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What’s all the Interest in Pinterest?

The same thing kept happening: I’d wake up refreshed after a good night sleep, check Facebook and see numerous statuses reporting “4:39 a.m. Struggling to keep my eyes open….can’t…stop…pinning….”  It was quite the mystery to me, and I am confident I am not the only person that recently heard about Pinterest and wondered what’s up?

So I looked into it. Simply put, Pinterest is an online pinboard.  Once you create a free account, you set up image boards organized by categories of your interests.  For example, I could have boards titled “Marathons & Running”, “Vacation Destinations”, “Recipe Ideas” and “Baseball”.  Then, as you browse the web and see something to remember for later use, you “pin” it to the appropriate board.

Pinterest is a time-saver, too.  With 10.4 million registered Pinterest users, I can just browse public boards related to my interests instead of having to sift through Google search results.  Just like all social platforms, I can follow other users.  However, I can also just follow specific boards created by these users.  So if you and I share an affinity for spicy food but don’t have the same tastes in leisure activities, I might just follow your “Favorite Recipes” board rather than follow you.  It quickly adds up to pages full of eye-catching photos I can comment on, “like” or repin on my own boards for hours upon hours upon hours.  Until it’s 4:30 a.m.

What about Pinterest for businesses?  As a professional internet marketer I pay attention to the buzzing new social media platforms.  Pinterest got its start in 2010 and has recently taken off.  As of this writing, daily users have increased by more than 145% since the beginning of 2012!  Furthermore, Pinterest is now driving more traffic to business websites than Google+, LinkedIn and MySpace combined.  How?  When you pin an image to one of your boards, a link back to the page where you found it is included.  So if you share a photo of some awesome new running shoes, you’re also sharing a link to the vendor who sells them.  It can all add up to some serious free advertising.

So what’s not to love?

My main concern is the overwhelming “girly” aura that seems to exude from all things Pinterest.  According to AppData, approximately 97% of Pinterest users are women!  However, as Pinterest picks up speed this trend may shift.  Last week I discovered several large, typically male-oriented organizations are now pinning, including Major League Baseball, the U.S. Army, and Home Depot.

Yes, for now Pinterest content may be dominated with crafts, hair styles, puppies and recipes, but I am confident this site offers value and interest to all.  For the men who are hanging back, let’s be honest: what guy wouldn’t want to join a community that is 97% women?  Go to www.pinterest.com, I dare you!

Just be warned, the next person up pinning at 4:30 a.m. may be you.

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