Adaline Lau | February 23, 2012
You know a social site is getting serious cred when even the U.S. Army is on it. And yes more than 100 brands have staked out a presence there. As Singaporean blogger @mrbrown quipped on Twitter, Pinterest is “Crack for Visual People.”
If you are still clueless, Pinterest is a virtual pinboard where members collect photos they like and share.
Global figures for Pinterest have been rising astronomically. As of December 2011, Hitwise said the site received nearly 11 million total visits.
Other sources report there are more than 10 million registered users and that Pinterest is generating more referral traffic to websites than YouTube, Google+, and LinkedIn combined.
In the five markets that Experian Hitwise monitors, traffic for Pinterest has grown significantly in the five markets between March 2011 to January 2012.
As the chart above illustrates, Australia has seen the most significant increase in visit share from 0.0005 percent to 0.0207 percent in the past 10 months.
New Zealand has also seen significant growth to emerge as the top country among the five markets based on visit share at 0.0351 percent for the month of January.
Hitwise also observed that Pinterest enjoyed higher popularity among English-speaking countries like New Zealand, Australia, and Singapore.
To put things in perspective, Graeme Beardsell, chief customer development and marketing officer at Experian Asia Pacific, pointed out that traffic for Pinterest in the region is still low compared to Facebook. But it is definitely the fastest growing site under the social networking and forums category based on Hitwise stats.
So as a brand marketer, should you start Pinning?
Beardsell advised brands should proceed with caution but if Pinterest is attracting a great number of users in your particular segment such as apparel, then it’s worth a look.
“It’s a very cheap way to test the market, unlike traditional marketing,” he added.
Because there is always a “hot” site in the social-sphere and limited resources in the marketing team, Beardsell said marketers should ascertain what their brand stand for first and foremost, and the type of customers they wish to attract based on socio-economic data to define the specific customer set.
China’s Up and Coming Pinterest Clone: Renren Guangjie
While the share of visitors to Pinterest in China does not look too impressive on Hitwise at 0.0001 percent, it is still a rapidly growing site that jumped more than 1,000 positions in the social networking category.
In January, one of China’s largest social networks better known as the Facebook of China, Renren has rolled out its own Pinterest-like service Renren Guangjie (loosely translated as “everyone shops”).
Although there are many Pinterest clones in China, Renren Guangjie is worth highlighting because it is part of a social network that boasts a total of 31 million active monthly users in the country.
Renren Guangjie, designed to be e-commerce friendly for brands, reportedly sends the bulk of its referral links to local e-commerce giant Taobao.
For instance, Renren Guangjie features a marketplace that reveals the most popular brands on the platform that include luxury brand Chanel, Clinique, Zippo, and Ray-Ban sunglasses at this time.
It also allows visitors on the site to track the most searched categories or brands such as Spanish apparel brand Zara and Dr. Martens shoes.