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  • Evan Ryan

What Is Pinterest?

Seconds and Cents, Episode 23. Today is August 17. Today we're gonna talk about Pinterest. So I see when a lot of people ask me about my business, one of the things that kind of doesn't compute in their mind is why we invest so heavily into Pinterest. Why? It seems like the market isn't really that engaged in Pinterest, but we're continuing to double and triple down on Pinterest. And so today we're going to talk about kind of what we see is the business case for Pinterest, and why we think that it's a really engaging platform for the next 10 1520 plus years. So starting out, kind of why did we find Pinterest? How did we find it? Why did we even like, get involved in it? Well, we were marketing a mobile app with a client and we were having some success on Facebook on Instagram. We were growing our following our phone was growing like five or 10% per week. It was craziness. But we weren't driving downloads from it. So we were getting engagement we were getting following. I remember putting together a PowerPoint presentation where it was like kind of are following it was like growing a little bit a little bit a little bit every month. And then I had hired a contractor to help with it. And it's just everything skyrocketed on Facebook and on Instagram. We're having just so much success with growing the following, but they weren't converting into downloads. They weren't converting into the website traffic that we needed. So our flow is going to be well, you're going to have we're going to get them engaged, and they're going to go to the website, or they're going to download the app from the website. And we weren't getting them to go to the website. So we thought, well, maybe Pinterest is going to be the key. Maybe Pinterest is the missing link here, where it's kind of built for you to go to websites you can like click on the photo, right and then if you click on the photo, it'll take you to the website, then maybe that'll be where we find some success and 60 days later, we had hired a freelancer to help us with Pinterest because neither of us knew anything about it. We had over 2 million brand impressions. We've gotten more downloads from Pinterest. Then we had gotten the rest The like app combined and rest of the apps life combined. We thought, well, this is a really engaging thing. And one of the things that installs for us was not the fact that they were doing that they were downloading the app, right? It was not the fact that we were getting impressions. It was that we were getting action to be taken. It was the actual act of downloading the app, not just the app of like, getting it in front of a lot of people it was that we were getting them to go through a flow, right. We were it was not just the download of the end or not just the impression of the beginning, but it was the fact that they were going from impression to click to website view to app download, and then they were using the app loyally, right. They were using the app all the time. So we were kind of fascinated by this idea that maybe Pinterest was getting the right fit user, the right fit customer for our mobile app. Maybe Pinterest was the solution to some of our problems and that Pinterest was just kind of weeding out. All of the minutia and was just getting to people who wanted to make a change in their life. Our app was about mindfulness. It was about creating a calmer, more peaceful, more mindful life. And maybe Pinterest was doing a lot of the pre qualifying work for us. We weren't getting bad downloads. We weren't getting people who are just going to download it, and then delete it after one use. Well, what we had discovered was that Pinterest was not a social network. What we had discovered was that Pinterest was a search engine. And so Pinterest wasn't really competing with Facebook and Instagram. I mean, like, in a way it is because, you know, they make money off of ads, just like Facebook and Instagram doing and they compete for attention. Right. But Pinterest had very different competitive characteristics to Facebook and Instagram. And the things that make Pinterest unique are very, very different than the pink things that make Facebook and Instagram unique. I would consider Snapchat For example, to compete far more with Facebook and Instagram, then Snapchat would Pinterest. Right, I would almost consider Pinterest to compete more With Google than it does with Facebook on it and with Instagram. And we'll make that case here in a second. But what we realized was that Pinterest was just taking people who wanted to be inspired. And it was matching them with people who want to inspire. Pinterest was taking people who were looking to make a change in their life, whether that was in their personal life, or it was in the personal life of a loved one, or they wanted to enhance their financial life or their health or their fashion or they're moving into a new home or they just wanted to have a new mindset. They wanted to find tools that were going to help them with their mindset. At the end of the day, somebody goes to Pinterest because they want to make their life better in some way or another right and then Pinterest matches them with the people who want to help make their lives better. The helpers with the help ease the inspires with the Inspire ease, that's what it is. And I asked this question all the time when I'm on the phone with with prospects or with clients. I asked, hey, do you ever get on Pinterest

for five minutes, where you're just looking to pass a little bit of time, and a half hour later, you look up. And you just don't even know where the time line and people say, Oh my gosh, that happens to me all the time with Pinterest. And that was a really interesting characteristic, because it separates itself allows Pinterest to separate itself from Google a little bit, and allows Pinterest to operate a bit more like Facebook and Instagram. And the really compelling ways that Facebook and Instagram are a bit like Google, and the really compelling ways that make Google Google.

And so

let's talk about well what is it that makes

that makes Pinterest Pinterest not? What is it that makes that makes Pinterest a social network? But what is it that makes Pinterest Pinterest? We're going to talk about this for a little bit here. But first we have to define what a social network is. So before we talk about Pinterest, we have to talk about what people think Pinterest is this is not what it is, but it's what people think it is, which is a social network. So defining a social network. As social network as a,

as a platform

where the value of the platform is dependent on the number of people in your network on the platform, what does that mean? Well, that means that if all of my friends and all of my family are on the platform, then that platform is very valuable to me because I want to check in with my friends and with my family, right? So because of the way that Facebook and Instagram are positioned, I have to follow somebody or I have to be their friend or I have to like their page in order for me to see their content. Right, the more page likes that I have, the more friends that I have, the more people that I follow, the more engaging the content on Facebook or on Instagram will be.

Now,

if nobody was on Facebook or on Instagram, and everybody was on MySpace, for example, MySpace would be extraordinarily valuable and Facebook and Instagram would not be that valuable. Why? Because I would go to Facebook, I would go to Instagram, I have nobody to follow. I have nobody to pay attention to Facebook and it's grammar builds off of showing you the content of the people that you follow. Now, if Facebook or Instagram was MySpace, right, then MySpace would be really valuable. myspace also builds on showing people the kind of type of content or showing people content based off of who you follow, right? And then MySpace would be really valuable Facebook and Instagram would not in the real world, Facebook, Instagram is supremely valuable valued at over $700 billion, right? My Space valued at

effectively zero. Now,

what is Google? What is a search engine? A search engine is something that matches somebody with a need with somebody who can fill the need is an indexing platform, meaning it's going to go to all sorts of different sources, right? It doesn't matter if you know who built the website, right? Doesn't matter if you know who built the pin breaking that's going to come from later, but it just matches some Who has a need with somebody with a need? We're not talking about people in your network we're not talking about and knowing anybody, we're not talking about the value of the platform being who is on the platform. What we're talking about right now is the value of the platform being the content that is on the platform. Let me give you an example. What's the value of Google? If no websites exist? Zero, right. What's the value of Google? If every single website tells Google, you're not allowed to scrape my website anymore? Zero. What's the value of Google if all the entire global economy turns into mobile applications? And nobody has a website? Because websites are unimportant? It's zero, right? We're talking about Google search here, not Google as a business. Well, Google is a search en