There has been a recent proliferation of socially oriented start-ups with an interest in sharing data amongst pre-existing networks. While not all of these web start-ups will attain success, I have a serious crush on one such start-up which is eye-candy-centric and has managed to harness long tail keywords through their user generated content. Long tail keyword strategies make websites more SEO friendly, while this approach is a no-brainer to most marketers it is often overlooked by those in industries where search marketing is king and keywords are highly competitive. So for cash-strapped start-ups, baking SEO into how user generated content is displayed could be key to growing a user base. For my new crush, Pinterest, this technique is stellar at producing results, with explosive growth averaging out to a little over a 108% growth month over month since March 2010, they’re a serious player in the visual bookmarking space.
At first glance the model seems counter-intuitive, because what is the appeal of yet another bookmarking start-up? Isn’t the ability to do this in-browser or with services like http://delicio.us or http://pinboard.in enough? Astoundingly, users are telling us that being able to collect images across the web, organize them, and share them with others is extremely important to them. Personally, I love seeing the eye candy that other people post, and also enjoy the functionality for everything from shopping for my new apartment to collecting creative commons images for work related presentations. Recreational users as well as creative professionals would benefit greatly from this functionality, however I’m still inquisitive about what the underlying business model is. Feel free to give me your opinion on how you think they could create revenue.
Okay, enough of my own gushing, on to the data!
For a simplistic view of the overall growth over the past year see the Visits numbers for the last year.
For this particular site I was interested in a couple nuggets of information. First, demographics because marketer’s need to know their audience. The demographics say…
Ladies love it! From May 2010 to May 2011 Female Unique Visitors to Pinterest were on average 9.79% higher than the US internet average.
On the daily
I’m an advocate of using daily trending to better understand engagement as it pertains to daily metrics. After averaging out the daily compete metrics over the past year, I found that Sunday, Tuesday, and Wednesday drove the highest attention, meaning people tended to spend more time on site on these days. In terms of reach Sunday, Monday, and Wednesday were the days in which more people on average spent time on Pinterest. Knowing this, if I were Pinterest I may consider doing content pushes and emails earlier in the week to engage users. With an average stay of a little over 7 minutes this online community is off to a great start. No doubt with such strong growth we’ll see similar sites popping up across the web, maybe targeting slightly different demographics or uses. However it doesn’t hurt to keep in mind the power that can be harnessed from user generated content, particularly in a day in age where people are comfortable with 140 character micro-sentiments.
Lindsey Mark works in Client Relations at Compete and is responsible for the strategic development of client retention and support policies for compete.com, with a focus on education and training efforts. She graduated from Rochester Institute of Technology in Rochester, NY so she's a certified technology junkie and open source advocate. When she's not thinking about marketing or training digital 007's at compete, she's doing yoga & blogging about gluten-free diet and lifestyle. Find Lindsey on Twitter as @linji, Google Plus as Lindsey Mark or connect with her via LinkedIn.