What is this Pinterest you speak of…and would you like an invite?

So, if you’ve been paying any attention to the social web lately, you’ve probably heard about this “new thing” called “Pinterest.” The buzz around the site has been growing at a frenzy the past couple months. In January, Pinterest hit 11.7 million unique monthly visitors in the U.S., up from 7.5 million in December, and 418,000 nine months ago. Mashable made the claim that “Pinterest has become the fastest growing website ever, now with nearly 12 million monthly users.”

 

If that’s not impressive enough for you, in February, Pinterest drove more traffic to sites than Twitter. Pinterest had already passed Google+, YouTube and LinkedIn combined in referral traffic, but Twitter is one of the big boys on driving traffic.

 

Fortune just asked if “Pinterest is the next Facebook?” and not just because they recently hired Tim Kendall, former Facebook director of monetization, to build out that aspect of the business. Forbes just put out an article examining “Why Brand Managers Need To Take An Interest In Pinterest” including, the trust being built with women/mom’s who “account for 85% of all consumer purchases including everything from autos to health care.”

 

I mean, even President Obama is jumping on the Pinterest train.

 

Now that you’re caught up on all the buzz, lets start with…

 

“What is Pinterest?”

 

Pinterest is a “virtual pinboard” that allows users to share ideas, images and tastes they find interesting or inspiring. Users post “pins,” usually images or graphics, onto their own categorized pinboards. The U.S. Army does a great job of breaking it down into easy to understand terms in the slideshow embedded below.

 

 

[[MORE]]Do any brands actually use this

 

Sure. Have you ever heard of Dunkin Donuts? It’s this great little doughnut shop by me. I actually really enjoy their stuff. I hear they’re expanding so you might check around your neighborhood. Sarcasm aside, there are more brands on Pinterest already than you’d think. Which brings me to my next point.

 

You’re brand is probably already on Pinterest

 

Dunkin Donuts does a great job of laying out some images for people to pin. The images don’t just show their products but also the culture that they want their brand to invoke. Even if you haven’t started your own dedicated page like Dunkin Donuts, people can still pin an image from your site onto their boards. That’s the whole point of it. This is a good thing and how most effective “marketing” is done on the social web. Have a good product and let people spread it on the web for you. If you’re wondering where your brand is being pinned, you can just do a simple url lookup. Check out some of these brands on Pinterest.

 

 

 

 

Try changing the end of the url above to match your website and see what comes back.

 

Would you like an invite?

 

Right now, Pinterest is still technically invite only. But, if you leave send me an email, I’ll send you an invite so you can get in and see if it’s for you.