Pinterest, Pinterest, Pinterest. Midwestern bride-to-be bloggers can’t get enough of it, fashion designers like Michael Kors are using it to make company announcements, even President Obama signed up last week and pinned a family chili recipe. Amassing more than 17 million users in just two years and driving more traffic to retailers than many of its more seasoned competing platforms combined, Pinterest is a very big deal. But as is often the case with hype, there is a tendency to focus too closely on certain numbers while ignoring others. New data gathered by price-comparison site PriceGrabber offers some new numbers that will have brands, in particular, taking a second look at just how deep a reach into the consumer market Pinterest really has.
According to the study, which was conducted just last month, more than 90 percent of Americans either do not have a personal Pinterest account (58 percent) or haven’t even heard of the platform (33 percent). Unlike Facebook, which already claims almost 1 billion users, Pinterest still has enormous room for growth, both domestically and internationally. And because Pinterest users aren’t just users in the typical social media sense — 21 percent of those surveyed purchased a product immediately after viewing it on a Pinterest board — this growth potential has huge implications for brands and retailers as well. Industries that especially benefit from Pinterest’s strong visual draw (and heavily female constituency) include fashion, hotels, magazines, home furnishings and food. But even for those sectors whose products, services and audience don’t easily or obviously lend themselves to pinning success, the numbers indicate that somehow, some way, Pinterest must be included in the typical Facebook/Twitter social media strategy.
As L2 predicted just after the first of the year, 2012 will be the year for emerging social platforms to take hold. And Pinterest, very likely, will be leading the charge.