Of all the social media networks, Pinterest is the one that most benefits from couch browsing. The never-ending rows of colorful graphics are almost hypnotic and though you swear you’ll only flip through a couple, you can easily find yourself wasting a half hour with nothing to show for it. Then again, you could come away inspired.
Inspiration is a keyword for Pinterest. In their intro blog post, they say they’re not trying to get you to waste more time online, they’re hoping to inspire you to go out into the world and do things. First I laughed when I read that, then I realized it was true. I don’t know how they managed it, but Pinterest managed to build a world where creativity rules. Fancy cakes, trendy fashions, wish list home decor, inspiring messages, amazing arts pieces; they pop off the pages and I’ll be darned if you don’t come away feeling like there’s hope for the world.
Back to the new apps. Anything that keeps people engaged and browsing is good for marketers. Sadly, Pinterest missed the mark in a couple of ways. First, it appears they’ve removed the categorized sidebar from the iPhone app. That makes targets browsing impossible. Second, they build the iPad app so each category opens a new window which stacks on top of the old one. Annoying. And third, there doesn’t seem to be anyway to pin things from the iPad, only repin what others have put up. Odd. There is a strange browser function which I can’t figure out. . . really, this shouldn’t be anywhere near this complicated.
For marketers, Pinterest apps mean more people will be spending time on site and that means more potential eyeballs for your brand. That also means more third-party app developers. It’s Twitter all over again. In this case, we have Pinfluencer (Klout for Pinterest) and Curalate (curation with image recognition) and Pinshoppr which puts a price tag on pinned items.
Twitter recently began cracking down on third-party data users. Will Pinterest follow? I hope not, since these apps help Pinterest grow, as they offer new ways for consumers and marketers to interact with the data.
Right now Pinterest is a hot trend that might help your brand find some new followers. Is it a social media money maker? No. While it’s true that the site is on its way to becoming the fourth largest source of referral traffic, studies show that Pinterest traffic doesn’t convert.
Bottom line, if it’s brand awareness you’re after, Pinterest is an excellent and growing source of traffic but if you’re looking for sales you’re better off with Facebook and Twitter. Then again, they’ve been around longer, so it could just be a matter of time before Pinterest takes its place as the top converting social network.