Are you using Pinterest? You could be missing out. Pinterest is one of the fastest growing social media sites registering more than 10 million users. Described as a virtual scrapbook or bulletin board, it’s a simple concept with extraordinary results. Pinterest has created a forum for both consumers to indulge in their passions and businesses to showcase their creative products and useful ideas.
Pinterest is a social media site where people create categorized “boards” on which they “pin” pictures they find online. Within seconds a “pin” can go viral, giving countless users visibility to not only the “pin” but a hyperlink to its origin. You “pin” an article of clothing, click on the picture and it brings you to its purchasing site. Shopping, recipes, research and planning your future vacations are just a few “boards” that Pinterest organizes for you.
Pinterest is a virtual word of mouth marketing tool that has quickly caught on with college students. Pinterest is ranked fifth among social networking and forum sites, driving the most referral traffic in the United States for businesses, according to Experian Hitwise. In our own recent focus groups, we learned that more than 65% of students had either used the site or intend to use the site within the next 30 days. Since Pinterest has the ability to reach and engage a wide audience it provides a unique platform for companies to target their customers at a level that not only engages but also allows the consumer to share their ideas and products with friends. College students are riding the Pinterest wave and listed below are just a handful of examples for why your company should be on Pinterest.
- Spring Break and Study Abroad Travel Experiences: Helping students decide which island or mountain to go to during their spring break or helping them choose a country to expand their cultural knowledge, students rely on other student’s suggestions and reviews. These “pins” link to travel sites offering student discounts or vacation packages.
- Fitness: Work out apps are the rage among college students. Providing quick cardio or general work out routines for students that are in need of guidance in or out of the gym. Students also look to their peers for work out gear opinions such as the best yoga mat or great running sneakers.
- Education/Research: Students are on Pinterest recommending which textbooks to use and which websites offer the cheapest books to purchase. According to eduduemic.com, students are utilizing the site to share resources and then create discussion based on the research that was completed. The visual attraction of Pinterest will make it easier for students to organize the information they gather.
- Dorm Room Decoration: First time freshman or experienced upperclassmen are absorbing the Pinterest inspirational décor for their dorm rooms. While browsing for their next purchase they are designing their living space item by item.
The list goes on and on. College students have discovered Pinterest and they like it. Perhaps it is time for marketers to join the fun.
Cristina Visconte, Campus Entertainment