Pinterest: Pin It While It’s Hot


If you haven’t heard about Pinterest, you’re missing out on the hottest social media site to hit Twitter since well, Twitter!

For those of you who are lovers of WeddingGawker, Tastespotting and other visual bookmarking sites, Pinterest is the catch-all mecca you have been craving. Now you can tag anything and everything you like on the Internet (be careful what you wish for), whether it’s recipes, home décor, crafts, jewelry, photos, fashion, or vacation destinations. It’s an online scrapbook, bulletin board and memory keeper. And, all in the CLOUD! Personally, I use it for recipes more than anything. I even joke with my boyfriend about being “pinterested” or finding something “pinteresting” (kind of like how Google has become a verb).

All of the hype around Pinterest is pretty cool – and I do see the value for B2C companies. You would want people to re-pin your items and share with their friends. For example, the Travel Channel Pinterest page is pretty awesome (yet surprisingly only has a little over 2,000 followers). Examples like that make it a visual orgy delight for companies. If your company has compelling stories to tell with images – then Pinterest may be the right vehicle. Even nonprofits are considering how to get in the game. Check out some top brands on Pinterest from Mashable to see who has taken the plunge. Beware of self-promotion though, here are some examples and tips to avoid that and really help your audience and community. (Should be that way for ALL social media!)

The fact 54% of Pinterest users are women (11 million visits in one week!) leaves room for explosive advertisement and engagement opportunities for businesses that cater to women. Real Simple says that Pinterest drives more traffic than Facebook for them.

If you’re not sure about joining Pinterest, here are some of my humble thoughts on general use.

WHO SHOULD BE ON PINTEREST (PROFESSIONALLY)

  • Bloggers (food, fashion, home décor, wedding/event especially)
  • B2C Companies  (pretty much if you have something to sell to the general public, especially women – then you should be on it)

PROS OF PINTEREST

  • Ease of use. It’s super easy to get started, and the in-browser pinterest button makes it practically mindless to pin while you browse.
  • You can have group boards (add contributors to your board), which is cool for companies, friends and family to share ideas they like.
  • You can share your pins on Facebook and Twitter (though that can really clog up your news feed!).
  • Easy to share, easy to attribute your pin.
  • Categories are broad (for now). If you got into too many types of boards (“things I like that are blue”), then it would really muck up the site and cause problems for search, etc. You are forced to categorize things based on their selection. 
  • Discovery. Who doesn’t like to discover new things? By following your friends, you may find you have a shared love you never knew about!

CONS OF PINTEREST

  • You cannot have a private board (say for a client, or if you want to keep your wedding planning secret from prying eyes) as of now.
  • The mobile app (I have the iPhone one) still needs some work. It crashes a lot, and I have yet to find a way to tag from my mobile browser to my pinterest account through the app. Right now, you can only re-pin from others.
  • No integration with Facebook to tag photos you like, say from a friend’s vacation (although, that could get a bit creepy).
  • No metrics. As more companies start to use Pinterest – they might want to know how many and who is re-pinning their content.
  • Scalability. Crashes are pretty frequent due to massive traffic, but it’s getting better. (Thank you cloud computing!)
  • Repetition. Maybe this is just a personal pet peeve, but I find that I often see the same thing being re-pinned over and over – which I think makes it lose its value. The point is to really drill down through the Internet noise to see something meaningful to you – and by seeing the same thing over and over it contributes to MORE Internet fatigue IMHO.
  • Boredom. “Social curation” might be the next big thing on the Internet – but will Pinterest stay on top? Will people get bored (or you know, busy with real life) with pinning everything they see on the Internet? Maybe. As always, beware SHINY OBJECT SYNDROME when jumping into a new technology.

Do you think Pinterest is beneficial for business use? Will the trend last?