Will Pinterest Replace Facebook?
Last week I was in a meeting with Elmer’s, and one of our Collective Bias clients and we started talking about the Pinterest page we help them manage. Our discussion centered on how using technology personally helps develop a better understanding of the business value of new platforms. Want to understand the value of Foursquare? Check in everywhere you go for a week. You’ll learn more than anyone could possibly teach you, and you’ll discover if the platform actually has any value for you.
What really caught my attention, however, was when this woman shared, “My friends and I don’t use Facebook to connect anymore, we all share Pins on Pinterest, it’s much more interesting.”
Wow, that was pretty interesting! She took her marketer hat off and was thinking like a consumer. This revelation confirmed anecdotal evidence I’ve been seeing over the past several months that a fair amount of Facebook fatigue is building and other ways to share and express oneself are on the rise. According to Alexa, Pinterest has become the 47th most trafficked site in the US. Sharing inspiration and ideas is engaging; it also speaks volumes about the interests of the user.
Perhaps the most interesting aspect of social media is the power of the medium for self expression. Marketers tell me often about Twitter or Foursquare, “I don’t care what someone had for breakfast this morning.”
Maybe they should care why someone would want to share something about their lives since that creates an opportunity for engagement. Practically everyone has the ability to be a broadcaster today. Facebook and Twitter democratized the trend. Pinterest, Instagram and Oink are adding creativity and discovery functionality.
The real reason marketers should pay attention is simple. Pinterest is quickly becoming a powerful traffic driver. Many members of Collective Bias’ Social Fabric community are reporting that Pinterest has quickly become one of their top traffic sources. Über-crafter Tonya Staab has a highly developed Pinterest page featuring her creations along with those she finds inspiring. According to Alexa, the site is now the #4 site that her readers visit immediately prior to coming to her blog. The same is true for brands such as Elmer’s which sees over 11% of its site traffic coming from Pinterest.
Will Facebook one day be overtaken by Pinterest? No one knows, but engagement will. If people are able to express and connect in a more meaningful way, you can bet they will take advantage of that. Brands that participate in that engagement will benefit from increased loyalty.