31 Aug 2011

Pinterest: A New Social Media Platform or Another Addicting Distraction?

August 31, 2011Social Media

Pinterest New Social Media

Every day we find interesting things on the internet. Depending on personal preference, we share these interesting things through various outlets.  Some of us Digg or Tweet them, others upload them to Facebook or send them to friends via email. A month or two later, we may try to remember that interesting item and we hunt through our old tweets and emails trying to locate it. Pinterest is a social media platform which allows users to not only share, but to organize, all of those interesting images found while browsing the web.  Users can pin images to their pinboards (think virtual corkboard), and keep track of all of the things they find appealing or useful.

Besides being able to keep track and reference back to your own pinboard, you can discover even more by browsing other user’s pinboards. This is my favorite, and definitely the most addicting, part of Pinterest. According to Pinterest, “People are using pinboards to plan their weddings, decorate their homes, and organize their favorite recipes”.

One of the reasons Pinterest is growing and will be so successful is because people love pictures. We live in a visual world, where often times a picture can capture the attention of someone much more successfully than words can. Advertising experts have known this for years. That is why we have traditionally seen billboards and magazine ads filled with large photos and minimal text.

For those of us in the social media world, Pinterest potentially offers us a new place to connect with each other as well as with our clients. Here are 3 ideas of ways to use Pinterest as a tool instead of a distraction:

  1. Create a pinboard and invite some people in your online network.  Name the pinboard something like “Inspiring Social Media”. Make sure you set the pinboard so that multiple people can pin, instead of the default setting of “just me”.  Pin images you find interesting and helpful such as this link building infographic. You can also re-pin (just like the retweet) anything you like. Finally, every time you pin an image, you may also choose to Tweet it or Facebook it. The benefits to this are endless and include:
    • Increasing creativity and idea sharing through pinning and browsing.
    • Finding new resources and sites through other’s pins.
    • Increasing your interaction on Twitter/Facebook by sharing a new pin.
    • Expanding your network because of new social media experts who want to join in on the pinning.
    • Saving time by pinning, instead of saving and emailing/uploading images.
    • Drive traffic to your blog by pinning images from your posts.
    • Acquire new backlinks, as every pin links back to the original image.
  2. Set up a pinboard for you and your clients.  Often times your clients want you to share images for them via their social networks, but you are unsure of exactly what kind of images they’d like and where to find them.  A pinboard would allow the client to pin images for you to share, and more importantly for you to get a feel for what they have in mind.  It would increase the lines of communication and you’d have a better understanding of what they mean by “creative”.
  3. Start a pinboard just for your agency.  At most internet marketing agencies, people are constantly saving and uploading images and infographics to share with each other. Either because someone thinks the image will be useful, or that it will simply spark creativity in the office.  Possibly even establish and design a board that isn’t just social media based, like this one on cool infographics. Setting up an office pinboard would save everyone some time, and I imagine it would also encourage more sharing.

So start pinning. Social media was meant to be creative fun, and inspiring, and Pinterest offers just that.


  • Monique Aug 31, 2011

    This is a really cool post, Sarah! I love Pinterest for personal reasons, but I could definitely see this being helpful in an agency environment too. We’re always passing infographics around the office, so I think it would be awesome to have them all in one convenient and visually inspiring place. Appreciate the tips! Also, I had one more suggestion. If you are doing competitive research on another site or looking for content ideas for your own blog, you can enter in this query: pinterest.com/source/[YOURURLHERE].com to see what’s been shared on Pinterest from any site.

  • Sarah Schager Aug 31, 2011

    Monique, thank you so much for your feedback! Very cool tip! I will definitely be using that when doing future competitive research!

  • Jess Sep 03, 2011

    Sarah – great idea. I recently thought about doing the same for my new site, stylesays.com. We’ borrowed a lot of design elements from Pinterest as well, though the opportunity for brands, agencies, and online stores will be much more fruitful. We will allow these key players to interact much more routinely and comfortably with current and new customers while shopping. Please check out our site and this video that explains the concept, http://bit.ly/nPmn1u

  • Kristl Story Oct 26, 2011

    Do you know if you can publish a pinboard on a blog? I’ve got all sorts of wonderful “collections” on my boards, and I’d like to share them on my blog. Thanks!

  • Sarah Schager Oct 26, 2011

    Kristl, you can embed individual pins on your blog. However, at this time I don’t believe there is a way to publish an entire pinboard at once. Of course, you could take a screen shot, edit it, and link it on your site. If you’d like to embed an individual pin on your blog, you can do so by clicking on the pin and using the embed code to the right of the picture. You also have the option of adjusting the height and width of the image at this time. Hope that helps!

  • Vishnu Jan 08, 2012

    Nice post :-)
    The interesting part with this news is, Pinterest is still in beta stage: