the mix the ability to share beautiful photographs the elements of marketing online are close to being complete. In the meantime, the opportunities for businesses to utilize social media sites as free marketing tools have gotten better.