There are two common questions I hear often as a Social Media Consultant:
1 – What is Pinterest?
2 – What do I do with Pinterest?
Pinterest is actually not new. It was conceptualized by Ben Silberman and Paul Sciarra in 2009. They originally tested in on a College crowd and then in live form to the public shortly thereafter. Remarkably they now enjoy 11.7 million unique visitors and it is one of the fastest growing and most popular Social Media (listed in Top 10) Sites.
So on Pinterest, you create boards that consist of images that relate to your passions, hobbies and interests . Then you share your pins with others who Repin them and vice versa and when you really like someone’s pins, you visit their page to see all of their boards and then you make the decision as to whether you are going to “follow” all or any one of their boards.
It’s addictive once you get some boards going because it sends you on a mad crusade in search of the greatest Pins. Granted it's not easy work because your boards are only as good as your pins and not all the images you choose from are of a high calibre. You have to do a lot of digging to find the treasure but once you do it’s extremely rewarding and it motivates you to move forward in your quest of Pins and Repins.
Board Categories range from Home Décor to Photography, Sports, People, Crafts... well you get the point. As Pinterest takes on more and more users, they will need to lengthen this list in order to provide Pinners with a wider selection. Once you choose a category for your new board, you create a Title. As an example, we have a board called “There’s No Place Like Home” for home décor or “Dogs R Gods” for Pets.
Some boards have more of a purpose or cause such as “The Power of Women” which I created for Voyages Groupe Ideal where I am presently consulting. This trusted Travel Management Company of 40 years is owned and operated by 3 dynamic and powerful women and the team consists of 98% female Travel Professionals. It is therefore only natural to promote women who inspire and to share this with other women (Pinterest is supposedly made up of 80% women).
And in conjunction with that, I am able to run a contest that provides the winner with a virtual gift that I have asked them to Pin to their board and share with their friends and then they receive the actual gift in real time.
Onto this board goes women in my life and those in others’ lives who have inspired them in some way. This may include classic Hollywood stars such as Audrey Hepburn or crusader/idols such as Mother Theresa or a magnificent women such as my Mom (below).
I also created boards with vague/ informal themes such as “Blue for You” featuring beautiful images that are heavy in blue or “Leonberger Nation” which features a rare and magnificent dog breed.
Pinterest reminds me of when I was a kid and we all had hobbies – tactile ones – stationary collections, doll collections, stickers, hockey cards and the bulletin board at home where my mother tacked our report cards, birthday cards, schedules and photos.
Now that bulletin board is on-line to share with people I don’t necessarily know and instead of the item being a report card or a schedule, it’s an image that holds some meaning and manages to engage others in its spell.
It’s not about how many boards or pins you have; it’s about how creative your boards are and how colourful and captivating your images are that make for an interesting and attractive Pinterest account.
It’s not a place to sell images or other products although you will see people distastefully doing so by placing a price tag in the upper left or right hand corner (Pinterest recently came up with policies and guidelines although it will be very difficult for them to police issues with the present framework).
It’s not a place for pornographic images or for a photo of your partner in their lingerie or worse, their speedo.
Pinterest is a platform on which we share tasteful images and common interests and where courtesy is to Repin, Pin and follow those who do the same for you.
If you have an hour or so a day to really sit yourself down and get into the motion of it all and choose the very best and most creative images and maintain your boards and share and engage with others; then Pinterest may be a good Social Media channel for you.
If however you are more into the impulse/instant gratification thing, you may want to stick with Tweeting or posting a quick status to your Facebook page.
If you are a Social Media Consultant or involved in Social Media on any professional level, you have to think strategically as to whether this is the right venue for what you are selling and for who you are selling to. You have to be willing and able to play the game and enjoy the hobbyist side of it and keep in mind that whoever is following and repining you may just become a friend or at the very least, a client (and yes – that sentence is in the right order).
Pinterest is a place where the expression
“Beauty is in the eye of the beholder”
can easily be transformed into
“Beauty is in the eye of many beholders” and they are all on Pinterest.
Visit our Pinterest Boards at http://pinterest.com/dogstravel/