I wrote a post just over a year ago about my love for pinterest, I started using it quite early on when it was in beta stages of development. It seems to have taken the world by storm now and there have been a lot of people commenting on how it is good for business, how it directs so much more traffic than most other social networking sites, and there have also been advice posts on how to use pinterest for your business.
I disagree with these posts because pinterest is more of an organic tool, (I know, not organic in the way that it doesn’t use pestisides on the pixels to keep away nasty viruses) but organic in the way that people use it.
The way that it works, if you don’t know, is you find an image you like anywhere on the internet and pin it. You can categorise those pins and when another user sees this pin, they click on it and go to the website it originally came from and that is where the traffic to those sites comes from. Likewise, they can also ‘repin’ and ‘like’ that pin and it goes onto their own pin board. Creating your own library of images you like becomes effortless because you don’t have to have the pinterest window open at all times, just use the bookmarklet straight from your browser, I see it a bit more like delicious, just with images instead of descriptions.
The reason why I say it is more organic than other social networking sites is because there are no other companies buying advertising to force in your faces, there are no recommendations. I haven’t even seen any advertising for pinterest itself, just by word of mouth between friends and the ability to share pins on other social networking sites. You even have to request an invite to join, it makes you feel a bit special. I just hope this isn’t some secret ploy to get us hooked and then they’ll start introducing advertising. One way to encourage traffic to your own site is to pin your own images and others with see them, repin, like and go to the site itself, however if someone just does this, it gets a bit boring, annoying and a bit like spam. Your audience will start to get bored.
So, as I say, it may be great for driving more traffic to other sites than other social networks but I think this has all happened by people being interested, wanting to create pin boards and wanting to find out more about what they’re seeing. It has been a natural process, or am I missing something? And that’s what they want me to think?
For me, pinterest is great for research, it keeps all my (internet based) image research in one place, all my image inspiration in one place, all organised, all categorised, without me doing much at all, and when I want to see where I found that image in the first place, all of that information is there also. I love it!
For others, pinterest may be a marketing tool, a tool to help planning an event or an outfit. I suppose it is what you make it, like most of the other networking sites.