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Why Pinning is Winning- North London Mums get the Pinterest Bug

Pinterest is the new social photo sharing phenomenum which is sweeping the web and is particularly popular among mothers. North London Mums are addicted too (you can find us here)  so we set out to investigate more.

With an average of 1.36 million users daily, Pinterest, the social photo pinboard has taken the web by storm, with a growth in monthly unique users of 2700 percent since May 2011. Wow.  Who are these feverish pinners? Well, in the US at least, the majority are female mothers. On average, users spend more time pinning then they do on Facebook- pretty impressive.

Like all these things- you have to get used to how it works. In truth its incredibly easy.  Set up your profile, personalise your pinboards, and then get pinning! It's easy to set up the "bookmarklet" in your browser (even I could do it) and then as you head off on your travels across the web, it's easy to grab an image from a website and pin it (with a link back to the source) to one of your pinboards. This is truly scrapbooking for the 21st century- from snapping your favourite recipes, to collecting ideas to decorate a room to planning a wedding, Pinterest allows you to store endless images to match any interest. Not surprisingly, Weddings and Events, and Food, are popular categories.

Where does the social bit come in? Well you can follow other pinners, and repin or like other pins. Similar to a Twitter stream, you get updates of what the people you follow are pinning. You can also share your pins on Facebook or Twitter. But possibly most importantly (and indeed- perhaps the most important thing for any social network) it is completely addictive! Perhaps that's because it is a place where you can find inspiration- unlike so many other social networks which are all about sharing information- Pinterest shares images and ideas.

What's interesting is to see how people and companies are exploring using Pinterest in different ways (the challenge for many- of course- and including Pinterest- being to work out how to monetize its following).  Food Network, for example, is publishing a range of recipes from its own network and from across the site, organised into categories such as Let's Share and Let's Celebrate.  The photo format is perfect for this- yum.

If you sell products, Pinterest is a great place to show them off. The site has a Gifts tab where you can sort through stuff based on price, and see a display of product images with price banners.  For brands, Pinterest offers a new form of discoverability.  Pinterest helps people find new products/brands/styles they would normally not come across by plugging keywords into a search engine. Results change as new pins are added. The people you follow will lead you to find things which suit your taste but which you  you wouldn't otherwise have found.

BMI is even offering users of the site the opportunity to win free flights. All users have to do to enter is re-pin up to six images from one of the airline’s five boards. At the end of each week, bmi will choose a number – one user who re-pinned the image with the corresponding number will win a pair of return flights to any destination bmi flies to.

There is (of course) an iPhone app which means you can pin on the go! The app enables you to browse pins from people and pinboards you follow, Repin, like and comment on your favorite pins and, most importantly, pin with your camera!

So if you haven't started yet- hurry up and get pinning- see you there! If you are pinning, please give us your details so we can follow you.

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