Pinterest Logo, social media

Sometimes I just can’t be bothered to bookmark a webpage I find interesting. Instead I leave the tab sitting open in my browser because I am positive I will come back to it later. In reality, I never come back to the page and eventually have so many windows open that my computer starts to hate me and slows down to snail’s pace. Maybe this problem doesn’t sound familiar, but for those who have this same habit of leaving pages open that you just can’t bear to close there is a solution. It is called Pinterest.   

By simply setting up an account you can create a place to send all of these links you can’t bare to live without. Pinterest allows you to add a button reading “Pin It” to the toolbar of you browser so when you are on a page with a particularly interesting image or article you just click the button and voila! You can later organize your “Pins” onto boards. Boards include categories such as “Places I’d like to go” and “Neighborhood finds”. So the next time you stumble across a new restaurant on your local newspaper’s website you can “Pin It” so you can later remember the name and check it out. 

Believe me, I was wary when a friend first sent me an invite to join the site. Just like any other social site where you have to set up an account there was the initial “is this worth my time?” question that ran through my head. However, after hearing more about the site I realized that Pinterest is great because you can commit as little or as much time to the site as you want. You can pin once a day or once a month. You can use the site to get ideas from other people’s boards you follow even if you aren’t an avid “pinner”. 

There are so many Internet tools that exist today for different purposes so here’s a bit of a breakdown. Tools like Xmarks and ReddIt are great places to bookmark articles like news links on CNN that pop up on your phone but you want to read later on a computer screen. These tools might be more for your own personal use so you can come back to a page later that you don’t feel compelled to share with your whole social network. 

Pinterest on the other hand is a great place for sharing and discovery. You might have a friend who is a culinary whiz and you go to her boards to find a great recipe for dinner. You can also use the site to make a reading list or even give friends the occasional hint on what you might like for you birthday. With so many tools out there it can be hard to keep up but spend a bit of time on Pinterest and I think you’ll see why the site has quickly become so popular.

What’s great about the site is that you can get those creative juices flowing without making a major commitment. I can even think of a use for Pinterest in the Internet Marketing world. Take SEO and web design for example. First of all, Pinterest is becoming a great way for retailers to drive traffic to their websites and to engage consumers. Here’s an example of the Whole Foods Pinterest account.

whole foods, pinterest, marketing, drive traffic, retailer

Thinking of building your own website? Peruse the Internet for other site designs you like that you think are particularly effective. When you find ideas you think would work for your own site pin them. Pinterest is not a replacement for actual analytics testing but you can get free feedback from your followers. You can “pin” sites with comments to guide user feedback. For example a caption could read “What do you think of this website design? Simple and clean or too boring?” Most people love to express their opinions via social media so you are bound to get some responses. 

For those of you that are completely plugged in there is even a Pinterest app for the iPhone. You can pin photos from your phone so you will never forget the name of a restaurant or store you want to visit.

Just beware of Pinterest clones. Many sites have attempted to copy the look and feel of Pinterest. I have nothing against those sites, some of them even have niches such as style boards, they just aren’t Pinterest so don’t be fooled.