By Andrea Skinner
Pinterest is one of today’s fastest growing social networks. Users can save images to “boards”, or categories that can sort “pins”, or visual bookmarks. It competes with Tumblr, where users also save pictures and links to their personal blogs, but they are stored chronologically not categorically. Pinterest serves as a virtual discovery tool to save projects, recipes, and things they may want to buy. These “pins” are categorized in a clear, user-friendly manner.
The website has taken off as a social media powerhouse since it was founded by Ben Silbermann, Paul Sciarra and Evan Sharp 3 years ago. Pinterest can be leveraged by marketers, especially since more often than not, the bookmarks are links to things that could be purchased online. For small business owners, this can be a great way to increase online sales and drive traffic to their online store. Botticca.com found that Pinterest users are willing to spend $180 vs. the $85 Facebook users are willing to spend. Women account for 83% of Pinterest users, many of whom are crafty and creative people. Their main page has a quaint, eclectic style which may be off putting to a male audience. Interestingly, in the case of male Pinterest users in the UK, the gender ratio is 56% male and 44% females, which contrasts the US ratio of 17% male and 83% female. The difference lies in the content they pin there, as there is more business related content, venture capital, investing and search engine optimization among the most popular categories. Perhaps promoting these fields can help lessen the stigma and open up an untapped potential market.