When talking about social media, we tend to focus on the obvious sites like Facebook and Twitter. But what about those other social media sites that might be less well-known right now, but could be due to get really big in 2012? Is it worth looking around and trying to get in early with the Next Big Thing? If so, it’s definitely worth taking a look at Pinterest.
Pinterest describes itself as an “online pinboard”. Users can take things they find around the web and stick them to their virtual pinboards, and others can then take a look. It’s a way of sorting and finding things. We’ve heard a lot over the past year about the importance of ‘sharing’ online, despite the fact that SOPA and PIPA threaten this type of behaviour. But if sharing really is going to be the big trend for 2012, Pinterest could be the main winner.
Another thing that makes Pinterest interesting is the demographic. It’s not just gaining lots of new members each month, it’s gaining them in demographics that are perhaps not so common on other social networks. It’s estimated that 80% of Pinterest’s current users are female (though the service itself is not female-centric), and many are between their late 20s and early 30s. You can therefore argue that a large community of users is gathering in one place, and for marketing people – yes, that includes you with your ebook – this could be a golden opportunity. If someone on Pinterest likes your product, they’ll probably stick it onto their virtual pinboard for others to see.
Pinterest is invite-only at the moment, but will be opening up to everyone later this year. And it’ll take time for users to start deciding how they want to use Pinterest,a nd for Pinterest to (hopefully) react accordingly. Still, this looks like a large untapped market for people looking to promote their ebooks – although soft-sells will still likely be more effective than hard-sells. Pinterest really could start impacting purchases during 2012, and it could also be a useful way for authors to expand their online presence. As always, there’s no ‘magic bullet’; the key is to throw everything at the wall and see what sticks.