Pinterest Rivals Twitter in Referral Traffic

To those of you who lead “the Pinteresting life,” you’ve contributed to a phenomenon that is certainly putting its clicks where the hype is. By that I mean, Pinterest is a two-year old cultural sensation that is borderline causing dependency among its users and the rabid audiences they’re developed. This rapid fire network has pinned itself to a rocket with estimated unique viewership ascending 429% from September to December 2011…and I’m not even sure if the sky’s the limit here.

For those who are unfamiliar with the fledgling community, Pinterest is a effective marriage of social bookmarking and visual curation with an extremely fervent user base. Essentially, people create a series of pinboards for areas of interest where they pin relevant snapshots with commentary to serve as both a reminder for later reference and also as a tour guide for visitors to learn more about each object.

Many consumer brands are also experimenting with Pinterest, using pinboards to present complementary products, ideas, and imagery to inspire consumers to visualize and remix new possibilities. From fashion to interior design and home to retail to entertainment, brands are using Pinterest to thoughtfully assemble a curated lifestyle. And, they’re packaged for the social and mobile web and optimized for driving actions as part Facebook’s new frictionless sharing ecosystem.

Some initial brands to watch include:

- Whole Foods
- Martha Stewart
- Better Homes and Garden
- Real Simple
- west elm
- Bergdorf Goodman
- Today Show
- Travel Channel
- HGTV
- Nordstrom
- Gap
- Birchbox
- AMD

In addition to soaring traffic, Pinterest is also rising as a bona fide referrer of notable Web traffic. According to a new report published by Shareaholic, Pinterest drove greater traffic than LinkedIn, Google Plus, Reddit, and Youtube…combined. Additionally, Pinterest was just .01% shy of tying Twitter for the 4th spot and .02% behind Google, which currently sits in 3rd place.

It should be noted, that Facebook is clearly the dominant player here, accounting for 26.4% of all referring traffic with StumbleUpon sitting far behind, but firmly in second position.

No report can be fully appreciated at face value. The data as packaged is extremely flattering. Shareaholic based its findings on the aggregated data from over 200,000 publishers that reach 260 million + unique monthly visitors. Publishers using Shareaholic are not reflective of worldwide internet web trends or everyday activity, but they do provide a relevant snapshot of the digital lifestyle within the social web.

What’s most remarkable is that Pinterest is still an invitation-only network. This of course lends to its desirability and mystique. Certainly, as anticipation builds coupled with creative and compelling use cases that continue to emerge, Pinterest shows only signs of remaining #pinteresting and relevant to visualized + curated storytelling and driving meaningful clicks for some time to come.

So what are your thoughts? What do you love about Pinterest? Are you a brand finding success or looking for guidance? Share your stories, experiences and questions below…

Connect with me: Twitter | LinkedIn | Facebook | Google+ | Pinterest

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  • http://dayngrzone.blogspot.com/ Dayngr

    I had to do a double take. That looked very much like my Pinterest account. :) There’s no doubt that Pinterest is a social network that shouldn’t be ignored. Thanks so much for sharing, Brian!

    • http://www.briansolis.com/ briansolis

      Hey you! Absolutely. Share your account here :)

    • http://dayngrzone.blogspot.com/ Dayngr

      I’m at http://pinterest.com/dayngr/ & I look forward to connecting with you on Pinterest. I have to warn you though, I’m much more girly than techy over there.

  • http://www.wasimismail.com Wasim Ismail

    I have been encouraging my clients, especially the ecommerce brands to setup and start to promote their lifestyle on Pinterest.
    The response so far has been good.
    Even though I don’t have an ecommerce account, I’m using it to show our
    lifestyle, and as a platform to show our portfolio. Again its something
    different but its looking promising.

  • Worldmedia Interactive

    With Social Bookmarking and sharing links via Facebook becoming so common place and easy it’s no surprise how popular Pinterest is. We’re bombarded with digital information everyday and Pinterest offers a visually pleasant way to discover content.

    http://pinterest.com/worldmedia/

  • http://twitter.com/KerryNoone Kerry Noone, CSC

    Pinterest is very pinteresting to me (sorry couldn’t resist) – personally I’ve been a big fan for about a year and now I am a big fan professionally. I work for a global technology company and I’m using Pinterest to promote our events, blogs, brands and trends http://pinterest.com/cscengage

  • http://twitter.com/TimMears_ Tim Mears

    Thanks for sharing Brian, has answered a lot of my initial questions around the functionality and usage of the platform. will be interesting to see it’s uptake; by users and brands.

    Just a couple of questions:

    Does anyone know how highly content / boards / pins / users rank in search?
    Also what sort of analytics can be expected for brands / advertisers?

    Thanks,

    Tim

  • http://twitter.com/JanetAronica Janet Aronica

    Thank you so much for including Shareaholic in your write-up! Humbled to have your analysis on our findings. You made a really great point that Pinterest is still invite-only – wish I had thought to put that in our post! Thanks again.

    - Janet Aronica
    (Remember me from oneforty? Now at Shareaholic :)

    • http://www.briansolis.com/ briansolis

      Thanks for the timely report Janet! Congrats on the new gig. See you at SXSW?

  • http://twitter.com/velemav Vincent Velema

    I think Pinterest is awesome, not just for visually appealing collection boards, but also for boards that archive great content. for instance articles on Pinterest for business? That’s my most popular board at the moment, check it out http://pinterest.com/daarom

  • http://www.captivetouch.com/ Sherry Nouraini

    I love Pinterest, such a powerful, yet simple tool!  I think in addition to it being visual, it’s strength is the simplicity.

  • http://www.thewatson6.blogspot.com jessica

    Great article, I actually just started a consulting company based solely around helping companies promote themselves through Pinterest. The amazing thing to me is that it is primarily consumer driven. You rarely see people pinning products from a company’s board but tastemakers on Pinterest can be repinned and repinned. Such a fascinating site.

    • http://www.soccersir.com/ ioven

       Very interesting blog I must say. The things you say are generally right, but I do not agree on everything you .

      I will come back to see what else you have to say and what the reaction of other people on your blog is. Keep up the good work.

  • http://twitter.com/ruthmichel Ruth Michel

    Also “pinteresting,” 6 Social Marketing Lessons I Learned from Pinterest: http://blog.grandincentives.com/2012/01/6-social-marketing-lessons-i-learned-from-pinterest/

  • Leslie Hughes | PUNCH!media

    I have been enjoying Pinterest to oogle at pretty things to covet but have married “pinning” with business by creating a board for social media infographics. I’m sure as the interest in Pinterest continues to climb, we will see some amazingly unique ideas for marketing business.

    My pin board: http://pinterest.com/punchmedia/social-media/

    Happy pinning!

  • http://twitter.com/bizelo Bizelo

    Unbelievable! I did a double take as well. I wonder how long Pinterest can keep this crazy momentum!

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  • http://twitter.com/jordanv jordanv

    It really is amazing to the see the stats stand on their own for how Pinterest has the potential to help brands. I had a conversation with a colleague the other day about how Pinterest, to protect copyright, is not allowing pins from most blogs. Seems like a catch 22, as it protects but also hinders potential visibility and traffic. Would be curious to hear your thoughts? Great to see you this week at iStrategy by the way!

ABOUT ME

Brian Solis is a digital analyst, anthropologist, and also a futurist. In his work at Altimeter Group, Solis studies the effects of disruptive technology on business and society. He is an avid keynote speaker and award-winning author who is globally recognized as one of the most prominent thought leaders in digital transformation.

His most recent book, What's the Future of Business: Changing the Way Businesses Create Experiences (WTF), explores the landscape of connected consumerism and how business and customer relationships unfold in four distinct moments of truth. His previous book, The End of Business as Usual, explores the emergence of Generation-C, a new generation of customers and employees and how businesses must adapt to reach them. In 2009, Solis released Engage, which is regarded as the industry reference guide for businesses to market, sell and service in the social web.

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