Like Facebook, Pinterest encourages sharing your personal hobbies and interests with your social network. Following the Twitter mould, it encourages sharing the impersonal as much as the personal, including photographs, articles and products shared by others.
Pinterest also evokes aspects of LinkedIn; members connect over shared inspiration for their respective careers, creating a professional network as well as a casual one. Like Amazon, it allows you to create a wish list; it can serve, for example, as a general, rather than store-specific, wedding registry.
And, in the end, it comes back to one of the first uses of the internet: the search engine. Pinterest users search for things they're interested in, and discover pictures and videos only tangentially related to their search - items that they might never have considered otherwise.
The Steps of Pinterest
Take whatever interests you on the internet, share it with others, connect with people all over the world who have similar interests, take inspiration and new ideas from them, Google for more information, and share the new interesting things you discover. It is an undeniably self-perpetuating cycle. Once you've joined Pinterest, you can stay in that online space for an indefinite amount of time.
Pinterest in the Digital Space
Pinterest is, in many ways, the epitome of social networking’s trend towards self-sustainment. Recently, LinkedIn celebrated reaching the 200,000,000 user milestone. Facebook is active in more than 200 countries. The Prime Minister of India has his own Twitter account, activity on which is saved in the national archives.
Eschewing email in the developed world is the privilege of hermits, the homeless, and the elite few so wealthy as to be able to humor their own deliberate eccentricities; in other words, it is no longer worth bringing into any discussion the elective use of the internet. Thus, not being a part of the social networking digital space is becoming increasingly difficult in today’s society.
And, as it grows, Pinterest can increasingly be marketed as the next logical step after joining any of the aforementioned platforms.
Using Pinterest in Digital Advertising
Pinterest can be an incredible asset to any savvy marketer. For the purpose of this article, we interpret all company-produced, rather than user-generated images, to be deliberate advertising.
- Images: Unlike Twitter or Facebook, Pinterest is based on the premise of images, which are always seen to lure a wider audience, rather than words. It is a more accurately targeted version of Facebook advertisements, as viewers are self-selecting based on interests rather than the result of a fallible algorithm. It’s the digital version of a mail-order catalogue: glossy pictures luring the consumer in, with all relevant details available.
- Market research: Analysis of the pinboards of users who have “pinned” an advertisement allows marketers to better understand their target audience. Additionally, they can use the advertisements chosen to see which aesthetics are most popular, and build further advertising campaigns based on that research.
- Viral marketing: Users are sharing images without company prompting, and they’re spreading awareness via the images to other interested consumers. When executed properly, placing an advertisement within the right interest group can save vast sums of money on digital marketing.
Joining Pinterest is the logical next step for any individual, group or business looking to expand their digital presence. However, new users should be warned that once they've logged in, they may find it more difficult than they expect to log out.