How much should companies invest in following the latest social media trends?
That question is at the heart of the recent flurry of interest, coverage and online discussion about Pinterest, the latest social media phenomenon. Pinterest surged into the spotlight in January with the revelation that it’s now driving more web traffic than YouTube, Google+ and LinkedIn combined. What’s so compelling about a website that lets you make virtual bulletin boards of “pinned” images, observers wondered, and does this service now belong in the pantheon of must-use social media tools like Facebook and Twitter?
Not long after the Pinterest spike, Emily Carr University’s Social + Interactive Media Centre undertook a study of Pinterest users in partnership with Vision Critical, a leading consumer insights and technology company. Vision Critical regularly delves into emergent areas of consumer behavior with its Market Panels comprised of citizens and consumers in the US, Canada, the UK and Australia; from these panels, 500 Pinterest users were recruited to tell us about their pinning habits.
The results (seen below) spoke to the core question that every marketer has to answer when assessing the potential value of any social media platform: can this platform actually drive revenue for our business? Pinterest users reported a surprisingly high correlation between their pinning activity and their subsequent purchasing: more than 1 in 5 Pinterest users has pinned an item that they later purchased.
To read the full blog post by Alexandra Samuel in the Harvard Business Review, please click here.