Pinterest or pinane?

4m registered users worldwide is nothing to be sneezed at – but it’s not an avalanche of uptake either. So I’ve been having a play with Pinterest to try and figure out what I think it could be for and I have to agree with everyone who says it’s strangely compelling if a little elusive in its ultimate value.

For starters, it’s one of the easiest social media sites I’ve come across. The “PinIt” tool for your bookmarks bar means you can clip and “pin” any image within seconds.

The user stats are interesting. Check out Econsultancy for recent demographic data. Pinterest users are female, 25-45, in low to mid income households, lots working, lots with kids.

Companies I’ve seen exploring Pinterest have, not surprisingly been in visual and primarily retail product sectors – jewellery and apparel, hairdressing and so forth. They’ve used it for running competitions and sharing new ideas. I could see this as a great way for getting feedback – what do you think of our new season patterns/colours? Which of these two dresses do you prefer? And so forth.

Whilst there are several designers already on Pinterest, who I suppose will be selling primarily to businesses, I don’t see much evidence of this site having an application for B2B.

But if you sell online anything to do with apparel and appearance, the home, food, travel – get in there and have a look. It’s a gift for bespoke couturiers, interior designers and decorators. If you’re an auction house and you want to preview an event, if you’re a restaurant with a new summer menu, you should be exploring this application.

This is an interesting case study of a hairdresser in North Carolina who’s been using it to grow her blog and attract new customers.

For me – I’m going to see this as a bit of a personal reference site and a way of collating my birthday and Christmas wish list. Not exactly earth shattering but my husband will be thrilled to know he’ll never have to think of a present again.

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