Trying To Care About Pinterest

This may come as a shock to most, but I am NOT an early adopter…of anything. I maintained my Myspace profile much longer than I’m willing to admit and didn’t get on Facebook until 2007 when I returned to college. I still don’t have a smartphone but will jump on that bandwagon as soon as I can justify the expense. I have an iPod that I fight with regularly and only during my more self-aware moments will admit the issue is the user (i.e. ME) and not the platform. This isn’t to say I’m one of the “New Luddites”, Mark J. Penn spoke of in Microtrends: The Small Forces Behind Tomorrow’s Big Changes, whom reject technological advances. I love technology and eventually adopt and adapt; I just need sufficient reason to believe the newest trend is worth investing my time and effort. My current struggle has been trying to care about Pinterest.

The Ultimate Guide To Pinterest created by Michael Litman, describes Pinterest the best as a combination of a bookmarking site, a social network, a gift finder and a platform for collaboration. Pinterest allows a user to organize images within categorized virtual bulletin boards that can be seen, commented on, liked and re-pinned by followers and other Pinterest users searching within the site for content. Currently the bulk of users are ‘pinning’ content related to crafts, gifts, hobbies, interior design, fashion and event planning.

My personal experience with Pinterest thus far has been using the site as a combination of bookmarking sites I want easy access to without saving them all in a massive bookmark list within my browser or pictures I find interesting. I have begun following brands I’m loyal to and friends that have already gotten on board in hopes to get a better feel for what Pinterest has to offer. I’m still trying to decipher what I can personally gain from the use of Pinterest that I can’t gain from any of the social media sites I’m already active in. As unique visitors to Pinterest.com continues to increase, 429% from September to December 2011, it becomes more apparent that I need to become more acclimated with this new form of online communication.

Although on a personal level I’m still feeling out how I can use Pinterest to its fullest potential, I can see the vast branding advantages for companies. Pinterest is gradually becoming one of the top social media sites for referrals having beaten out Twitter in February with a 1.05% referral rate,which was a 23% increase month-over-month. This is a big opportunity for companies to be active on Pinterest and generate engaging content as ‘pins’ will drive relevant traffic to their brand’s website. Successful brands are posting not only their products but pictures and videos that are entertaining and thought provoking. Some have begun to incorporate corporate social responsibility aspects, like recycled or reused products to encourage their consumers to be environmentally conscientious. Regardless if the purpose is to increase revenue or create consumer interaction, Pinterest is definitely of interest for branding purposes and audience development.

As I continue to research and use Pinterest I’d love to get feedback on what people think of it and how they are using it. How do you like it as a user and what do you think of brands’ use of the site? Do you feel like this is a great addition to other social media networks or do you feel the features are already available within other outlets?

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More interesting articles to help you in your endeavor to care more about Pinterest:

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