I am officially on the Pinterest bandwagon. I have been for a while. I’m not the stereotypical Pinterest user. I’m not even an incredibly active user. But I get it. Pinterest is awesome.
This post is all about why Pinterest is awesome. It’s not about how I found some great pancake recipe or about how I found some sweet shoes that go with my daily attire of pajama pants and a t-shirt. To me, the awesomeness comes from the core of the product.
It comes down to two very simple concepts:
It’s not just that Pinterest is different or offers value. It’s that it is so clearly different and it offers simple value that is easy to express.
Pinterest is Clearly Different
When I wrote that headline, a part of me wants to say, Yeah, duh, it’s different. Everyone knows that. But that’s kind of the point. The difference is so clear that it’s stupid clear.
Every brand with an Internet connection is on Facebook. Not all of them are on Twitter or Google+. Clients will ask me, What does Twitter or Google+ offer that is different from Facebook?
It’s never an easy answer. The services are different. The audiences are different. Twitter is more of a constant stream that is good for breaking news. Google+ has Hangouts and Circles and SEO advantages. But particularly with Google+, the differences are minor variations to the prospective user that aren’t easy to understand.
People can’t claim that Pinterest is another Facebook or that it is the “Facebook Killer,” like so many people have labeled Google+ and even Twitter and Google Buzz in the past. Pinterest offers a service that Facebook, Twitter and Google+ do not.
Create a visual pin board of cool stuff you find around the Internet.
Say that, and you know I’m talking about Pinterest.
Follow real-time updates from friends and celebrities, get breaking news and extend your brand to a large audience of customers and potential customers.
Say that, and it could be any of Facebook, Twitter, Google+ or others.
Pinterest Has Simple Value
Being different isn’t enough. It’s great that it’s easy to explain the Pinterest service and see how it’s different when you use it. You aren’t left thinking, Why should I be on this instead of Facebook again? You see the clear differences.
But it’s more than different. Pinterest has simple value. You want to organize your thoughts around a subject? Use Pinterest.
It’s a simple value proposition. It’s not so easy to explain the value of Google+ to a new user. Their follow-up question is often, So how is it different from Facebook again?
The biggest difference, though, is that services like Google+ and Twitter see themselves as direct competitors. Pinterest, on the other hand, is complementary. You might even consider them a Facebook partner due to the Timeline application that is so popular among Facebook users.
Pinterest is So Niche That It’s Mainstream
People always tell me that if you want to increase traffic, attention and revenues, service a niche.
Well, that’s the common line when it comes to Pinterest. The service caters to a specific niche.
It’s attractive to women. To designers. To photographers and artists. To mom’s who cook, decorate or plan events.
That’s kinda niche-y.
It’s attractive to bloggers who use infographs. To rich men in the UK. To people who like visuals. To anyone who wants to organize their thoughts.
Okay, now we’re talking about nearly everyone.
In the end, the only thing “niche” about Pinterest is that it offers a unique service. While it took off among one particular group, Pinterest can be — and is — used by just about anyone looking to organize thoughts.
I have dozens — even hundreds — of Facebook friends who are active on Pinterest. And they aren’t there for convoluted reasons. Those on Twitter and Google+ are often not sure why they’re there. They broadcast, they auto-follow, they search for people who will follow them back, they struggle with what they’re doing and why they are there.
But the people on Pinterest know why they’re there. They’re there to organize their thoughts and share someone else’s great recipe, idea or image. It’s utility, basic and pure.
Every day, thousands of brands and individual users are jumping on Twitter or Google+ because they are told they should. They aren’t sure why. They try to manufacture value once they get there.
The vast majority of people on Pinterest don’t jump on and then try to figure out how they can and should use it. They use it because it offers a clear and valuable service that is different from any other.
This is why Pinterest is hot. And this is why it isn’t going anywhere.
The Awesome Infographic
Now, I fully admit that my content is not Pinterest-friendly. But I can play ball, too.
So here is my sad attempt at an infographic in hopes that you will pin this on Pinterest. Enjoy!