What on earth is Pinterest and how do I use it?

I’m sure you’re well aware of the newest social media platform to hit the inter-webs. Trailing far behind Facebook’s 7 billion monthly visitors and sneaking up on Twitter’s 182 million monthly visitors, Pinterest is the third most visited social-networking site in the country in terms of aggregate traffic, with 104 million visitors last month, and is growing at an exponential rate having already surpassed Social behemoths such as Linkedin and Google+.

In light of this news it would appear as though we have two options:

  • Option A: Crawl under our desks and cry, cursing the internet powers-that-be for tormenting us with yet another strange social sharing application that the whole world will soon be shoving down our throats as something that we “have to be doing”.
  • Option B: Realize that this is how the world works now. Like it or not things change: FAST! And we need to learn to adjust just as quickly if we want to stay “cutting edge”. That doesn’t mean invest in every new pipe-dream application that hits the Google machine; it does mean stand up and take note when a website receives 100 million visits in a month.

I opt for Option A.

[45 minutes later]

Pinterest is an online pinboard. I have proof of this:

Pinterest
It’s a place for users to create “boards” where they post images (usually found over the course of many hours consulting the Googles) that relate to the board’s original theme.

Don’t worry, I’m confused too…Let’s take an example: http://Pinterest.com/cindyyee8453/funny-stuff/

This board is called “Funny Stuff”. You’ll notice when you visit you’re met with a collection of rather funny stuff. The person who created this board, username=cindyyee8453 (with whom we have no affiliation), spent their time crawling the inter webs in search of images they felt relevant to the topic. Other users are given the opportunity to browse the images and, should they feel the need, comment on them.

My personal favorite:

funny_stuff_image

Why would someone do this?

After years of watching random strangers describe their every movement (pun = 2 points) on Facebook and Twitter I have to be honest and say that Pinterest is the absolute least of my worries. The site itself attempts to sell the whole process as a sort of online brainstorming camp where users can share inspiration on topics and common themes however, the internet has an uncanny way of deciding what you will be for (and often in spite of) you.

Ultimately, Pinterest has taken another step forward in the simplification of media distribution. The application is easy to use, browse and share and has the luxury of being engaging while not being cumbersome.

And now for the real question: How can I use it for my business?

While Pinterest does not offer the same degree of personal connection with your target market as Facebook and Twitter allow, it carries with it the opportunity to be exponentially more engaging than the aforementioned platforms could ever be. When a user hits one of your boards they’re met with a barrage of images, visual mediums are so much more effective at pulling in a user than text alone. Even images sprinkled across a Facebook feed tend to feel a little lost (and surrounded by words) but a Pinterest board is image centric to the extreme.

Use this as an opportunity to showcase your business. Using my own business as an example, we created a Pinterest board using our most eclectic website developments – the result was amazing and far more engaging than the portfolio on my website. This also gives users the opportunity to comment on my images with their thoughts and impressions. Obviously this can be a double edged sword but no more so than any of the other social sharing properties.

As Pinterest is touted as an application to share inspiration, you’ll find users browsing various boards for a myriad of reasons. A resort or restaurant could post images of events and ceremonies as wedding preparation seems to be a Pinterest biggie. Unique products (especially clothing) is an easy Pinterest sell. One of our clients is a Persian rug store called Alyshaan Fine Rugs – their product is a no-brainer for a Pinterest board. Even something as simple as landscaping – given the right user, browsing the site for inspiration as to what to do with their yard – could easily turn into a converted client.

The best thing about Pinterest is that it’s completely informal. People are on it to play so you’re able to take the shackles of common place social media “best practices” off and show some real personality!

Give Pinterest a shot! Chances are it will be the most fun you’ve had managing your digital strategy in a long time. And, as always, if you need any help Solutions 8 is only an email away! info@sol8.com

adminWhat on earth is Pinterest and how do I use it?

Leave a Reply