Thursday, February 23

The Pinterest Interest

It's not like I need another social media platform to keep me busy.  Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn (the big 3 as they say) keep me quite connected.  Sure I've dabbled in Google+ and even Quora, but haven't found the value quite yet.  I'm not big into posting pictures, so those picture-perfect platforms have not caught my attention.

Enter Pinterest.

I have to say that I've resisted the temptation to jump onto Pinterest, mostly because I figured it was going to be another "thing" that the early adopters gravitate toward but then it never really catches on with the masses.  But with all the hype and the huge uptake, I finally thought I'd give it a try. I wanted to know - what's the Pinterest interest?

It's fun!  Really fun ... and easy to use since it fits right in nicely with regular "surfing" behavior on the web (did I just date myself by saying that?).  I've only been on it for 24 hours, but I've already "pinned" a pair of cuff links from my favorite brand Paul Smith and a recipe for "envelope" wontons from Family Foodie that I'm going to make for The Academy Awards Twitter party I'm hosting (live in my house and on Twitter at #OscarExp).

But something funny struck me as I was doing my very first pin.  This is perhaps the FIRST social media platform that is absolutely undeniably perfect for brands.  It's like it was meant for brands ... it is so brand behavior-based that it's not even funny. There is an inherent linkage to the brands we love - and perhaps now an even easier way to incorporate them into our lives.

A few "early adopters" have figured it out.  Like Gap who has created their own proprietary boards.  Or Chobani yogurt who has crafted easy-to-pin recipes.  Always good to be first.

So while brands at first struggled with how to use Facebook and Twitter, and in many ways are still shut out of places like Google+, along comes a site that is tailor made for marketing.

The question isn't how to get there, it's how quickly can you get there!

What's your experience?  Jim.

Jim Joseph
President, North America at Cohn & Wolfe
Author of The Experience Effect Series
Professor at NYU



    This is an interesting article about Pinterest and copyright issues. There are links to follow-up articles as well as some of the many articles and discussions about Pinterest from the past few weeks.

    Because of how popular it has become, understandably there has been a lot of talk and speculation about the service and how it will be used, if it will last, etc.

    The fact that Pinterest still has only 16 employees and really hasn't figured out how they are going to support the site (with money and employees) makes it difficult to understand and keep up with exactly what the site is for and how to stay protected as an individual or company posting on the site.

    I think it will be interesting to see how it plays out! I have recently joined as well, and it's very interesting to see how different people are using it- and it is a huge opportunity for brands to break in early and do something really unique. However, I can understand that some brands might be hesitant given Pinterests somewhat unclear standing on copyright issues.

  2. Hi Jim,
    I just signed for Pinterest and I am amazed at the power of this site for brands! I visited some brand’s boards especially because I did not know these brands, and wow, it seems now that they are my childhood friends. I never had this experience on Facebook for instance. And you are right, some brands understood it quickly while others just replicate what they did elsewhere (see Chobani versus Yoplait… even if I consider Chobani has too many boards).
    Pinterest also offers an outstanding insight on consumers, at a more intimate level than many other social media. I was myself a bit intrigued by one of my friends’ board in as much as I discovered there things I did not know about her, and overall, her profile is an aspiration per se.
    What I like most about this is that consumers become powerful brand ambassadors in as much as they incorporate their use of the brand in their lifestyle, and give substance to aspirational needs. If targeting is done well to reach influencers, Pinterest is a very valuable investment to build an engaging brand experience. I don’t know if brands can repin other people’s pins (dangerous, maybe?) but that would initiate a true dialog between brands and consumers.
    However, there might be some risks in term of consistence for brands’ image, don’t you think? I feel that on the one hand, it can help brands smoothly adapt their image to new trends and shifting habits; but on the other hand, it might somehow dilute the personality of the brand. I’d love to get your thoughts about that.

  3. My initial reaction when I first joined was "Is it really worth the time and effort?" I wasn't seeing the value because I wasn't seeing significant traffic to my site. After just a couple of week's, that changed and now Pinterest is a huge source of traffic for me. Some days I get more traffic from Pinterest than Twitter and Facebook.
    I will tell you, it is completely addicting once you get hooked!

  4. I need to get more into it, just starting. But from a consumer behavior and brand building perspective I just l-o-v-e it. Jim.

  5. Hey Jim,

    Thanks for the review. I'm gonna stay "out" for now since I have enough platforms on my plate, but I took note of your Oscar Hashtag and might just check it out tomorrow during the show.

    God bless ya,
    Curt Bizelli

  6. Would love to see you there at #OscarExp. Jim.