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New & Emerging Technology: Pinterest

Posted by Ayan Ahmed on March 12, 2012

During Fission Strategy’s annual retreat, staff members discussed innovations and emerging trends in technology that could play a significant role in the future of online media strategy. The ‘New & Emerging Technology’ blog series will highlight a few of these key concepts and technological innovations.

There’s been a great deal of buzz around the relatively new social networking site, Pinterest. Much like Google+ in its early days, some of Pinterest’s appeal is due to the fact that it is currently invite-only. However, a recent study has shown that in the months of December and January, Pinterest drove more referral traffic on the web than Google+, YouTube, Reddit, and LinkedIn, respectively. 
 
Pinterest’s goal is to connect everyone in the world through the 'things' they find interesting. By creating and naming pin boards based on things they like, users can bookmark visual content, like images and videos, and share them with their networks and the Pinterest community. While it seems that many have taken to using their pin boards to plan weddings, decorate homes, and keep track of favorite recipes, the site is far more than just a way for people to share and like interesting content, it also provides users with the opportunity to contribute thoughts and ideas on various topics. In this way, Pinterest presents businesses and nonprofits with an incredible opportunity to share their work and grow. In the past six months, visits to Pinterest have increased by 4000 percent, with the site recently receiving 11 million hits in just one week. Also, because of the nature of user interaction on Pinterest (where all videos and images are linked to the site from which they originated), it has the potential to increase SEO and the ability for content to reach wider audiences. 
 
In addition to increasing site traffic, Pinterest’s emphasis on visual content can also be useful for promoting blog entries through the use of appealing images accompanying blog posts, as well as in creating content for email campaigns. One of the easiest ways for nonprofits to get started with Pinterest is to use it as an extension of their website. The Humane Society of New York uses Pinterest to share photos of animals that are looking for homes, and they even have a board showing the animals that have already found homes. Amnesty International has created a board promoting the fair trade products sold on their website and another that shows products sold by vendors on other sites. These are just a couple of examples of how nonprofits can use Pinterest’s traffic and unique visual layout to connect with audiences, raise awareness for causes, share images of projects they’re working on, and tell stories about the lives they affect. 
 
Amnesty InternationalMake a Wish FoundationNational Wildlife FederationUNICEF
 
As for Pinterest’s demographics, 70-80% of its user base and 97% of its Facebook fans are women. In fact, women make up the majority of the users on sites like Facebook and Twitter and also spend 30% more time on these sites than men. Therefore, the fact that the majority of Pinterest’s users are female is a good indicator for future success. Since Pinterest is still in its early stages, it’s too early to determine what strategies will be the most effective, but this also means that there is a great deal of room for experimentation. In the meantime, Fission Strategy looks forward to making use of Pinterest’s visual appeal to creatively promote our clients’ causes.

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