I certainly didn’t mean to be controversial — I know that many crafty and creative types love Pinterest. As Laura Andel, a textile artist in CA, notes, Pinterest is great for “pooling inspiration.” Laura explains: “I like using it to find techniques that I can then save onto my own ‘boards’ for later use. It’s also a good website for housing all of the artists and designers I like; rather than trying to bookmark every website and blog.” I’m no crafty guru, for sure. But I did read a piece, “Can Pinterest Change Your Life?” that got me thinking a bit more broadly…
The question still remains for me, still: Is Pinterest a good resource for brands and businesses?
I’ll say upfront that I haven’t taken the plunge yet — personally or professionally. I’m extremely careful about adopting new social media platforms, because I see examples everyday of well-intended efforts that fall flat, don’t align with broader branding/marketing goals, or simply distract from core business and brand-building goals. I try to practice the same advice I give clients: look (and think!) before you leap. I firmly believe that brands of every size and scope should think through some important criteria before launching into any new marketing or communications channel, and especially with social media. (Read more on this in “6 Questions To Ask Before You Go Or Grow Social”).
Still, it seems that everywhere I turn, marketers and business owners are jumping on the bandwagon, and it’s a conversation I’m starting to have with some of my more visually-focused and creative client brands. According to one of my very esteemed marketing peers, “Pinterest is ‘gold’ for creative businesses and entrepreneurs, a great tool for hiring and for finding information, and a way to connect with individuals across the country!”
Crystal Patriarche, a PR professional and owner of BooksSparks PR seems to agree: “I used Pinterest to help create a story board for a client photo shoot I recently did – we found some amazing images of the look and style we were trying to achieve in the photo shoot and shared the board with our models and photographers. It was a great way for all of us to see the vision and get inspired for the photo shoot.” Read Crystal’s full article for more Pinterest PR tips.
Curious to learn more? See below.
What It Is:
Pinterest first came onto the scene last year as a “virtual pinboard” site. In a nutshell, it’s a public scrapbooking community. It has also been called a “self-expression engine,” a “push-button curation,” and a “Virtual Post-It.” The number of unique visitors grew 50% from October to November 2011. As of December, the site was receiving approximately 46 million visitors per month. If you’re curious for more context, Portland-based Mambo Media has a great Pinterest roundup. Linchpin SEO has a really helpful Pinterest Infographic with ideas on marketing products through Pinterest, too; This Beginner’s Guide to the Next Big Social Thing is also a great place to learn more.
How It Works
Each “pin” is a thumbnail-size image that in most cases links back to its home site where you can collect pins on “boards” in any way that works for you. So, for example, you just found a recipe that you love on Orangette? Pin it! Just discovered the perfect travel photo, inspirational interior design images, craft projects, DIY household cleaning products, and/or impossibly cute pictures of baby platypus? You get the jist…pin it! If you want to take Pin for a spin, check out Pinning 101. I’d love to hear your thoughts in the Comments section below!
The Social Setup:
The social aspect of Pinterest is inherent in the model, because all pins are public. You can comment on other people’s pins as you would on blog posts and follow other users as you would on Twitter, or you can follow only the specific boards that interest you. Like retweeting, you can “repin” something posted by another user, which adds that item to one of your own boards. You can also simply ‘like’ a pin without reposting it. A board can be open for public collaboration, as with a Flickr photo pool, or it can remain a closed collection.
Learn More & Explore
Here are some additional resources if you are interested in learning more…
- PR Daily’s 3 Ways To Use Pinterest for Business Right Now
- Inc.’s 9 Ways To Boost Your Business With Pinterest
- Search Engine Land’s How To Use Pinterest for Local SEO
I’m Curious: Passionate About Pinning?
I’d love to do a follow-up post featuring a few small business brands using Pinterest—if you are interested, please get in touch today!