Written by Lorene Song · April 06, 2012
It's no secret, human beings are covetous creatures. Inspiration on what to wear, what to eat, where to go, what to see...sometimes, it's from fashion magazines, a conversation you overheard from another cubicle, book-club friends, an old fraternity brother... Happenstance or as some would call it, fate, is the invisible fuel that molds a person's desire to possess.
Which social media group has capitalized on this basic drive inherent in all of us? If you guessed Pinterest, you guessed right.
Pinterest, launched in March 2010, is now one of the top 10 social networks. According to Hitwise, Pinterest is estimated to have about 11 million visits per week.
There are numerous sites in existence which are similar to Pinterest such as the fashion geared lookbook.nu where users from around the world may post inspirational fashions and related images. In the same vein, there are online art galleries such as The Saatchi Gallery where artists may display their pieces in a virtual, global environment.
Pinterest, like the scrapbook-like sites mentioned allows the user to post images freely, creating original boards consisting of "pins" which are images uploaded or linked to. The images are displayed in a neatly designed format where visitors may view by category or completely at random. Because there are essentially no limitations, the user is empowered to post as may pins as they choose. It is an addictive, almost intoxicating experience to some. Similar to StumbleUpon, where discoveries rely heavily on chance, Pinterest executes this by way of relying almost exclusively on images. A way to engage the maximum number of users is to make it as easy as possible to upload, link, to articles and images. StumbleUpon and now Pinterest both have toolbar extensions to make the transaction of posting as simple as two clicks.
It comes as no surprise then, to see that large companies are taking advantage of this market. Companies like Barneys New York allow the visitor to post on Pinterest virtually any shoppable image on their site by way of a Pin It button below the item. Does it get any easier?
While large brands who have hopped on the Pinterest bandwagon have seen a spike in website traffic, small businesses and even individuals have also made a name for themselves in a short period of time.
An example of this is a site like Etsy, which is an online marketplace, also displayed in a neatly designed showcase. Individual merchants set up virtual shop to sell everything from gourmet artisan truffles, bespoke gowns, to vintage flapper dresses. Countless Etsy sellers have reaped the benefits of Pinterest driven conversions. Sometimes, it takes the acclamatory "re-pinning" by those in the community for the power of suggestion to take heed.
According to the Google Analytics reporting for the portfolio site of our in house illustrator J.Bodeen, the simple act of posting artwork can increase that day's traffic by nearly 75%.