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How I’m Using Pinterest (Plus A Few Insights)

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About a month ago I received my invite for Pinterest. I’d been reading about the virtual scrapbooking site as the hot new platform, so I was really excited to give it a shot. After about 20 minutes of poking around, my excitement waned and I simply wasn’t captivated. Fast forward a month and I just spent an entire evening organizing and updating my boards.

Why the sudden change? Well, I realized that the site is exactly what I’ve needed to solve a major problem of mine – organizing brainstorm inspiration ideas. For months now I’ve been collecting cool concepts I find online in an Excel sheet. I have different tabs for different categories (such as Digital/Social Media, Word of Mouth, Guerrilla Marketing), one column to capture URLs and one column to summarize each tactic. It’s important for me to have a library of awesome ideas because that’s a key step in my brainstorming process. For the most part, Pinterest is the perfect online venue to do the exact same thing in a much more visually appealing, easier to manage manner.

Here is the start of my use of Pinterest as a Creative Inspiration cataloging tool:

As I’ve begun using the service more often, I’ve developed some initial insights and thoughts:

– Given it’s meteoric rise (fastest site to 10 million visitors EVER) and all the current media hype, I wonder if news service sites, blogs and brands will alter their content creation approach to suit the act of “pinning”. Let me explain…

– I’m not sure if these are considered technical bugs or not, and it’s a new service that will certainly evolve quickly, but I had significant challenges as I built my board content. For starters, the service is entirely built on images. So, even if the most important thing you want to pin is the content, there needs to be a picture accompanying it. That’s the first reason why brands will need to ensure images are a key part of their content creation plans. However, there were several sites that prompted this response from Pinterest:


Apparently that Stumble! bar at the top of the page caused the error. When I removed it, Pinterest recognized all the images on the page. Pinterest also had difficulty picking up Vimeo videos (straight from the site and embedded), tweets, Mashable articles and anything Flash related (shocking!).

– The simplicity and ease-of-use of the site makes it very attractive to even the most novice social media user.

– I’m certainly not ready to call this “engagement”, but the quantity and timing of responses I received as soon as I began adding pins are much greater than anything I’ve experienced on Facebook or Twitter.

I’ll be VERY interested to see how brands use Pinterest moving forward. Have you seen any intriguing Pinterest approaches?


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Growth obsessed startup co-founder (MusicBox) and strategist-for-hire.

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