So Your Boss Wants You to Try Pinterest

Do you do online marketing? Is your boss constantly asking you to get on board with the latest, greatest social media? Does your company actually have a Google+ page? Is Pinterest next on your boss’ list of things-that-will-make-your-crap-popular? Excellent. Follow me and let’s discover how everything social media is here to make us buy things and save our e-commerce hides.

Pinterest, for those who haven’t received an invite, is an online pinboard where you curate neat things you see on the web. As an individual, you can find things you love, “pin” them, and use that to plan things like weddings, trips, and menus. Since this is social media, you share what you find. Pinterest forces you sign up using either your Facebook or Twitter account, making it even more social, and most importantly to online businesses, more shareable.

In case you haven’t figured out from Facebook’s IPO, everything you do online is about making other people money. Even creating a fun pinboard of a few things you like. Last week, Mashable reported that Pinterest drives more traffic than Google+, YouTube, and LinkedIn combined. What’s more, Pinterest leans heavily toward women 25-34, so if your brand sells to that segment of the population, Pinterest might just might make you money.

But wait. Is this really going make brands money? Espcially if you are a small, little-known online store? It depends. Like much social media, Pinterest is less about conversions and more about allowing people to get to know your brand and build the relationships that will lead to future purchases. That said, a company’s Pinterest pinboard could turn into that blog your SEO consultant suggested, but that doesn’t really do much for you. In other words, Pinterest is not here to save our online marketing hides.

But if your boss is insisting you spend an hour browsing on Pinterest (and as tasks go, it’s kind of fun), check out these brands to see how visualizing a company’s voice can build relationships with customers.

Of course, if you are an individual using Pinterest, remember that ultimately these products are created so that the man behind the curtain can make money. Each thing you pin, like, and follow plays into this social media marketing game that everyone is so eager to master. How are you going to play?

By [E] Sally Lawton

My food groups are cheese, bacon, and hot tea. I like studying cities and playing with my cat, Buffy.

14 replies on “So Your Boss Wants You to Try Pinterest”

I really like the visual aspect of Pinterest — I mentioned in a response that I’ve been able to clear out a bunch of my bookmarks by pinning things to organized boards. Its nice to see all the various colors of ‘grey’ I’ve been eyeing all lined up next to each other. Its also a social medium I feel comfortable inviting members of my family to interact on me with. With all the pretty pictures, it makes it hard to fight about things.

The one thing that I am finding strange for a social networking site — its not easy to be very social. Its hard to find your followers, its hard to find people to follow, most people don’t leave comments, and while a lot of stuff gets repinned, people don’t hit the like button when they do it. That last one just feels weird to me — everyone is used to the like button from facebook, so I’m curious what the social dynamics behind its lack of use it.

My boss was into the social media stuff, as he was sure it was going to bring his solo law practice more business.  Of course, as a 50 year old man, he didn’t understand the social media stuff, which meant it fell to me to explain to him why Twitter wasn’t working for him.  And then to get told to do it anyway.  And also to make him a google+ page.  Social media works for a specific kind of business.  Solo practitioner law firms taking personal injury cases from the south side of Chicago are not that kind of business.

The one plus side to Google+ is that it does help with SEO (unlike Facebook, Twitter, and tumblr), so he might want to keep using it simply from an SEO perspective. I think with someone like that, an SEO campaign is his best bet. Try suggesting creating SEO content/category pages and revamping his meta-tags/h1 tags. It’s a cheap way to drum business. He should also definitely consider pay-per-click.

I love my pin thing. But I love it for reasons that might not be intended. My mind holds lots of sporadic data, mainly images, sometimes ideas.

Using this site to catalog everything has been Great. I have gathered up paint ideas ( is a color lover’s homepage), found recipes, hoarded fashion pictures and indulged my obsession with glitter. Now, when I think “how DID she do her eyeliner, exactly?” I can pull up the picture that matched the one in my head and get the detail in seconds. No more googling for the umpteenth time. Also, and this part is really fun, if I see my main page getting TOO DAMN FULL of wedding crap or inspirational messages, I start pinning the shit out of 70’s glam, studded boots, multicolored hair or any other image that fucks up the thread of mint green, lavender and white tulle covering everything. Pin-trolling. It’s so satisfying. And, in the end, I find some really great shades and nail colors that I have cataloged for another day.

Some man somewhere might be making money off this because of me but it costs me nothing but time and I always try to link to the direct source so it can generate traffic back to the original idea holder (and they can make money off their ad hits). I love sourcing to Etsy accounts because I feel like I’m helping them with their advertising – especially when I see that my pin was ‘re-pinned’ by 22 other people. Some of them have to be going back to that Etsy site, right? Hopefully.

That’s a really good point. This good be great for people like Etsy, or people with individual blogs who want to get the word out. I’m glad you’re having fun with Pinterest. I’m just figuring it out, personally, and my day job may require me to do it, so I need to really learn more!

I also love the term “pin-trolling!”

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