Wednesday, January 15th, 2014
Is Pinterest just for women?
Can you use Pinterest to get extra views on your blog?
Do you need to find out more about the site?
Pinterest was a confusing concept when it was first launched, but now it ranks as the third most popular social media platform in the whole world. It seems that people are certainly starting to ‘get it’ now. Do you?
Many initially questioned the point of the app, especially when the first things they saw when logging in to it were dresses, home-made jewellery and jam jars from different parts of the world. As Morrissey said ‘it says nothing to me about my life’.
Things change, however, when you see that millions of users everyday are logging in and posting.
Surely millions can’t be wrong?
It must surely be worth a looking at based on the site’s enduring popularity. In this article we will offer you some insight into the benefits of the app and some of its pretty nice features too. By the end of the piece you will hopefully see a little more relevance to your blogging activities. You will see how you can use it to improve your content production and to engage a larger readership.
1) What is it For?
Pinterest does not represent the same thing to everyone, which is perhaps why it is so engaging. For some it offers the opportunity to collate and compile a selection of their favorite images and then share their collages with all of their friends in the hope of likes and re-pins. For others, it’s a great way to see new visual trends and find out what is happening at the cutting edge of fashion, sport or pretty much any other area of interest.
2) Pinterest is a Blogger’s Friend
Meta-analysis research has identified how users actually engage with Pinterest. Here is a glimpse:
Many who see this list have a clearer picture of why they should be using Pinterest.
What blogger doesn’t want a little bit more daily inspiration in their blogging activities?
What blogger doesn’t want to find the best solutions and ideas on their blogging topics?
What blogger doesn’t want to engage with a massive Pinterest platform hungry for ideas and inspiration?
Using the app platform for visual expression and inspiration is the allure for most regular users.
3) What it is Not Anymore
A big misconception is that Pinterest is mainly used by neurotic brides-to-be who clog it up with dream dresses and wedding cakes. This may have been the case at first, but the creative-minds are fighting back, and there’s now something for even the most hardened of Pinterest skeptics. If you are a visual thinker, this app has your name written all over it. If your blog users are visually minded then Pinterest is a must-use tool!
4) Pinning Not Posting
When you post something, they like to call it pinning, That’s the first thing to bear in mind as you attempt to find your way around the app. Users often upload their own images or those that they have found elsewhere on the web.
5) Keep it Legal
There is one worrying trend that has developed, that of users posting other peoples content without attributing it to them. Not only is this extremely rude, but if done to the wrong person, it could lead to legal ramifications.
If you are going to share other people’s pictures or posts (pins) do not download them first onto your computer before re-uploading to your own page. Always attribute your posts to the original creator. It’s widely appreciated and if you start pinning decent inspiring stuff yourself, the same good will and courtesy will be extended to you.
6) Inspiration for Every Topic
There is so much varied content available on Pinterest that very often you will find that you have been engrossed for hours without even realising it. You can find ideas for paradise holiday destinations, fantastic recipe ideas for all palates, and interior design inspiration that ranges from the sublime to the ridiculous. With those three subject topics alone you could get swept up in hours of visual information gathering.
This is why Pinterest is seeing such a popularity increase. More than any other social media platform, Pinterest offers us a form of escapism; a place to release our mind to the wonders of a particular topic. A Pinterest journey can transform a blogger into an inspired beast.
7) Travel Blogging?
There are so many fantastic places on this Earth; places of natural beauty and sheer wonderment. We are never going to be able to see them all for ourselves, but you can browse the amazing pictures pinned by others and get a great idea of what they would be like to visit.
8) A Bit of Culture
Some of the most highly regarded artists now take to Pinterest to exhibit their work, so much so that it can be like taking a tour of a digital art gallery, with brand new modern art as the subject matter.
9) An Exciting Place
As with any successful social media platform it was not long before the corporations waded in to exploit the platform. The great thing is that Pinterest is such an engaging and dynamic medium that organizations and companies can show their creative side that is more difficult to express with Twitter or Facebook.
Consumers are therefore quite willing to engage with companies and bloggers on this visual platform. This makes it an exciting place where barriers are broken down.
Let’s take a look at some practical examples.
10) Inspirational Interior Design
A TV Interior Design expert named Liz Gray is documenting the remodeling of her own home on Pinterest. She has pinned lots of ideas for designs and allows her followers to offer their own views on which ideas they prefer. It’s an ongoing project and Liz takes all of the comments on board as she strives for the perfect home. Historically Liz might have just blogged; today she can truly engage her public.
11) Powerful War Images
Journalist CJ Chivers works as a war correspondent for The New York Times and he pins photos that directly relate to his stories. Some harrowing imagery and some beautiful yet desperate, the subjects include arms trafficking, human rights abuse and war tactics and make for very interesting viewing. CJ is able to expand his readership through his powerful use of imagery on this platform..
12) TV Shows
TV shows often inspire fan art, Game of Thrones and Breaking Bad both have substantial volumes of fantastic, viewer created works that boggle the mind. Another show that blew up on Pinterest was the HBO series Girls.
The makers of the series actually collate their own images from fans over the globe and produce them on their fanGirls board to great approval and re-pinning from their adoring fan base. If you have a favorite show, you can be sure that there will be some very interesting content.
13) An Innovative Take on an Old Idea
A designer at Pinterest, named Victor Ng, made quite a name for himself by compiling his New Year’s resolutions as images. He then gave visual updates that document the potential temptations he encountered, as well as inspiring images that kept him motivated to stick to his New Year commitments. This proved a popular idea that has been adapted by many.
Bloggers can take old ideas, spin them and come up with some pretty novel ways to use Pinterest. Just as you can tell a story with words, so you can with pictures.
14) Pop into Pinterest
Pinterest itself is quite an interesting follow. You get to see images that capture the behind the scenes goings on at Pinterest HQ, from people drinking coffee to relaxing on beanbags to playing table football. It really doesn’t seem like they do too much work at all.
This case study highlights how bloggers can use Pinterest to give their readership a glimpse at the personalities behind a website.
15) The Marketing Power of Pinterest
Pinterest has the potential to be an incredibly powerful marketing tool.
16) The Transforming Power of a Picture Campaign
UNICEF found a very innovative way to use the platform to encourage people to think about, and donate to, the causes they are fighting for all over the globe.
They pretty much revolutionized Pinterest with the campaign they launched that depicted the world as seen through the eyes of 13 year old (fictional) girl living in Sierra Leone. Instead of a picture of the latest pair of trainers, or some overly exuberant party dress we saw, under the title ‘Really want these’, a bar of soap and a tap with running water.
Pinterest users sat up and took notice!
17) Competitions and Engagement
Buick came up with a competition that enabled the winner to have their inspiration board as a new car’s design concept. The competition winner was a man called Michael Wurm (Junior). and he used beach scenes as well as sea color tones to inspire the new design. We wait to see the results.
Pinterest is a great way to get a readership or following engaging with your ideas and/or products.
18) An Expert Field
Pinterest is not just about popping up a few photos. NARS, a cosmetic brand, launched a campaign last year that used analytics to locate the three most popular and influential pinners. They then employed them to design Pinterest marketing boards to launch their new line of lip pencils. The success of the campaigns was amazing. This shows a dimension of Pinterest that is sure to grow as we move forward, and highlights the great skill of the best people on the platform.
19) Cuddly Cuties
An organization named PetFinder has tapped into the fact that we all like to look at cute animals on the internet, to find homes for cute animals that need to be re-homed. The success of the campaign has been phenomenal, and is heart-warming for those who care about the well-being of all those lovely little furry things with eyes and ears and lots of ahhhhhhhh.
Find Your Own Pinterest Relevance
Using Pinterest as a blogger is all about finding relevance to you. Hopefully ideas have been sparked through this guide.
Pinterest has more than 48 million users and has only been around for 3 years. It has an estimated value of between $2bn and $2.5bn and seems to be the social network to be a part of as we move through 2014 and beyond. It is time to be creative in your blogging and get visual, taking your inspiration from Pinterest.