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February 17, 2012
You might think that after 23 hours of labor, hundreds of thousands of dollars in investment, and innumerable hours murdering my own brain cells reading stupid kiddie books to my daughter that she would be kind enough to share just a little bit of information with her old and out-of-touch mother. You would be wrong to think that. I depend on my kid to keep me up to date with the latest in social media, so when I started seeing articles about Pinterest all over the place I wondered what it was all about. “Mom!” [insert groan, sigh, and eye-roll here] and she pulled up her own, very active account and sent me an invitation.

Pinterest is a social network where people collect images that they want to share. The numbers are very impressive. Today Pinterest gets over 12 million unique visitors per month, 9 million of which are Facebook users, and it hit 10 million users faster than any independent website in history. It’s barely two years old but already it generates more referrals than YouTube, Google+, and LinkedIn combined! And if you want to target women, this is the site for you, as 97% of Pinterest’s Facebook fans are female. (Source: lemon.ly)

What the heck, right? I set up some boards, repinned some people’s stuff, and imported a necklace I am selling on etsy.com. The pin includes a link back to my page on Etsy and the price of the item. Within minutes a complete stranger had repinned that picture and started following me. Aha! I get it. More and new eyeballs, and another backlink for Google to find.

Rooting around I saw other people selling their crafts, products, and even portfolio items from a couple of web designers. Great idea! As long as you make sure you repin, comment on, and share other people’s stuff, Pinterest should work well as a promotion vehicle for any small online vendor of products and services.

However, a few of the articles I read insisted that EVERY online business should include Pinterest in their marketing plan, and in fact Pinterest’s stats indicate that over 100 major brands are using the site. I did a search for Lowe’s, Zales, and Gap, and yes, there are plenty of products pinned that lead back to a point of purchase, but I’m not exactly sure how the company is directly involved since I am not seeing accounts named “Lowe’s,” etc.

It’s only been a few days since I signed on to Pinterest, so hopefully I will figure it out myself, someone somewhere will write an article explaining it, or one of you folks will be kind enough to clue me in. Unlike my kid.

Pinterest is still an invitation-only site, so if you want to try it out for yourself drop me a line at Rhonda@talentzoo.com and I will send you the link. And if you know of anything new and different online that I might be able to use to impress my GenY daughter, please let me know. I am tired of living behind the curve!

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Rhonda Wenner is a Very Old Advertising Person who has been there, done that, and seen quite a bit.
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