Posted by: brandextenders | July 9, 2012

Confessions of a Pinterest Virgin

I can’t believe I haven’t done it yet. You know what I’m talking about; it! If you know me, you know I am all over using social media to build a personal brand so it’s odd I have never even looked at Pinterest. Honestly, I think I’ve been scared-to-death to introduce yet another time-sucker into my life, worried I’ll immediately see its value and the need to engage. However I decided it was time to finally take a peek and share my first impressions with you.

While this newest of social media sensations has 12 million users, that still leaves about 301 million citizens of America that don’t yet use the site so I’m in good company. I have to admit; my first look left me unimpressed. While the pins on the landing page change regularly, there’s not a lot here. But what shocked me the most was the fact I can’t just join, I have to be invited.

I dutifully filled out the information needed to be invited and hit send, not sure if I’d get an invite or when it might arrive. While I pondered whether they would perform a background check before inviting me, I started clicking on some of the postings to see what it was all about.

As the third most popular social media site, some of the stats I found about Pinterest are truly amazing:

  • Only Youtube beats Pinterest in average time spent on the site and not by much. The average time spent on Youtube is 16.4 minutes while on Pinterest it’s 15.8 minutes.
  • 50% of Pinterest users have kids.
  • Just over 68% of the users on Pinterest are women and that stat alone should give you hints as to how to build your brand here.
  • 27% of the users are between the ages of 25 – 34 and 22% are in the 35-44 demographic.
  • The number of daily Pinterest users has increased 145% since January of this year.

Scrapbooking memories has become popular with women over the last decade and Pinterest is basically a place to scrapbook online memories; to capture a moment in time and share it with your friends and followers. It’s almost a voyeuristic place to peek into other’s lives, to see what they like, to share their dreams and even something as simple as seeing the recipe they are using for dinner tonight.

I received my invitation (whew, cleared that roadblock) and have posted my first pin and while I could get lost in following other’s pins, I realize this is quickly becoming a huge boon for businesses. Shopify, an e-commerce service, reports Pinterest members spend an average of $80 each time they make an online purchase as a result of Pinterest, double the amount Facebook members spend on an Internet buy. And soon Pinterest will be extending its reach even farther with foreign language versions and also just landed a $100 million investment from a Japanese e-commerce company.

My fear of finding the value in this relatively new social media site has come to fruition and now I must act. I understand just enough to be dangerous and must first map out a plan for creating interest with the items I pin. Postings must earn the trust of those who choose to follow and give them value so they’ll take the time to interact. I’m reading all I can on how others are using this unique social venue to refine my strategy and make an impact within my audience.

If a picture is indeed worth a thousand words, the founders of Pinterest are hoping they can transfer those pictures into thousands of dollars each. I’m no longer a Pinterest virgin and can never go back nor do I want to. I’m taking my time learning to navigate this unique experience and hope I can avoid the siren song to look at just one more pin. Just one more.

I work with my customers to evaluate their promotional marketing needs and develop creative and measurable solutions based on those needs. I build long-term relationships to become a trusted advisor m clients turn to for their brand extension, promotional product, incentive and other branding needs. Contact me at stephen.woodburn@staplespromoproducts.com  

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