Pardon me while I vent for a minute.
A friend just forwarded me an email from Daniel Pink‘s newsletter in which he talks about Pinterest. He says, “By now, you’ve heard of Pinterest. You may even know that it has become the planet’s third most popular social network. But I have to say, I still don’t totally get it — and I suspect many of you may not either. After all, if you’re not planning a wedding, or collecting recipes, or dreaming of a new home decor, what’s the point of pinning?”
I like Daniel Pink. But if I have to read (or listen to) one more influential thinker dismiss Pinterest because “they don’t get it” I’m going to scream.
Just because you don’t get something doesn’t mean it isn’t valuable.
And I am damn tired of having what I feel is the most empowering and useful social media site for makers and designers that’s been created so far being dismissed as a trivial site that’s only for planning your wedding. (PS. In case you weren’t paying attention, wedding planning IS big business.)
I didn’t jump on Pinterest right away, but once I got on, I got it. And despite a few copyright stumbling blocks, I find myself increasingly inclined to defend Pinterest and fight for it’s value. (Especially after hearing Pinterst founder Ben Silbermann speak at Alt Summit. How do I know Pinterest is something special? The feeling I got hearing Ben speak about it.)
You see, so many of the social media platforms that existed before forced makers and designers to translate our work into language. The problem lies in that putting visuals into words is pretty subjective. What I describe in one way you might describe totally differently. We could be looking at the same thing and speaking a totally different language.
But on Pinterest, the focus is on the visuals. What I say about something matters less than the visuals that I’m sharing.
True, there are other sites that focused on visuals before Pinterest. (Like Flickr.) But none make sharing other people’s images (and therefore, the stuff they create) as easy and enjoyable as Pinterest.
I don’t need stats and charts to tell me that Pinterest is a powerful tool for marketing your business and connecting with consumers. I’ve seen it for myself. People are buying things they see on Pinterest. Yes, they’re also pinning inspiration, swapping recipes, and a ton of other stuff too. And all of that is equally valuable. On Pinterest, people are sharing culture. (Visual culture is every bit as much culture as anything else. Don’t let those word people let you think otherwise.) And that’s pretty powerful.
If you don’t get Pinterest, that’s fine. It’s probably not the right tool for your business. But that doesn’t mean that it isn’t valuable.
To that end, I created a little flowchart to help you figure out if Pinterest is right for you:
Yes, it’s a slight oversimplification. But hopefully it clears up this “I don’t get Pinterest” issue once and for all. (And I can finally stop feeling my blood pressure rise.)
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Want even more help using Pinterest to market your business? Check out my class on Creative Live, Pinterest Marketing for Makers + Designers.Pin It