In recent years social media platforms have been attempting to catch up with the dominance of Facebook, a kind of ‘space-race’ if you will between developing social media networks. Many are searching for that illustrious third place spot, behind the two giants of social networking, Facebook and Twitter.

These websites are now forever ingrained in popular culture, so intrinsic in western society’s conscience that the elderly and the infant alike will be aware of its presence. Children will grow up in a world dominated by these social media platforms.

You only have to look at the television to see the significance of social media, with programmes practically begging the public to engage with their program on Twitter, pleading with you to hashtag their television show in order to get the topic trending.

Step forward sites like Google +, Tumblr, Instagram (now owned by Facebook) and Pinterest. Many sites are looking to fill the niche spot in social media – a social networking site that revolves solely around images rather than microblogging.

Pinterest, which has been on a meteoric rise since 2011, is making vast inroads into claiming this much sought after third spot. The stats are impressive too – after starting up in 2010, initially out of small apartment in New York, the site was featured in Time Magazine’s “50 best websites of 2011”. The launch of it’s iPhone app in 2011 turbocharged this ascension, and it has not let up since.

Now, in 2015, the stats are sometimes unbelievable. Pinterest has upwards of 70 million users, 80% of which are women (who in turn account for 94% of Pinterest activity). At the start of the year, it was second only to Facebook for referral traffic, easily beating Twitter in third place. It also trounces both in terms of driving revenue, generating 4x the amount of money-per-click than Twitter! All of this has led to the website being valued in March 2015 at $11 Billion, despite the fact it makes very little in the way of revenue.

What Does This Mean For Businesses?

All of these statistics are impressive but as far as businesses are concerned, many are still sceptical over how this kind of site can benefit them. After all how can a site that revolves around sometimes trivial imagery (think cute cats and pictures of hand-bags) really relate to the dry and caustic world of business? Could it bring value to a Search Engine Optimisation campaign for example?

Pinterest 93%93% of Pinterest users shopped online in the past 6 months

All businesses really need to know is that Pinterest drove more traffic to retailers than Linkedin, Youtube and Twitter. That is huge from a Social Media Marketing point of view. The potential is there for all to see, so what businesses have to figure out is how to capitalise on this. Businesses simply need to become more visual, whether it’s through the use of sensible and informative infographics, or the cutest animal pictures on the internet.