Even as I start to write this, I’m thinking about maybe just jumping on Pinterest real quick, maybe to rearrange my boards, or maybe to find some ways to style the new skirt I bought. That’s because Pinterest could just be the newest and best way to waste time on the internet since Farmville (which by the way I NEVER subscribed to. I do have some standards, people).
So in case you haven’t caught the Pinterest obsession this year – let me break it down for you. The owners have defined Pinterest as an online pin board that lets you organize and share the things you love. When explaining it to my friends or family, I liken it to dog-earring/circling/tearing out pages of a magazine. You know, those recipes you’ll try one day, the dream vacation you want to take, or (swoon) – those LouBous that you’ll buy the next time you’ve got an extra $995 laying around. You can pin any and everything you can dream of and organize them in any way. You can pin something brand new from a website, or even your phone, or you can re-pin something that you’ve found somewhere else. And now, when you click on the pin, it takes you back to the original source it was pinned from, maybe a fashion blog or department store website. You can also search specific categories or words if you’re looking for some “pinspiration” for something specific. You can also choose to follow all the boards by a specific person, or just a select few.
I think it’s brilliant.
I don’t recall exactly when I joined Pinterest, but I do know it was some time last summer, before it entirely blew up in the late fall. First, it’s visual, and I don’t have to read much unless I want to click through and find out more about a pin. The exclusivity of it made it desirable too. At the time I signed up, it was faster to find someone with an account and receive an invite, rather than wait for yours to come through your email sign up (I think this is probably still true). Also, it’s really easy to use: pin, re-pin, comment, or like. That’s all your basic functions you need, and that makes it very user-friendly. Lastly, there’s the victorious feeling when someone likes, or better yet, re-pins your pin! To the ego, it’s the same effect as a like or comment on Facebook, and you can’t tell me you don’t love that sh*t. As with many social networks, I can see areas where it gets watered down. I, for one, don’t have the need to see DIY recipes for house hold cleaners and soaps and the like. I use it more for inspiration or fantasy. But that again is the genius of the pin – it is whatever you want it to be.
As people have joined Pinterest in droves, brands have taken notice. For instance, note 2 of the very first users I started following: Fashion Editor Nina Garcia, and HGTV. For me, Nina Garcia was an easy pick, a clear expert on fashion and trends. So I was excited and expected to see boards for Fall ‘11/’12 Fashion trends, and so on. The bonus prize was seeing other pins she had, from food to home stuff – it helped round out her online personality if you will. HGTV pinned a lot of things early on, but I noticed they dropped off for a bit. Then, in the midst of the Pinterest explosion, they announced a renewed partnership with Pinterest that would not only allow them to continue pinning their own things, but also allow them to feature boards by some of their staff and designers. These boards will be personal inspiration notes and only help to further establish the personality of HGTV as a brand.
With the recent growth explosion, one can only wonder what 2012 holds for this newsocial network. On February 14th, Mashable provided a new infographic about Pinterest that reports that “Pinterest is generating more referral traffic to websites than YouTube, Google+ and LinkedIn combined. So go ahead and join the fun. I invite you to follow my personal boards at http://pinterest.com/slimt1213/ or you can visit our company board here: http://pinterest.com/rockcandymedia/
So, I want to share a few of my pinning tips with you to maximize your social experience.
- Make several, well-organized boards covering several topics or subjects, rather that just 1 catch-all board.
- When you can, pin original things instead of just re-pinning. It’s fun to find new things, and you’ll help to contribute to the site.
- In order to be searched (and consequently liked and re-pinned more), make sure the pin descriptions you use accurately describe your pins. That means when you post that perfect pair of pink skinny jeans, don’t just post “Awesome!” or else you can run the risk of not being found.