I recently read that said Pinterest was the hot, new socia media that is currently exploding. And I'll admit that I'm hooked! A friend recently asked me on Twitter what it was all about, so here goes...
I joined several months ago, but I've just started really using it since the holidays. It took me a while to get the hang of it. Why would I want to save a bunch of photos? Well, Pinterest is a great place to save things that are visual, like recipes, makeup tips, hair styles, home decor... are you get any ideas now?
I've been a huge fan of the online bookmarking site, Delicious for years. I stopped using my browser bookmarks when I discovered it. Why save something on my hard drive when I can save a link on Delicious and have access anywhere in the world that I can get on the internet. I liked the ease of using categories, I liked that I could save private links, and I liked that my library was easily searchable, unlike browser-based bookmarks.
But text links weren't especially helpful when I was looking for an idea for dinner, for instance.
Photos are though.
I love to cook, and decorate my home, and dream about building a new one some day. I like to travel, and organize my life, and read. I like gadgets, and wine, and martinis. These things are very visual, so when I save pictures and look at the relevant board, it's easy to find my inspiration.
Here's the key, the pins (pictures) link directly to the webpage that contains the recipe, or description, or houseplan, or book, or whatever. So the pins are my visual guide to finding what I'm looking for and clicking over to it quickly and easily. Pinterest makes me more efficient.
Another really cool thing about Pinterest is its viral component. You subscribe to other Pinterest users and see what they pin to their own boards on your homepage, much like looking at your Facebook newsfeed. When you see something you like, you can repin it to one of your own boards. So Pinterest is a giant sharing site.
I've found wonderful new websites through other user's pins that I would have probably never seen before. I'm especially fond of food, and food is really visual, so when I see a pin of something that looks intriguing, I check out the recipe and save it to my own food board if I want to make it sometime. The original pinner is credited when you repin something, so your followers can easily find new people who share similar interests or tastes, and they can follow everything those users pin or specific boards that interest them.
I'll continue to use Delicious to save industry article links and such, but for anything visual, Pinterest is my new online bulletin board.
Now how can Pinterest be integrated into marketing? Well, I haven't used it in any client camapiagns yet, but I can think of a couple ideas where it might be useful. Pinterest could be used in a contest where people pin something on a board that is open to others' pins in addition to your own, or perhaps users could be challenged to find a board with the most pins about a specific theme. Since popularity on Pinterest is likely indicative of how well a product will do, you could also test new products there and observe how quickly they go viral, meaning how quickly they are repined by others.
This is how I use Pinterest now, and I'm sure it will evolve over time. How are you using Pinterest?
One more thing, Pinterest is open by invitation now, so if you want an invite, just send me an email:
Christine at GrowMyCo.com