Pinterest is the hottest social network sweeping the world at the moment and it's not just trendy netizens who are serious about it. The U.S. Army is using it to rapidly grow its social media influence and get people — primarily women — more interested in the military. Girl power!
Dominated mostly by women (for now), Pinterest relies on its users to "pin" inspiring ideas in the form of pictures and links onto a virtual bulletin board. Pinned items can then be "re-pinned" by other members. Simple enough, right?
The Atlantic Wire's report and commentary from Major Juanita Chang, Director of Online and Social Media for the U.S. Army might state that the military's primary focus is to target women, but the fact is Pinterest is a real traffic moving beast.
Recent referral traffic reports suggest that Pinterest might be driving more referral more traffic than Google+, LinkedIn and YouTube combined. Naturally, Facebook is still the king of social network traffic referrals, but Pinterest is growing at an extraordinary rate. The visual-heavy social network managed to hit 10 million U.S. monthly uniques faster than any website in history.
More enlightening is how the U.S. Army is actively using social media to grow its influence. Chang and her colleagues keep the U.S. Army's various social networks up and running at full capacity 24 hours a day to engage and surprise followers.
Although the U.S. Army's Pinterest page shows lots of cute patriotic nods, Chang believes the community around Pinterest could possibly springboard into the collective creation of a future weapons system or a future soldier support system.
Pinterest is currently in closed beta, although getting an invite is as simple as visiting its website and requesting it. Pinterest isn't the first website to have a visual-heavy grid-format, but its popularity is already influencing redesigns for websites like Flickr.
I'll be honest, even though I did get an invite, I still haven't started my page. Maybe that should be on my to-do list this weekend. What about you? Have you joined the Pinterest addiction?