Social Consumers

Facebook and Pinterest have redefined how consumers and businesses interact.

By Ani Hajderaj, Staff Writer

Facebook has allowed us to share our lives on many levels. We post about our likes, hobbies and favourite products. Facebook records our consumerist habits and sells them to media research companiess. Now Pinterest is further shaping consumer choices.

Pinterest started in March 2010 as a photo-sharing website where users can “pin” photos from other galleries onto their own page. A year after its release, Pinterest became one of the top 10 social networking services according to Hitwise. It currently ranks fourth on NVISION’s top 10 list.

I believe the biggest contributor to Pinterest’s success, and many other social networking services, is Facebook. Pinterest has set up its service so you can sign up using your Facebook account, meaning that you can allow your activity on Pinterest to display on your Facebook timeline.

I often see items on my Facebook news feed from Pinterest. This is the perfect way to create buzz on products. As users pin items to their profiles, they can create a wish list of products they want, therefore inspiring them to spend more money on the retailers who provide the photos.

Keep in mind that businesses can use Pinterest. Bizrate reported that more people buy products when engaged by social media services. Businesses see more traffic to their Pinterest accounts than their actual websites simply because Pinterest offers mobile apps and integration with Facebook, making the site very easily accessible. Pinterest acts as an online storefront for these businesses, and it has become a particularly common tool in the fashion industry.

Famous retail stores such as Nordstorm and Urban Outfitters use Pinterest to connect with their customers, and they see a lot of traffic driven from the social media giant. A full list of major retailers on Pinterest is available on Business Insider.

Facebook and Pinterest have broken new ground when it comes to how we buy products online and how we interact with our favourite retailers. We have begun to expose what we like in even more detail to our peers, but this overexposure can work very well if you’re looking to sell products on the Internet. People like showing off their tastes to their friends, and they use sharing their preferences as an opportunity to get inspired and find ways to spend their money more comfortably.

Follow Ani on Twitter for updates in electronic music and social media.

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