22 February 2012

May you live in Pinteresting times

It's been a while since I last blogged. Partly because I've been busy, then full of cold. But it's mostly that whilst I've got lots of ideas for blog posts, the words just aren't coming out of me. They'll be set free soon enough though.

This one though, I only started thinking about this morning. About the time a link to this blog post 'How long before I lost Pinterest' arrived in my inbox at work (NEVER was my immediate answer! Full disclosure - I love Pinterest. I can, and do, spend hours on the site). What follows are my initial thoughts in response, and I apologise now for the text heavy, picture free nature of the post - oh the irony, given that Pinterest is the almost the exact opposite.

(By the way, has anyone else noticed Pinterest's been getting a lot more media coverage recently? I squeeled with glee when I spotted that Pete Cashmore from Mashable has written an article for CNN on 'Why Pinterest in 2012's hottest website' earlier this month.)

In my day job I manage a website, and have set up Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn accounts for the organisation, so I like to think I know a fair bit about company and brand involvement in social media, but something in me recoiled in horror when I read it.

Now as a trade body, it's unlikely we're going to get involved in Pinterest. And when I first read the blog post I thought of how I would hate to see heavily branded pages like we see on Facebook pushing things for sale, or free items for repinning (maybe that's just me though).  And to be fair to the blog author, it is for a marketing website so it's to be expected that it has a marketing slant.

But when I thought about it and looked back at the people I follow, I realised there are already brands using Pinterest in a really unobtrusive, helpful way.

Boden have a nice balance of their clothing, behind the scenes at Boden, and pins that are nothing at all to do with their clothing but do fit in with their ethos. I really like their behind the scenes board. If I wanted to look at their clothing I would probably go straight to their website, but the behind the scenes pictures offer a little bit extra. Having said that, it tends to be the pins that have nothing at all to do with their clothing that I like the most and repin.

Quadrille Craft - when I look at the pins from those I'm following it always seems to me that Quadrille mostly pin their own products to their profile. Nothing wrong with that, but I wouldn't want to see companies doing that in isolation. But looking back at their profile on Pinterest today, it's not what they're doing. I like seeing the end products of the projects featured in their publications, so I can see what others have made of them, and they have that with their boards Your take on our makes and Everything Alice.

I was going to include Sarai's profile too, but thought that might be unfair as it is a personal profile rather than one for Colette Patterns. But having said that, do check it out as she has an amazing Pinterest profile.

Etsy pin items for sale on the site on their boards, but also links to useful information from other sources too (who needs to know how to tie a bow tie?). And maybe because Etsy aren't actually the seller the pins to the items for sale don't actually feel like they're trying to sell me something. It feels more like they're pointing out lovely things on their site, much like a treasury.

But I think that's the point. For me, Pinterest is at it's best when it's about sharing, not selling. I have bought items that I've found on Pinterest. I don't doubt that I will do it again in the future. But these are all things I have stumbled upon, either when looking for something in particular or just browsing particular categories.

I'd love to know what you think about this issue. Do you love or hate Pinterest? As I said before, I love it and use it as an online pinboard storing links to things I've stumbled across, acting as a repository for past and future projects. How do you use it?

No comments:

Post a Comment