I decided to make one resolution for 2012. I decided that I was going to make an even deeper plunge into social media and explore a new platform. I’m on Facebook, I enjoy Twitter and I’m slowly getting into Linkedin but I wanted something new. Something different. Something easy.
It took me just over a month but I’ve settled on my new social project for the year – Pinterest. It had been on my radar last year but I just never really got around to having a look at it. I’ll typically explore new platforms so I can become better versed in them in case a client has questions so I figured it was a good time to sign up. Up until very recently, Pinterest was relatively unknown. Time Magazine listed it in their list of “50 Best Websites of 2011” in August and the site has started to get some real buzz over the past few weeks.
The site is still in beta and you have to request an invite. The process was pretty simple and I was Pinterest(ing)? within a week or so. Once you’ve signed up, you’re given a few additional invites for your friends.
The premise is pretty simple… Pinterest allows the user to create theme-based bulletin boards on which they can “pin” images (you can pin videos as well but it’s not as common). You then share your bulletin boards with your friends and others with similar interests. Users can comment, like and “repin” content… think of the “repin” as the 2012 version of the “retweet”. You’re also able to pin a price on your photo if it’s something that you’d like to buy or something you’re selling. In short… it’s a social site built on the sharing and grouping of images based on the interests of users.
The site reminds me a lot of ibrii (now called Searcheeze)… a service that we’ve used for a few years. Both give users the ability to share and post content from the web and organize it according to interests.
There are a couple different ways to pin content. I use the “Pin It” button on my Google Chrome browser. You can also add content from your computer while on Pinterest or use their mobile app.
Pinterest is becoming a real traffic driver. Every image on the site is linked back to the original source. It’s also quite a social site. In my limited use so far, I’ve found that a lot of my posts have had some decent action (likes and repins mainly)… surprising because my profile is fairly new. The site also offers the option of sharing your content on Facebook and Twitter as well.
Big brands are hopping on the Pinterest. The Gap has loaded their full Spring Collection on their boards, Gary Vaynerchuk is using it to enlighten and inform his followers about wine and the Wall Street Journal is trying a bit of everything. It’s interesting to see how some of these early adopters are using the service.
I’ve just set Strong Coffee Marketing up on Pinterest and am looking forward to having some fun with it. A few things to think about….
- Pinterest is all about the visuals. Don’t limit yourself to pictures and video though. I can see (and have seen) Pinterest becoming a home for infographs. And from what I’ve seen so far… they get some fantastic play.
- Self promotion isn’t going to fly here. If you’re going to make it on Pinterest you’d better be a worthwhile member of their society. It’s a rule you should adhere to when marketing on any social channel but pay special attention to it on Pinterest.
- It will be interesting to see how brands monitor the site. Conventional social media monitoring is done by scanning words and conversations. With Pinterest being such a visual site, the only text available for search is in the description. We’re left to rely on users creating quality descriptions with keywords.
- Having the ability to embed a board on your website or blog is intriguing. It sounds like this will be possible in the coming months.
In short… I really like Pinterest. It’s easy to use, it has the ability to be very social and it helps connects individuals through common interests. As we’ve already seen, there’s a place for businesses on the site but you’ll want to be creative.