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Pin It and Pass It: The New Jauggernaut of Social Media

Pin it up, pin it down and pin it all around! The new social media website, Pinterest, is taking the world by storm massing a staggering 104 million total visits, according to Forbes.com. This makes Pinterest the third largest social media website behind Twitter, with 182 million total visitors, and of course Facebook, with 7 billion. Pinterest has been recently valued at $7.7 billion by Forbes. But what is Pinterest and why is it so popular? That is a question best answered by the ladies.

It is estimated that about 72 percent of Pinterest users are women, 30 percent of which are between the ages 25-34 years old (comScore).
Melanie Best, a 33-year-old professional interior designer in Aurora, Colorado, has had her Pinterest account for the past ten months.

“I heard about it from a friend and decided to check it out for myself,” Best said. “It’s basically like an online pin-board where you can put all of your ideas and thoughts together. It’s like having an online version of a bulletin board that you would have in your house or your office. You have ideas and you collect them. You can organize it better than just having a mess of papers all over the place.”

Pinterest allows you to personalize your page with posts of pictures, much like that of a scrapbook. Photos can be personal or commercial and can be linked to businesses, locations and websites. You don’t have to be “friends” with someone to view their posts because they are considered to be shared posts throughout the website. You can view someone’s posts, or “pin-ups”, and if you like it, you can re-pin it on your own personal page. This provides a vast network of ideas, hobbies and interests among millions of people.

Leisa Caldwell, 52, is a mother of three from Parker, Colorado and works as a dental hygienist assistant and secretary. She has been a member of Pinterest for 7 months and said that it is quickly becoming one of her favorite pastimes.

“A lot of my friends and I have been scrapbooking for years,” Caldwell said. “We get together and share photos and memories. We put them together in several different ways (such as) books, stories, ornaments and mementos. We still meet and do a little scrapbooking, but now we kind of have our own little Pinterest gang,” she laughed. “There are so many different ways we can contribute and so many things that inspire us at the same time. It’s so much fun to explore.”

Dylan Love, with Business Insider, credits the woman-weighted website to the simple chemistry of the human brain. Love referred back to the fundamental hunting and gathering aspect of men and women. Men are hunters and women are gatherers. Because there is no final outcome or end of the game, men lose interest quickly, while women on the other hand, can gather and gather and never stop.

The latest demographics provided by Pinterest indicate that the majority of users have an annual income of $25,000-$50,000 and are mainly women from the East South Central region of the United States (Mississippi, Alabama, Kentucky and Tennessee), and you can bet that those demographics have attracted some major attention from corporations to small business around the world. Pinterest is quickly growing to become the largest referral site on the web.

Social media driven revenue has already made a name for itself in the world of business. Once thought to be a fad, social media revenue is now one of the most grossing revenue sources for small and big businesses alike.
Pinterest reports that in the second quarter of 2011, the social media driven revenue coming from the site was 1 percent. It jumped a massive 16 percent in the first quarter in 2012 and is expected to grow exponentially. Pinterest is projected to account for 40 percent of all social media revenue by the second quarter of 2012, while Facebook is projected to take the rest. Twitter is not even in the running.

Caldwell has contemplated starting a goods business for years. She said that the implementation of Pinterest into her company would be completely necessary.

“I’ve always thought about starting my own business,” Caldwell said. “If I was selling a product, I believe that Pinterest would be more beneficial to my business than say Facebook. Facebook is so saturated with advertisements, Likes, groups and invitations that it makes the whole experience confusing and frustrating. Pinterest is easy because if you like something you simply click on it. As a business owner, I can link my products and my pins to my website saving hundreds if not thousands (of dollars) on advertising. It’s kind of like word of mouth through clicks. Plus, I don’t have to be a freaking web designer to make it work.”

Best already has an interior design business called Inner Circle Designs. Though she has had it for a couple of years, it has just recently started to take off.

“Personally, I like to keep my ideas and designs as original as possible so I won’t re-pin other ideas as far as design is concerned,” Best said. “But I could see how having my own page with all of my own work could benefit Inner Circle Designs. I just don’t know if I want to take that step yet, I could get more work than I can handle. Right now I really just use Pinterest as a hobby and not a tool — for right now, anyway.”

With Pinterest gathering millions of unique users a month, it could soon be the next household name. Pinterest is gaining ground on Facebook and breathing down Twitter’s neck. So the question is, do you pin? There is only one way to find out. Join, post, pin and re-pin. Who knows, you may just find inspiration for the next billion dollar social media website.

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