Pinterest: Social Media’s Biggest Up-and-Comer

First it was MySpace, then FaceBook, then Twitter. As each new social network grew, companies joined up and developed new tools to get their products seen.

While FaceBook and Twitter are still the big powerhouses of the social media world, relative newcomer Pinterest is now the fastest-growing social network. Pinterest has become the third-most-popular social media site, with 104 million hits per week (Facebook and Twitter rank first and second, with 7 billion and 183 million weekly hits, respectively).

Pinterest’s rapid growth means that its popularity has now surpassed Google+ (61 million hits per week) and companies are taking notice. According to Campalyst, 78% of the top internet retailers now use Pinterest, while 73% use Google+. Big-name retailers L.L. Bean, Nordstrom’s and Lowe’s are the 3 most-followed retailers on Pinterest.

These retailers’ efforts on Pinterest are paying off. According to BuzzReferrals.com, shoppers who are referred to retailers’ sites from Pinterest are 10% more likely to buy something than those referred from FaceBook or Twitter, and will spend an average of 10% more when they buy. Pinterest referrals are 70% more likely to make a purchase than non-social-network referrals.

Who are these buyers? Pinterest users are predominantly female (80%), with the largest representation in the 23-34 age range (30%). Fifty percent of Pinterest users have children, and many live in the Midwest. Their top 3 interest categories are crafts, gifts, and hobbies & leisure.

The take-home message: Keep mining Facebook and Twitter for social network gold but, if you haven’t gotten started on Pinterest yet, it may be time you did.

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