Pinterest 2012 - After the Hype

Pinterest made headlines towards the end of 2011, coming from nowhere to take the social network world by storm. It managed to increase its visitors by 430% at the end of 2011 and drives more traffic than Google+, LinkedIn and YouTube combined. It also holds the record for being the quickest social network to 10 million users. The knock-on effect of Pinterest’s popularity has influenced many aspects of the web, especially online sales; compared to Facebook or Twitter, Pinterest referrals are 10% more likely to make a purchase and spend around 10% more when they do.

A lot of time and money had been spent pushing links through Facebook and Twitter and it still continues today, yet on average these social networks only account for 1% of traffic. So when Pinterest went big marketing blogs and websites went mad; they all had their own theory as to how the site should be used. Marketing 
infographic submission increased greatly, appealing to the sites visual nature and enabling up to date insights to be passed around Pinterest in an eye-catching and fast moving format. There were infographics on everything and anything, even an infographic of infographics!

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Months later many brands still seem sceptical. Domino Sugar adopted the network early on with a strong profile but still has less than 1000 followers. Compared to their 40,000 likes on Facebook this figure seems alarming. Although due to the nature of being able to follow ‘boards’ without following the brand it is difficult to find a ‘true’ number of followers. Other brands seem to be doing better with the platform; Etsy, “The handmade and vintage market place”, has around 89,000 followers on their Pinterest profile with many independent artists claiming to have sales generated from Pinterest. It would seem that brands and marketers have yet to figure Pinterest out. Marketers need to know that it’s not ‘just another social network’ and that if used properly and as an addition to their online presence could increase revenue exponentially. Brands such as Topshop, H&M and New Look UK that have yet to capitalise on the new network, are having their products pinned on the site already. By having a physical profile this can be better monitored, managed and converted into sales.

The Daily Mail seems to believe that Pinterest’s bubble has burst as monthly active users are down from 11.15 million on April 1st to 8.3 million 20 days later. But could this be simply ‘levelling off’ as the members that signed up when the hype was big didn’t stick around? Only time will tell, but unless potentially compatible brands start playing with Pinterest (especially in the UK) how will we ever know it’s real worth?

About the Author:
Paige Hobart is a writer that has a passion for social media trends and digital marketing.

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