I thought it was about time to add my own thoughts about Pinterest since everyone seems to have only just jumped on the bandwagon. Get with the programme kids, you're almost too late! There's a frenzy of pinning going on in certain quarters
First of all it is not new. Pinterest is somewhere I visit most days and I've been using it since October 2010 having got an early entry log in to it. I use it to catalogue lots of gorgeous things I've found on the web that inspire me, give me ideas, clothes i love, hair i love, architecture and design inspiration plus lots more. I've even used to it to put together boards of birthday and Christmas wish lists, and it worked. Someone actually got me a gift last year from my birthday wish list. I can get lost in Pinterest for hours if i let myself with the 'see more pins' button.
Lately, since folk have jumped on the bandwagon, I'm beginning to see some negativity towards it. This is sad to me. For me it's one of the places I'd rather go on the web and I'm scared it'll become ruined by over eager lazy marketers using it as an easy way to get their brand on there.than anywhere else
I seem to say this a lot about social networks but you shouldn't force it. It should grow naturally, organically. I don't want to be almost duped by brands on there. For example, I've read countless posts by various marketing bods in the past week or so. One came via Mashable and it highlighted top brands using Pinterest best (even the thought of that title creeps me out). Anyone, one such player is apparently Oreck. Not a lot of people may know who Oreck are (lets' face it, they ain't no Dyson!) but I've seen their vacuum cleaners on sale on the shopping channel QVC. You might have seen them on the back page of a free magazine you get with a Sunday paper. Anyway, Oreck have lots of boards. Some of their products, some of nice floors but there's one called Furry Friends. Furry Friends contains lots of pictures of cute cats and dogs (if that's your thing). They've linked it in some obscure way by saying that these furry friends make a mess which you need to clean with your new shiny Oreck machine. To me this is the wrong way to promote your brand. This is just my opinion remember folks. Everyone knows that cute animals pictures will get you big hits anywhere on the web. It's like a cheap way to get people to notice your brand. And it probably works. So if your brand is only about the number of hits and not about the customer, go right ahead and follow this model. But you know what i like. I like brands that are honest and have integrity, that are engaging with customers (and not just rich sleb customers btw), who give something back every once in a while and who appreciate their customers. I'm not saying Oreck do none of the above but you know that 'let's use cute animal pictures to get traffic' thing just doesn't sit right with me. All fur coat and no knickers you might say.
Another bad example I found was when i searched the Everything: Print and Posters section. In it is lots of posters, typography, illustrations and other stuff. But!! I discovered LOTS and LOTS of pins clogging up that section from an advertising agency. It was from all of their clients. They had even written it below each pin. Obviously an over zealous person trying to quickly fill up their boards in that "lets fill up the boards so that we can show our potential clients that we too use Pinterest and are down with the cool kids". I've no problem with them doing this but perhaps it would've been better done in stages rather than spamming like that. I looked at it as spam because i saw they were all from the same source. So, think on that. Pin but beware on how it looks on the actual platform. It's like when someone tweets loads of tweets in succession. I immediately scroll over them because I can't be bothered to read them, spam.
I'm scared Pinterest will become filled with cheap give away competitions and brands trying to grab your attention. Maybe they should focus on the pinners who are actually pinning their brands onto their boards too. If I pin an item from a brand onto one of my boards it means that i really like, love even, what they are about and I'd want to highlight them. For example, I pinned some new TOMS ballet shoes that I LOVE and that had just launched a few days back. It was immediately repinned by about 10 other people. That's what i like about Pinterest. Natural pinning. Not forced. In my head Pinterest is some virgin lush Hawaiian in summary landscape, untouched by the nasty property developers (The Descendants movie reference there). It's an oasis of calm where I can be inspired and find some of the coolest things shared from the people i follow. It gives me endless pleasure and I'm scared that will be spoilt soon. But only if I follow brands, which i currently don't do at the moment. I prefer to follow real people and find brands through those channels (if i really have to).
Sometimes less is more.