Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Carried Away with Pinterest (really)



my newsfeed is so 80s. what. 


I don't know about you, but when Pinterest was new, I Really Got Into It. As in, 3am what-the-heck-am-I-doing-still-awake-rabbit-hole into it. I set up boards on everything I liked had ever heard of, carefully set my cover photo for each one, found all my friends on the platform, and pinned absolutely everything in the universe. I even got jealous of those uber-pinners who somehow had more time than I did and had huge massive boards filled with images I loved as well: 80s Benetton ads! 60s shoes! 70s kitchen design! James Bond! Brutalist Architecture! Supergraphics! Things I would buy online the next time I had a credit card near me after drinking 2 glasses of wine!

I set up secret boards which clients and co-workers and I used, slapping inspiration images into them faster than you could say Xerox. Our projects were going to rock harder than they ever had prior to the invention of this amazing online global magic bulletin board. Anything we'd ever heard of, we found an image of it, and pinned it. And pinned it, and pinned it and pinned it.

But slowly, Pinterest lost it's appeal. My eyes spun in my head if I scrolled the newsfeed too long. I no longer cared it I didn't have as many pins in my Weird Foods of the 50s board, or if I didn't get to the "end" of my newsfeed. And the notifications! I got sick of knowing that 7 people in Australia had liked or pinned the pin that I had ripped off from someone else anyway. I started to get sick of my phone pinging me because someone thought I might like some new Jell-O recipe. Diagnosis: Pinterest malaise.

I guess you can have too many cute 60s clothes :(


I turned off all notifications, and logged in only once a month or so when I needed graphics, or if a client was active on a collaborative board. The last time I checked, I had over 3,000 unread notifications. Delete! I became un-obsessed cold turkey. I advised my clients to skip Pinterest unless they were in the wedding industry, and when Huck, in an episode of Scandal, made fun of his out-of-touch girlfriend by saying that she "still used Pinterest", I guffawed and spit out a mouthful of popcorn. I bet you did too.

BUT THEN I attended Social Media Marketing World, where there were many sessions on using Pinterest for marketing. Confounded, I had to attend them (the best IMHO was by Kate Ahl of Simple Pin Media, who can actually help you if you want to work this platform for your business or blog) to discover why Pinterest was still relevant... and it turns out, it is, for several reasons, but one stands out above all others. And it is MASSIVE.

Here are 15 things you can do with Pinterest, and I saved the best for last:


  1. Boost your Google ranking by having a presence there
  2. Convert your kitchen DIY account to a business account with analytics and everything!
  3. Learn which type of devices your audience follow - iPhone or Android or desktop
  4. Sponsor posts just like on Facebook 
  5. Beta test which images, colors, words perform best for your business
  6. Create boards to showcase images of your work
  7. Post text overlay images for your blog posts
  8. Create photos optimized to this platform (735 x 1100 = vertical)
  9. Sell directly on the platform (via shopify)
  10. Shop directly on the platform (blue dots = shop the look) 
  11. Observe trends / topics on the platform
  12. Use Pinterest as a collaborative tool, which you can keep private
  13. Save images by category of your choice (the original use)
  14. Fnd things - Pinterest is a massive search engine!
  15. Snap photos with the Lens tool on mobile for object identification


Wait, what? Number 15, hello... Get this: using your smart phone, you can snap a photo of ANYTHING right in front of you, or a photo in a magazine or a flower in the park or a car - ANYTHING - and the Lens tool (which was created in 2016 but just rolled out to all US users last month) will IDENTIFY it and send you keywords as well as related pins. Think Shazam for images... really. This technology has been around for a few years (hello, Google Glass!) but has never been used with the database of Pinterest behind it. THIS CHANGES EVERYTHING! Seriously, keep me away from the phone and credit card at the same time...I mean really.


in the LENS is my own mug, with keywords and suggestions detected by the app!


For the Lens feature alone, I downloaded the app to my phone, and went back in. ALL IN. (To find this feature, update your app on mobile. tap the search icon at the top of your home screen, then tap in the grey search box and you will see a red camera icon appear to the right. Click on this and the lens appears - tap inside the circle to capture anything IRL and see what the app gives you. If it isn't dead on, tap the + sign and tell it, which will better the functionality as it learns.) MAGIC.

So tell me, what are YOU doing on Pinterest at 3 am?




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