Gini Dietrich

The Pinterest Debate Between Two Friends

By: Gini Dietrich | January 25, 2012 | 

This post is running concurrently on Future Comms.

On Facebook just after the first of the year, Paul Sutton posted something about not understanding what the big deal is about Pinterest.

It won’t be a surprise to you that I commented. I said something about how he was off his rocker (except I think I was a bit more nice than that).

So he challenged me to a duel.

I’m not at all competitive (hahahaha!!) so I accepted.

See what you think!

The case against, by Paul Sutton

I make no secret of the fact I’m a sceptic when it comes to new social platforms (I’ve been told I have a ‘healthy cynicism’, although I prefer to think I’m pragmatic).

Like everyone else, I’ve read the hype, I’ve signed up, and I’ve watched them come and go. And, to me, Pinterest falls into the same over-hyped category as Quora, Diaspora, and Path.

There’s no doubt Pinterest is different. As a social bookmarking site it’s far more interesting than the likes of Delicious or Diigo, and its visual nature gives it a point of difference. But, for me at least, that’s about it.

I actually WANT to like it as a marketer, but there’s just nothing compelling about it as a realistic long-term option.

Users say part of the appeal of Pinterest is it’s a ‘quiet’ network; there’s none of the mindless drivel and brand intrusion of Facebook, for example.

At some stage, however, it will have to be monetized, probably through advertising or charging brands for profiles.

What happens to the ‘quiet’ then?

I also have concerns over it’s purpose. It says its mission is to “connect people all over the world based on shared tastes and interests.” So that’ll be just like Facebook and every other social network out there then? Using images may be visually appealing but that doesn’t mean it really has a unique selling proposition.

And this last point is where I think it really falls down for marketers. Just like Gini says, users have told me that Pinterest is addictive. But more often than not, that’s countered by a feeling they’re just repeating what they’re doing on other networks with no real purpose.

I’ve read several ‘how to get more out of Pinterest’ type articles, and that itself rings alarm bells for me. The fact that people need to be told why they’re using it suggests they can, and will, get bored within a month or two once the novelty wears off.

The case for, by Gini Dietrich

I’ve been watching Pinterest with great interest for the past few months. It’s not often a new social network comes along that completely captures your attention. You see, 84 percent of us are visual learners. That means we like to look at pictures and watch videos. We need to see something in order for it to sink into our brains. Because of that, I’ve long been a strong advocate of using video in your marketing programs. And then along came Pinterest.

Just like blogging and Twitter and Facebook and Google+, Pinterest started out as a personal obsession. And then, because I can’t turn off my darn marketing brain, I began to see applications for businesses.  But what really sold me is when Daniel Gordon, from Samuel Gordon Jewelers in Oklahoma City, began sharing his company’s Pin It contest. All you had to do is pin your favorite jewelry from their website and you were entered into a contest to win Honora Pearls.

What they did is take something really personal (photos of jewelry you like), ask you to pin it to your boards (which makes sharing easier), and they were able to create a viral effect, driving people to their site to eventually buy jewelry.

Do I think there are B2B applications for this? No. Not yet. But if you’re a retailer, in fashion, have a restaurant, or sell anything that is visual, Pinterest is something you definitely should be considering for your 2012 marketing plans.

On the personal side, I’ll admit I may need to go to Pinterest rehab. But it feeds so many of my creative juices I may never have to actually think about what I’m going to fix for dinner or buy someone for their birthday. I have all the inspiration I need on my boards! And, if you’re lazy, you can follow me and steal a bunch of my pins with one click of your mouse.

What do you think?

Cast your vote (so I can officially beat Paul) and leave us both a comment.

About Gini Dietrich

Gini Dietrich is the founder and CEO of Arment Dietrich, an integrated marketing communications firm. She is the author of Spin Sucks, co-author of Marketing in the Round, and co-host of Inside PR. She also is the lead blogger at Spin Sucks and is the founder of Spin Sucks Pro. Join the Spin Sucks   community!

  • adriandayton

    @ginidietrich my wife love Pinterest. I haven’t found a use for it yet.

    • ginidietrich

      @adriandayton I hear that from me a lot. There are plenty of guys on there, but it seems to be geared more toward women

      • JulieWalraven

        @ginidietrich You were one of the people who made me look at Pinterest. I find it very interesting and fun… don’t know about business yet.

        • LinkYeah

          @JulieWalraven @ginidietrich 80% of Pinterest users are female –

        • ginidietrich

          @JulieWalraven I think the more you use it, the more opportunity you’ll see. I thought it was just an arts and crafts thing at first.

        • JulieWalraven

          @ginidietrich As with anything ,Gini, I find playing with things creates ideas and ideas turn into potential. Never know if you don’t play.

      • adriandayton

        @ginidietrich what I do love though is that she finds some amazing recipes on their. Mongolian Beef and Broccoli last night was ridiculous.

        • ginidietrich

          @adriandayton I love that, too! Mr. D just goes on my board and says, “Will you make this tonight?”

        • adriandayton

          @ginidietrich great use of Pinterest! I certainly benefit a lot from it.

  • LinkYeah

    Fascinating. Both of you make perfectly valid points about the platform. For most companies, predicting either one way or the other isn’t always viable. Lots of businesses, especially internet ones, will embrace these new social networks with open arms for fear of being too late or missing out.Whether they remain a long-term player will come into it later, but for now, most people should give it a try.Great article

    • ginidietrich

      @LinkYeah It definitely is not a tool for every company. But I haven’t changed my mind on it having marketing power for some. Any company that can visually tell their story should be using it. Thanks for stopping by!

      • LinkYeah

        @ginidietrich We’ll be looking to experiment in this area (at Brandwatch) soon, so keep your eyes peeled. I certainly think that Pinterest can offer companies new avenues that have not been covered by the prior SM network offerings out there. How people end up using the service may throw up some interesting new ways to approach it

        • ginidietrich

          @LinkYeah I shall be watching!

    • ThePaulSutton

      @LinkYeah Thanks for the comment. I agree that many businesses embrace new tools out of fear. And I’m far from convinced that’s a good thing. They hype that goes along with, admittedly, promising new platforms like Pinterest is amazing, but I feel it can lead to a lot of wasted time and effort. If the novelty hasn’t worn off in a few months, then yes I’ll completely concede the point to @ginidietrich …but not until then… :o)

  • JeffRice63

    @ginidietrich At the risk of alienation, I think embracing everything new that comes along is a disease like alcoholism or drug addiction

    • ginidietrich

      @stypecoupe I agree with you. But Pinterest is special.

      • JeffRice63

        @ginidietrich I’m being snotty, I don’t have a rite 2 that.

        • ginidietrich

          @stypecoupe Ha!

  • bobledrew

    I’m currently experimenting with one way of using Pinterest — I’m putting up the books I review on “For Immediate Release” with affiliate links to Amazon. (looking forward to reviewing your book on there too!)

    I’m also using it as a place for interesting imagery related to my Stephen King podcast The Kingcast, and for what I call “guitar porn” — beautiful instruments that I lust after.

    For what it’s worth, what I’m doing on Pinterest doesn’t repeat anything I’m doing on other networks or sites. So while I respect Paul’s skepticism, I have to come down on @ginidietrich ‘s side of the debate here.

    • ginidietrich

      @bobledrew Woo hoo! 🙂 I’m also using it differently than any other social network. Now I’m off to make sure I am following your boards. I can’t recall seeing your guitar porn in my stream.

  • M_Koehler

    You know I’m a fan of it. I’m not a marketer and even I see the benefit of Pinterst from a business and marketing standpoint. Such and easy and great way to get the word out about new products, renovations, recipes (for food companies), etc.. For personal use, it’s great for finding new food ideas, for me sharing food ideas (speculoos ice cream anyone), sharing my obsession with vintage Vespas, and same as @bobledrew guitar porn.

    • ginidietrich

      @M_Koehler AND you and I can share food porn really easily.

  • I feel that pinterest is an incredibly important tool – we are ALL visual learners – we see before we learn to read. Our attachment to visuals is far higher than our attachment to sounds or words. We can recall images days after seeing it.

    Pinterest gives us marketers the opportunity to see what makes people tick. It gives us social media users another dimension. I don’t see it having the same results as Facebook or Twitter though. I love the calm of pinterest, beauty passing before me …

    • ginidietrich

      @Ameenafalchetto I love it because I’m seeing an entirely different side of my online friends, which lets me in to their lives just a little bit more.

  • BestRoofer

    I’m in the wait and see category. I haven’t even been on the site yet. Good luck to both of you.

    • ginidietrich

      @BestRoofer I can see you using it by having a board of “bad roofs” or “how you know your roof is leaking” and show photos of things homeowners should watch for in their homes. You could even go so far as to do boards around home repair and become the go-to company for advice on what to do. Then you can refer business to your friends, as well as gain new business for yourself.

      • ThePaulSutton

        @ginidietrich@BestRoofer You see, I think ‘wait and see’ makes complete and utter sense. I see far too many people and companies jumping on ‘the latest big thing’ with no idea whatsoever what they’re doing or, more to the point, why they’re doing it. It’s the over-hyping of everything by people like us that causes it!

      • ThePaulSutton

        @ginidietrich Seriously?!

        • ginidietrich

          @ThePaulSutton Seriously! I don’t jump on a lot of things (to your point – Quora, Diaspora, Path – which I still don’t understand), but this one is going to keep growing.

        • ThePaulSutton

          @ginidietrich For ‘bad roofs’ and ‘how your roof is leaking’? Isn’t that stretching the point just a tad?!

        • ginidietrich

          @ThePaulSutton I don’t think so at all! I have a crack in my closet that I had to call a roofer in for. He showed me how to tell it’s just a leak vs. a bad roof. If I had a way to find that online, I would have saved $500 AND I’d be going back to that company for advice on all things roof-related because I now trust them. It’s really not any different than content marketing. We’re just doing it in a visual way.

          Now, that said, it doesn’t necessarily have to happen on Pinterest. It can happen on your website or blog.

        • @ginidietrich@ThePaulSutton@BestRoofer Well, since Joe is one of my clients, I’ll tell you that he and I discussed Pinterest a bit the other day, and I really think Gini is right. “bad roofs” and things like that might not seem obvious on Pinterest, but for a brand to do stuff like that, it’s unique. And, Joe knows this, but I hope my clients don’t just talk about their narrow business focus. There are all sorts of homeowner issues and things he could put on Pinterest and broaden the focus. See, I see so many business applications for this across the board, and I think a lot more will show up.

  • I hate to say this, but I’m with @ginidietrich on this one. I’m now working with a few non-profits and have advised them to use Pinterest because I’m seeing a lot of applications: Books we’re reading, blog posts, “things we’re in need of” (donated items) and the like. So many possibilities. And I have a few businesses who could really do well with it. This is the first platform that’s come along in awhile that I’m seeing might have some real legs. The viral/sharing aspect of it is better than most other platforms.

    • ginidietrich

      @KenMueller I really hate it when we agree, but it IS the first one in a LONG while that seems like it has legs. Maybe it will go the way of Quora and have a niche audience. I think it has more mass appeal.

      • @ginidietrich This does have more mass appeal, and Quora still seems to be losing people. I don’t see them lasting.

        • ginidietrich

          @KenMueller I knew it was something when my sister and my cousin both said, “You HAVE to get on Pinterest.” OK, OK. Fine.

        • @ginidietrich Well, I blame you.

  • belllindsay

    Oh dear. I’m afraid I might get my ass kicked….but here goes. I’m with @paulsutten . I’m not on Pinterest, for a lot of the reasons Paul mentioned above – I too am a healthy cynic, and just don’t have the time for each and every shiny new social network that pops up. The site itself reminds me of Etsy (dare I say “Regretsy” LOL) – the things shared seem very geared to craft’y/bake’y/moms’y/DIY kinda folk. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, and yes I’m generalizing – @ginidietrich doen’t fit that mold, for example – but it’s just not me. So, while it might have marketing potential, I think it’s limited to certain types of businesses (non-profits, as @KenMueller mentions) due to a niche audience. I’m a mid-century modern design freak. I can find that particular porn easier on Google.

    • ThePaulSutton

      @belllindsay Thank you! At last a voice of reason! :o) As you say, it’s very niche (from a marketing standpoint as well as a user standpoint) at present, and unless that changes I just can’t see any long-term or wider benefit from a comms perspective. It’s early days, so it may yet develop in a slightly new direction, but at present, nice try but no cigar…

      • belllindsay

        @ThePaulSutton Weird – I linked @ginidietrich up there but it didn’t show – should say “Gini doesn’t fit that mold” – but yes Paul, I agree that its early days, and I would love to be proven wrong – but right now, as my dear old dad used to say “Close only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades!” 🙂

    • ginidietrich

      @belllindsay I don’t fit that mold, either. And I’ll admit I started out on it just to see what the big deal is. So I have TONS of recipes on there, which is my personal passion, as well as interesting videos I’ve found to keep myself in shape during the winter without having to be on the dreaded trainer. But, the more I use it (which is daily because I’m totally addicted), the more opportunity I find for businesses, like I’ve outlined to @BestRoofer below. You can find your modern design on Google, but you see it once and it’s gone. Pinterest just allows you to bookmark it in a visual way so you can return to it. Over and over and over again.

      • @ginidietrich@belllindsay@BestRoofer I’m a skeptic as well, and I now take the wait and see approach, which I did with Pinterest, and I’m still barely using it. But a few things got me hooked on the concept. First, unlike Google + and other newer platforms, Pinterest got populated quickly with non-techies and non-early adopters. It was quickly filled with consumers, not businesses. Real people (with the exception of Gini). That’s a plus.

        Additionally, whenever I talked to someone about it (mostly women) two words kept coming up: addicted and obsessed. And my feed on Twitter and Facebook was evidence of that. When you talk about platforms like Quora, etc, they seemed to fade much faster. The applications of this seem much more obvious.

        Another reason I like it is built on curating and sharing. Yes, those are part of every social network in some way, but this is built on the sharing of very real things. It takes “word of mouth” to a whole new level.

        • belllindsay

          @KenMueller@ginidietrich@BestRoofer I 100% see what you both are saying here – I’m just not convinced it’s got long term legs yet. As I said above, I think it has niche marketing potential (women except for Gini) and I certainly would be open to be proven wrong. I’m often wrong, in fact. This is just a gut feeling for me, and I’m really enjoying hearing opinions from those who use and love it. FYI Gini, I’m still that person who rips pages/pics out of design magazines! LOL

  • swagdrop

    @belllindsay my gf is addicted to #pinterest so I’m gonna say yes.

    • belllindsay

      @swagdrop HA! Smart man…? 😉

  • I think there are two separate issues here: 1) whether or not Pinterest has longevity as a social network and 2) whether or not Pinterest has potential for marketers. Quora is still around and has an incredibly thriving community–even if its marketing potential is waning. So, do I think Pinterest will stick around? I have no idea. But, if it does, I think there is obvious marketing potential for visually oriented brands. It’s just intuitive–if people are sharing photos of your products, they’re advertising for you. Guess we’ll see what happens….

    • ginidietrich

      @dougricesmbiz “If people are sharing photos of your products, they’re advertising for you.” Exactly.

  • Pingback: There’s a Debate About the Awesomeness of Pinterest?? « The Restarter Home()

  • rustyspeidel

    I was just in a meeting yesterday with a guy who is building a Destination wedding site that will feature and support referrals for all the major wedding vendors in the area. The first question I asked him is whether it would utilize the Pinterest API. He said I was the fourth person to ask him that and that yes, it would.

    Sites like his that sell beauty, emotion, destinations, quality, or any aspirational products can benefit from Pinterest integration, especially if women are the target. I cant find any of my male friends on it anywhere!

    • ginidietrich

      @rustyspeidel It’s so funny. People keep saying it skews more toward women, but of the Pinterest network, about 60% of them are men.

  • ginidietrich

    @JohnFalchetto It definitely feels like it skews more to women

    • JohnFalchetto

      @ginidietrich Which gives guys an interesting advantage being there

      • ginidietrich

        @JohnFalchetto I love that way of thinking!

        • JohnFalchetto

          @ginidietrich Purple cow all the way 🙂

  • CharterHomes

    @kmueller62 I was just reading that! 🙂 Thanks for the recommendation.

  • CharterHomes

    I’ve used Pinterest for a few months personally – for the classic “wedding planning, quotes and cute clothes” angles. I certainly enjoy it for the “female oriented” applications mentioned in other comments.However, I really saw the marketing potential for Pinterest when I dipped my toe in the water for Charter Homes. As a company that differentiates by building great looking homes, the proof is in the photos – and after posting just one photo, the repins and likes poured in like crazy. In just a few hours, it was the number 1 traffic source to our blog. Here’s what this taught me:For an aspirational (and image-heavy) brand, Pinterest is a great fit, and an excellent way to communicate in a fun, soft-sell manner. The automatic feedback that occurs when a “repinner” alters your photo’s caption is incredibly valuable – everything from “love how the peaked roof keeps this home from being too boxy” to “I wish the porch were larger, but love the brick details”.

    No, Pinterest is not a fit for every brand (interior/exterior house pictures happen to be a hot spot) – but we’re seeing alternatives to Pinterest crop up (ones just for “cool guy stuff”, etc.) that point to how Pinterest might broaden its reach in the future.

    • @CharterHomes So glad you came over here and told this story. As we were talking about it the other week, you really got me thinking, especially when you told me about how it actually drove a lot of traffic to your blog in such a short time, when really all you were doing was experimenting.

    • ginidietrich

      @CharterHomes It was the NUMBER ONE driver of traffic?!?! That’s huge! I’m with @KenMueller …thanks for stopping by and sharing your story. But, um, I want to be maid of honor.

      • CharterHomes

        It was indeed. Of course, I put one of our most award-winning designs up first, so it was a good one to test with. It’s altered how I use our blog – I’m now including photos of our favorite “dream homes” specifically highlighting certain designs, interior photos with decor, and shots of neighborhoods. These posts are designed to be pinned, but it also points to the fact that sharing photos and ideas people enjoy and want to share too should be the focus of the blog. Great lessons there. @ginidietrich @KenMueller

        Like I told Ken back when he first claimed the spot, you may have to fight my older sister for that post. I do take bribes in the form of iTunes gift cards… 😉

        • @CharterHomes@ginidietrich Gini…I actually know Kelly in person. You can’t steal my spot!

        • ginidietrich

          @KenMueller@CharterHomes Fine. How about a bridesmaid, then? Flower girl?

        • CharterHomes

          @ginidietrich@KenMueller Flower girl sounds good to me! 🙂

        • ginidietrich

          @CharterHomes@KenMueller SWEET!!!

  • CharterHomes

    @kmueller62 Done. 😉

    • kmueller62

      @CharterHomes awesome, i was hoping you would tell that story

  • CarmenKrushas

    ok, so truth be told. will it become a marketing platform? yes. will pinterest create monetization through companies? yes. is it time to come on board and start spending your resources (aka team’s time)? probably not. And for one really good reason… 1.) the platform is REALLY buggy (it’s called getting a lean product out, a common principle in the tech world). this is fine for P2P but when you have dollars associated to your resources then from a B2C standpoint, it may make better sense to hold off until the bugs are clean and you can build and pin and do whatever direct response campaign you want from it.

    • ginidietrich

      @CarmenKrushas Oh I don’t think a lot of time and money should be allotted to it yet, either. I think it’s definitely an experiment right now. Like what @CharterHomes mentions below. But I don’t think it’s even a tactic listed in your marketing plan. Yet.

    • @CarmenKrushas True, but if bug-free was a prerequisite, why are we using Twitter, Facebook, and Google +?

  • Here’s one other cool thing about Pinterest that could happen, though I haven’t tested this out. I think Pinterest is going to be the new gift registry. Sure, if you’re getting married you can register at Macy’s, Crate and Barrel, Amazon, etc, but on Pinterest you can bring it all together. Take it one step further. I have a birthday coming up. I could go to a book store, Best Buy, etc, and start scanning QR codes and pinning those products to a board of “Cool Stuff that You Really Need to Buy for Ken Because He Rocks”.

    From a business standpoint, how are retailers and others going to take advantage of that? Those that recognize and promote their Pinterest-friendly store will see the benefits.

    • CharterHomes

      @KenMueller Now THERE is a way to combine my wedding planning and Pinterest in a useful way, Ken. You’re back in consideration for maid of honor. 😉

    • ginidietrich

      @KenMueller I’ve already done that for birthday gifts. WHICH IS COMING UP!!

      • @ginidietrich@KenMueller uh. oh. that might be the one reason I have to get on Pinterest.

        • ginidietrich

          @Lisa Gerber It pains me you’re not already on there.

  • I’ve been using Pinterest for a few months now, mostly as a means to organize recipes (those who know me recognize that I *love* to cook) and catalog book recommendations. Where I see its business application is through influencer campaigns. I’m working with a restaurant client and they’ve seen massive increases in traffic and pingbacks from single pins connected to their blog, tracing it back to a single local user. So we’ve asked that local to come in and enjoy a private tasting menu. Pinterest puts new emphasis on a person’s ability to be influential within their own circles through personal style, etc.

    • ginidietrich

      @jasonkonopinski LOVE that idea! Now if I could get our local Mexican restaurant to do that. I’d eat and drink for free every day. Heck, if they’d just recognize I’m the Mayor of their locations, I’d eat and drink for free every day.

  • frugalista

    @ginidietrich fantastic post, Gini. I can see how Pinterest can be addictive. I am growing weary of sites that won’t let me sign up w/ email

    • ginidietrich

      @frugalista That’s funny because I’m the complete opposite. I don’t wanna give you my email!

      • frugalista

        @ginidietrich hee!! I guess because my email is so spammed out. I’ve given up hope!

  • frugalista

    @ginidietrich I am tired of my social circle being up for or soon to be up for sale. The way FB changed really has made me aware.

  • frugalista

    @ginidietrich it’s sad that it’s come to this. 🙁

  • KarenARocks

    I’m raising my hand to ask a question here. Why does a social network have to have universe appeal? Why can’t it niche and have its own dedicated following? Those using it for marketing should be thrilled as it is targeting a special demographic. As I tell clients, you don’t have to be on every sm site, just pick the ones where you have the audience.

    • ginidietrich

      @KarenARocks Totally agree with you, Karen! That’s why I said it definitely doesn’t have B2B appeal. But does it have marketing power for those companies that have something visual to show? I think so.

      • @ginidietrich@KarenARocks Excellent points, both. The unfortunate trend is to press any and all emerging social network into some prescriptive approach – and that just doesn’t work. 🙂

        • ginidietrich

          @jasonkonopinski@KarenARocks Exactly. I’ve always been a big proponent of discovering where your customers are before jumping on the bandwagon. As it turns out, Twitter and Facebook STILL don’t work for every business.

        • KarenARocks

          @ginidietrich @jasonkonopinski Yes! Everyone has their own interests, why force a square peg in a round hole? Excuse me now, this thirtysomething-visual learner-in search of home decorating ideas needs
          to go on Pinterest now to convene with my kind.

        • @ginidietrich@KarenARocks I think we still need to define what ‘being on Facebook’ means, at least in some cases. I share skypulsemedia ‘s perspective on Facebook – that it’s less about engagement/shares and more about being able to serve up very targeted display ads via sponsored stores and the like. I once attended a webinar with jasonfalls where he shared a case study of a real estate agent in Phoenix (if memory serves) who was using Facebook entirely as an advertising platform. No fan page, no building community, etc – only a small investment in hyperlocal advertising for listed properties. In this case, the real estate agent was ‘on Facebook’ albeit a bit non-traditionally in the way that most of us view the site – and he was selling houses through that campaign.

          I saw success with a previous project by running display ads on Penny Arcade & sponsored links on Reddit to drive traffic and conversions.

        • @jasonkonopinski@ginidietrich@KarenARocks Here is what is interesting and something I blogged about on this very blog. Facebook needs us to buy ad space to survive. They don’t want us marketing and not paying for ad space.

          I look at it like the scratch off lottery or vegas slots. If they allow enough small wins we forget the massive losses and keep coming back. The recent blog post on @Shonali discussing the biker fashion where they have 17,000 fans and 2500 talking on the page is rare. My friends at Chobani have 400k fans and only 5000 talking. And they keep this focus on their page and I tell them ‘you have to sell 1 million cups of yogurt a day every day! 5000 talking won’t get that for you and most if not all your customers are never coming to facebook’ But they are selling 1 million a day or so without social media (well they are blog powered actually).

          Most businesses fail to take this perspective. I bet even @kmueller62 ‘s clients if they investigated would find value in Facebook but figure out most of their revenue comes from other places.

        • @HowieSPM@jasonkonopinski@ginidietrich@KarenARocks@Shonali The problem that I see with that kind of thinking, is that you are thinking of Facebook in a vacuum. And that’s what businesses do, and it’s wrong. And this is why it is so difficult to calculate very specific ROI. If you are doing it right, it’s all done in a fully integrated way with everything else. Social media is NOT solely marketing. Wrong approach. Social media does not exist on its own. Wrong approach.

          And the type of engagement you want or see, will vary from product to product and business category to business category.

          And I happen to believe that if you use Facebook solely as an ad platform, you’re doing it wrong. The click thru rates are horrible. And Facebook DOES want businesses marketing without ads. They want you to succeed there, so that you WILL buy ads to supplement it.

        • @KenMueller@HowieSPM@ginidietrich@KarenARocks@Shonali I submit that you’re only doing it ‘wrong’ if you’ve not done the work of testing results for your brand and your business category. In the case of the real estate agent I mentioned in my earlier comment, sales were made because of a $400 investment in a hyperlocal campaign. Nothing wrong about that.

          Could the same success be duplicated by an agent in Lancaster? Maybe. They just have to do the testing and see for themselves.

        • @jasonkonopinski@HowieSPM@ginidietrich@KarenARocks@Shonali Yet they are missing out on so much more since the ads are heavily based on your own social presence. More bang for the buck. It is being duplicated locally and with more success. And I’m pretty sure you can’t create an ad on Facebook unless you have a Fan Page of sorts in the first place, because it would be a violation of the TOS.

        • @KenMueller@HowieSPM@ginidietrich@KarenARocks@Shonali Correction: the agent was in Austin, TX – not Phoenix. Read more here:

          Hypertargeting works. Delivering relevant messaging to a very targeting demographic. If you’re measuring the success of the campaign based soley on click-through rate, the ads might seem to be performing poorly, I’ll admit.

        • @jasonkonopinski@HowieSPM@ginidietrich@KarenARocks@Shonali Agreed, but in order to place the ads, even if they weren’t using it, they must have had a presence on FB. Otherwise it isn’t possible. And in fact they do have a presence which is done rather poorly. I would posit that if they did a better job, the returns would be much greater.

        • @KenMueller@HowieSPM@ginidietrich@KarenARocks@Shonali So long as you have a (personal) Facebook account, you can create an ad.

        • @jasonkonopinski@HowieSPM@ginidietrich@KarenARocks@Shonali But they do, and did, have a business page. And the ads can’t be tied to a profile. Must be to an event, page, or place, even if you point them elsewhere.

        • @KenMueller@HowieSPM@ginidietrich@KarenARocks@Shonali Ken, you’re confusing two different things here. Sponsored Stories and Sponsored Ads (those that say ‘Ken Mueller likes Event X’) exist in the Facebook ecosystem – and those link to Events, Pages, and Places. Facebook Ads point off-site and are *not* linked.

        • @jasonkonopinski@HowieSPM@ginidietrich@KarenARocks@Shonali No, I fully understand the difference. Sponsored stories did not exist at the time of the case study. Just ads, and you did have to have a page, regardless of where it points, and Cantera did have a page at the time.

        • @KenMueller@jasonkonopinski@HowieSPM@ginidietrich@KarenARocks I took my own sweet time replying and look what happened… I had to hit “load more” THREE times before I got to this convo. Gah!

          I’m a woman and I’m not obsessed with Pinterest. The posts that I see to FB (so and so pinned this) drive me nuts. However, I’ve seen more men confess to being addicted to it (seriously guys?!), and it is certainly fun to create boards and pins. kanter wrote a really interesting post not too long ago on how nonprofits are using Pinterest, btw – give it a read. Nothing to say for-profits can’t use those principles or tweak them to see if they’ll work for them…

        • @Shonali@jasonkonopinski@HowieSPM@ginidietrich@KarenARockskanter The nonprofit aspect is great, and I’ve got two non-profit clients now getting ready to use the platform on a rather large scale.

      • @ginidietrich@KarenARocks I’ve been mulling things over…and I THINK there might be some interesting ways to use this on the B2B front. I have a few particular business categories in mind. hmmm.

  • First my usual for @kmueller62 l….but this discussion took place on Facebook, doesn’t that remove all credibility in the discussion.

    So here is something that will shock Ken and also support you Gini. Facebook open graph, the Google +1’s etc are incremental sharing. Same with Pinterest. Why wouldn’t I set up a visual website with Pinterest enabled content? In a world of customer accumulation that instead of in droves is becoming one at a time. We need all those one’s at a time we can get. Same with FB Likes and Plus Ones. So what if I get 10,000 page views and only 31 Likes. Hopefully that gets me just a bit more viewership and why should not take that where I can?

    • ginidietrich

      @HowieSPM@kmueller62 The thing I like about it is it drives back to something you own. You don’t own your Facebook community. You don’t own your Twitter followers. You don’t own your Google+ page. Pinterest drives people back to something you own.

  • Ugg… I just don’t know what to do about Pinterest. Clearly, as a video production company, we have a visual product. The problem is that we sell B2B. On the other hand, we network with all sorts of PR and marketing folks. While we don’t “sell” to them, they are recommending us to their clients.

    Our social media strategy is focused on making sure our B2B clients understand we’re storytelling experts, and providing our PR/marketing friends with quality content regarding our side of the industry.

    Where do we “pin” Pinterest!? Social… media… overload… HELP!

    –Tony Gnau

    • ginidietrich

      @T60Productions I hate to be the one to tell you this, but it’s PERFECT for you! It’s storytelling and great content rolled into one site. Think of it as bookmarking that has a social share component. I see a video you produced and I pin it to one of my boards. Someone else is interested in that video and they repin it to one of their boards. And so on. Suddenly your traffic is coming from all ends of the earth and from people three or four degrees outside of your networks.

  • VickiDay

    Pinterest as you put it is it’s a ‘quiet’ network;” hence it’s popularity plus it’s visual – I can see as a retailer it’s another funnel to get people to see your product and like it plus see how your peers react to the pictures posted – it’s a very soothing and yes addictive hobby

    • ginidietrich

      @VickiDay It IS soothing. That’s a great word for it. But I really do think we’re going to have to create Pinterest rehab.

  • I absolutely believe that Pinterest has huge marketing power for retailers and businesses with capturing visuals. As an avid “Pinner” I don’t sign on to Pinterest to necessarily connect with others that have the same interests as I do, but I sign on to get ideas, find new products and recipes- which makes Pinterest even more powerful. Loyal pinners are using the site with the mindset to take action. This particular social network has power that other social networks don’t have because customers are already interested- whereas on Facebook, Twitter and Google+ brands need to be more subtle and less pushy.

    The only “downside” for marketers is that Pinterest is mostly women. Maybe that will evolve with time…

    • ginidietrich

      @courtney petty Girls rule, boys drool! What’s the stat? Something like 85% of household decisions are made by women. Why does it need to evolve?

      • @ginidietrich I’m not sure it does need to evolve- it just may be a turn off for some marketers. I do think there is a little limitation with some businesses getting involved and active on Pinterest because of the majority being women (and by majority, I mean heavy majority… I think I’ve seen one guy pinner so far?).

        Even if 85% of household decisions are made by women, do I want to waste time exploring interests or products my boyfriend might be interested in? Not really… unless there was a birthday or anniversary coming up. Like everything, it comes down to strategy.

        PS- Girls definitely rule, and boys definitely drool! 🙂 Love it!

        • ginidietrich

          @courtney petty It’s funny – of the pinners who follow me, 60% are men. I don’t know what that says about me, but I think there was a quick study that showed it definitely skews toward women.

  • andreamv

    @ginidietrich I recently bought something based on a photo I liked. Big potential for smaller businesses, artists & photographers

    • ginidietrich

      @andreamv Exactly!

  • I love it but I think it will go down when marketers get into it in masses and start pinning stock photos of people in suits that link to their marketing “make $100.000 a wekk” sites 🙂

    • @Brankica I want to make $100,000 a week! It takes me a whole MONTH to make that much now…. Sheesh.

      • @Sean McGinnis@Brankica well these same links are on Twitter and Facebook. I just can’t picture being at a party and someone says ‘what do you do for a living?’ and replying ‘I send out social media spamm’ or ‘I’m a spammer’. I mean saying you are Papparrazzi is way more of a less sleazy profession.

        • ginidietrich

          @HowieSPM I DARE you, next time you’re asked, to say you’re spam for a living.

      • ginidietrich

        @Sean McGinnis Puh-lease.

    • ginidietrich

      @Brankica How do I make $100,000 a week?!? Wear a suit every day? Give up my shoes?

  • AskAaronLee

    I would agree with @ginidietrich on this. Recently I send an invite to a friend. She now spends more time on pinterest than google+. YES its that addictive.

    I’m keeping my eyes on Pinterest.

    • ginidietrich

      @AskAaronLee Woo hoo! Thanks for the vote of confidence!

  • whenpigsflyblog

    I think it’s going to stick around. I don’t go on it all that often but it does appeal to the girl in us that loved pulling out photos from magazines and creating boards that we would hang in our rooms. It’s not all that different than other bookmarking sites in theory but it is so much more visually appealing. That’s what draws people and keeps them coming back.

    • ginidietrich

      @whenpigsflyblog Ha! We totally did hang boards in our rooms! I still do in my closet so I can pull together outfits without much thought. Your blog name is very appealing to me. I’m going to go check it out.

  • twheeler

    I agree with, Gini! I just recently started using Pinterest, and I am already totally obsessed. It definitely helps me quickly find things, i.e. new recipes, gift ideas, etc. I LOVE IT! I am a B2B markerter and can’t really see the usefulness for it there (at least not yet) but agree there is a ton of potential for companies that have a product in the B2C space. I hope it doesn’t die a slow death. It would be a shame!

    • ginidietrich

      @twheeler Woo hoo! Another vote for me. 🙂 Shall I reserve a spot in rehab for you?

      • twheeler

        @ginidietrich@twheeler Ha! Ha! For sure. I’m sure that won’t be the only thing I am there for.

  • Pinterest certainly has marketing power, but I worry about abuse. What was quickly something found and shared serendipitously can become a barrage of cheap, made in a sweat shop crap for people to buy.

    My biggest worry about Pinterest is I don’t see how Pinterest makes money or plans to make money. And that scares me. You can’t support a network on millions of posts and images without sustainable finances.

    • @JayDolan sounds like Walmart should buy them!

      • @HowieSPM They would if half the things weren’t “Cute and Easy!” crafts you can make at home.

        • ginidietrich

          @JayDolan@HowieSPM I like the DIY furniture, myself. I look at some of that stuff and think, “Really?”

        • @ginidietrich@HowieSPM You mean you haven’t built every piece of furniture in your house?

        • @JayDolan@ginidietrich@HowieSPM The thing about abuse, is the platform is self policing. It only goes as far as people are willing to share it. I can upload a buttload of crap and if no one shares it, it dies. Like any platform, if you get spammy, you’ll start to see the attrition in your followers

        • @KenMueller@JayDolan@ginidietrich does anything really get shared? Read yes. Shared? Not as much. Or I should say Re-Shared. It is like an upside down pyramid the sharing flow. But I do ReTweet Gini twice a week as per my contract with her.

        • ginidietrich

          @HowieSPM And I am grateful.

    • ginidietrich

      @JayDolan Twitter hasn’t made money yet and they still can’t figure out how to do it. It doesn’t seem to be a prerequisite in success anymore.

      • @ginidietrich Twitter has made money. Do you think all those Promoted Trends, Promoted Accounts, and Promoted Tweets are just to annoy us? They also license out access to the full data stream to search engines and tools like Radian 6.

    • AskAaronLee

      @JayDolan Who knows, they might launch their own e-commerce platform.

      • @AskAaronLee@JayDolan@ginidietrich Very few social platforms have a visible means of how to make money up front. Even Facebook didn’t.

        • AskAaronLee

          @KenMueller Yeah! Google didn’t too. Twitter still hadn’t figure it out much 🙂 @JayDolan @ginidietrich

        • @AskAaronLee@KenMueller@ginidietrichIn the end though, all three are competing to get the best ads in front of us.

  • I think just from the evidence of success that small to large businesses have had using Pinterest, it is hard to argue against it. I do agree that it seem to work best for consumer goods based companies…fashion, candy, beauty, etc.

    • ginidietrich

      @anandp29 Mmmmmm….candy. I love candy.

  • Skeptical! Maybe someday, but I don’t see a lot of “first mover” advantage at this point for anyone that isn’t selling a whole lotta stuff. In the Great Time Sink view of social media, I think this one can and should wait for most businesses until it becomes a lot more useful. Chasing shiny objects is never a strategy, IMHO.

    • ginidietrich

      @wabbitoid I don’t think it’s chasing the shiny object. I went back and looked and the first time I blogged about it was last May when I was hearing inklings about it. I didn’t think it had much use until my sister and my cousin, separately, asked me why i wasn’t on there. It’s has huge mass appeal and it’s beyond the early adopters. That’s why I think it’s going to stick.

      • @ginidietrich@wabbitoid I’d go further and say that the mass appeal is not just beyond early adopters, but that the early adopters weren’t web/tech/social media people. That’s what worries me about G+ is that it doesn’t seem to have gotten too much traction beyond the “in” crowd. When a social platform is populated by real people, not marketers, up front, that’s a good sign.

  • ThePaulSutton

    @orbiteers @ginidietrich hoorah!

  • Jmodio

    Where Pinterest stands right now, I’m more on Paul’s side of the fence. I don’t see any long term value out of it. Then again, like every other “social network” out there, it will evolve, change and adapt. As is, it’s still pretty basic and simple, also a part of the mass appeal. I agree, we’re very visual driven as humans, and we love pretty pictures and shiny objects. We also live in a consumer & money driven society, and monetization and marketing will come into play at one point or another. How that changes the appeal of the platform, I can’t say. For now, you can tag a price on a photo and drive traffic to hopefully make a purchase. I can’t really come up with any conclusions for now I suppose. Only time will tell.

    • ginidietrich

      @Jmodio You cannot come back here until you agree with me! I shall ban you!

  • Well, I think you’re both right. For a visual business Pinterest can surely be a good place to share its creations and to have them shared by others, or to get ideas but in other fields, well, I don’t know. I’m toward seeing it as other social media, useful for 20 percent of businesses and pretty much a waste of time for the rest. The Pareto rule is more or less alwyas right.

    But then I must also admit I’m a kind of caveman as regards social media. And up to now I’m liking Pinterest too, thousands of times more than FB. 🙂

    • ginidietrich

      @Andrea Hypno I think that’s why it has sticking power. The social media geeks aren’t using it as much as everyone else. And it’s so pretty!

      • @ginidietrich Sure it is. Also I don’t think that the best way to go is always to mix everything up like on FB and I think that if Pinterest comes out as The Visual Social Media is just cool. If I want to see visual stuff I can go there, if not I can go somewhere else. At least on Pinterest there are no game or app requests. 😉

        • ginidietrich

          @Andrea Hypno Ha! Exactly!

  • Jmodio

    @joshduv Yup, I posted a lengthy comment on the post.

  • ginidietrich

    @medialogic I was so brain dead last night when I wrote that I had to look it up to make sure “duel” was the right word

  • ginidietrich

    @ericamallison (What? That I’m addicted to Pinterest?)

    • SassyInCarolina

      @ginidietrich have you seen Mod Cloth’s pinterest contest? I think is great example of a way business can use pinterest

      • ginidietrich

        @SassyInCarolina No! Thank you! I will add it to my list of brands to watch!

    • ericamallison

      @ginidietrich Um, just a tad. I actually mentioned you in my post today. 🙂

  • ginidietrich

    @shonali Bwahahah! @thepaulsutton dared! And I love him for it!

    • ThePaulSutton

      @ginidietrich @shonali her bark is worse than her bite. I hope.

      • amoyal

        @ThePaulSutton @ginidietrich @shonali Well done Paul

      • shonali

        @thepaulsutton Heh! The thing is, even when she bites, @ginidietrich has such nice teeth, it softens the blow a bit.

  • ginidietrich

    @kbkcomm We should have t-shirts made!

    • kbkcomm

      @ginidietrich And then Pin them!

      • ginidietrich

        @kbkcomm LOL!!!

  • LinkYeah

    @ginidietrich @thepaulsutton It’s really taken a life of its own, this article. You should do a follow-up in a month or two

    • ginidietrich

      @LinkYeah @thepaulsutton I think we should do a post on how your community agrees with you, no matter what you say. It’s interesting.

      • ThePaulSutton

        @ginidietrich @LinkYeah @thepaulsutton I’m 100% behind that, Gini. I’ve raised it before but been shot down. It’s fascinating (to me)

        • ginidietrich

          @ThePaulSutton It’s fascinating to me, too. I think we have enough votes on each blog to determine something

        • LinkYeah

          @ThePaulSutton @ginidietrich Well it’s impossible to disagree with you both when you present BOTH sides of an argument

        • ThePaulSutton

          @linkyeah This is true. But the thing you need to know about @ginidietrich is…she’s mostly wrong :o)

        • LinkYeah

          @ThePaulSutton @ginidietrich Well now I feel like agreeing with you, but I might get stuck in an infitinte feedback loop & explode my head

        • ginidietrich

          @LinkYeah I would ignore @ThePaulSutton if I were you

        • ThePaulSutton

          @ginidietrich I’m now accusing you of OCD: Just thought you should know :o)

  • ellenkstuart

    @ginidietrich @thepaulsutton We wrote about Pinterest today on the @Vital_Design blog–we’re with Gini 🙂 Check it out:

    • ginidietrich

      @ellenkstuart YEAH!!

  • Gini, as you know I to need to go to Pinterest rehab. I am obsessed and what drew me in was the visual and creative outlet it offers. It’s easy and relaxing and yet I feel that it provides a little caffeine and inspiration to my own daily brainstorming of ideas. Pinterest has made me wish I had a product or worked for a business that was visually stimulating. My new dream job: Pinterest-inista and I’m currently accepting offers.

    • ginidietrich

      @rachaelseda You’re going to have to fight me for that job!

  • rachaelseda

    @shonali It’s fun to against her but I can’t on this one. I’m OBSESSED w/ Pinterest via @ginidietrich

  • It’s not about Pinterest. The real story is the move toward photo-driven connectivity and content. Pinterest + Instagram + Hipstamatic + larger thumbnail images in G+ (and now Facebook) + facial recognition software = the rise of photography as a core means of curation and expression.

    On Pinterest in particular, not enough attention is paid to the fact that all inks in Pinterest are , and thus pass SEO juice. Unlike Flickr (for example), which does not.

    Companies that have photography or illustrations (or can get them) should be showcasing their best stuff on Pinterest boards, as it’s become another place where customer and prospects spend their time – just like FB, Twitter, YouTube, G+, Linkedin, etc.

    You know what ties all of those places together? They are NOT your website. You have to take the best of what your brand has and chum the water where the fish are, rather than open a bait store located on your .com and hope that fish decide to jump in a car and make a road trip over to your place.

    • ginidietrich

      @JayBaer I could not have said that better myself. Thank you.

    • @JayBaer Jay, I love this line: “You have to take the best of what your brand has and chum the water where the fish are.” It speaks to the core principle behind all of this: understanding the value of unique ‘pools’ (to extend the fishing metaphor a bit. ;)) and what triggers a feeding response (ok, now I’m stretching) .

      From the user side, I’d be interested in seeing stats on PinIt buttons vs. browser extensions in generating new pins.

      • @jasonkonopinski@JayBaer@ginidietrich the one thing Disapora has that I love is their Cubbies app that allows me to mark and curate photos on the net. I guess Pinterest took that into a more social realm. So Jay your view of what we are migrating too is correct,

    • alanbr82

      @JayBaer One thing I can see is Pinterest overload, I am already tiered of seeing all the post and tweets they have become noise. Makes me wonder if it has legs, like a Facebook, Twitter or YouTube.

      • @alanbr82@JayBaer@ginidietrich Overload is something to worry about, for sure. Judiciously applied, I think the social sharing (broadcasting out to Twitter and/or Facebook can be manageable, but I can see how it can easily become noise. If it’s obvious that the bulk of someone’s Tweets are Pinterest shares or Foursquare checkins, I’m 86ing them from my stream.

        Tactically, good copy introducing the Pin is just as valuable as a good leading headline to prompt a click from me (though *who* is doing the pinning is weighted more heavily in my mind). Links presented w/o some context are ignored.

        If there’s one thing that I don’t like about pinterest is that the service doesn’t give me the choice to suck up contacts from other networks – it does it automatically. kristiewells and I were just discussing this the other day.

  • paolabrussels

    @ginidietrich @ThePaulSutton On Pinterest, women share their dreams and desires. Pretty powerful, if you ask me. 🙂

    • ginidietrich

      @paolabrussels I love it!

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  • geoffliving

    I spoke at an event today and asked who is on Pinterest. Every woman under the age of 40-45ish (guessing) raised their hand. Almost no one else did. That’s all I need to know. If my stakeholder is using it, great. If not, great.

    Personally, I can’t stand it. But I wouldn’t let that stop me from achieving a marketing goal.

    • ginidietrich

      @geoffliving It definitely skews more female (as is evidenced by your question this morning). When I speak, I ask the same question and the men always say, “No, but my wife is and she’s addicted.” Between that and my family members (who do NOT use social media) asking me when I was going to get on there is why I think it has sticking power.

      • geoffliving

        @ginidietrich Even my wife Caitlin has heard of it. And she’s a government bureaucrat. Nuf said on that front, for sure.

        • ginidietrich

          @geoffliving So many reasons to love that woman!

        • @geoffliving@ginidietrich Oh great, the government’s gonna take Pinterest over? This is not good.

    • @geoffliving I see that daniel agee fella is on it. Not sure what that says. 😉

      • MSchechter

        @DannyBrowndaniel agee He’s “designy”

  • It is addictive, interesting and fun… marketing potential… maybe, but only until the novelty wears off. Then, it just might have to suffer a sad death. So, I did vote yes… but you should have an option that says… Maybe! 😉

    • ginidietrich

      @Hajra I didn’t do maybe on purpose! I wanted you to have to draw a line in the sand. Bwahahah!

      • @ginidietrich Was than an evil laugh… Man, I should I voted no…

        • ginidietrich

          @Hajra I take it back if you voted yes!

        • @ginidietrich Time for my evil laugh…. Bwahahaha!

          P.S. I did vote yes! Do all the laughs you can!

  • rhappe

    So I really like Pinterest just because. However, I have an actual value-driven use case for you. Just after I started using Pinterest we started a kitchen re-model and I was able to put all the products that I was potentially interested in on one board that I could share with both my designer and my contractor. I shared the board with my husband who could also pin things to the board. As we vetted them, we moved them to a finalist board and my designer had the exact specs for everything he needed. Now… if a marketer had wanted to offer me alternatives at much lower rates or discounts… that would have been great and very useful because it could have been specific and at the point of interest and need.

    • ginidietrich

      @rhappe You know, that is a fantastic idea. How cool if brands could suggest images for you to consider? Or would that be kind of creepy?

      • rhappe

        @ginidietrich well that might be creepy if I hadn’t opted in. I also do a lot of image exercises with my client work… could see using Pinterest for that as well – the ability to share a board would be quite useful.

  • Quintain

    I love Pinterest, and the obssession with it is spreading like wildfire amongst the staff at my agency. My graphic designer goes there for design inspiration and to satisfy her creative cravings. I go there to look for yummy recipes and to save quirky images from blogs I suscribe to. My husband is a gardening fanatic who keeps chickens so he’s using it to save ideas for this summer’s garden. As far as business applications, we’re just beginning to experiment. What I am excited about is the potential to use it when we work on creating new brand identities for clients. We’re currently working on a new logo and will have a dedicated board where we pin ideas or inspiration. Should be interesting to see how/if it facilitates the creative process!

    • ginidietrich

      @Quintain I love, love, love this idea! You can share the boards with your clients through the approval process. I wish we’d had this when we were designing Spin Sucks Pro. What a great idea!

  • bonnie67

    RT @bdorman264 The Pinterest Debate Between Two Friends via @ginidietrich

  • MSchechter

    I’m torn, as a jewelry company (thanks for the mention, btw) I absolutely see the possibilities, but I’m not sure I see the potential (yet). Just like G+, there is no doubt that there is fire there, but we aren’t seeing enough of our customers there yet. Sure we could go fishing for a new Pinterest fanbase, but with limited resources, I’m not sure that’d be the best plan. We’re waiting for now, although we’re certainly supporting retailers like Dan who are doing some awesome stuff there. We’re finally turning our gaze towards G+, not because our customers are there (they aren’t), but because of the search implications. Once the hype dies down (and make no mistake, there is hype right now), it will be interesting to see if it has lasting power. As the rate of adoption of new social sites explodes, so does the churn and we have to be careful with how we spend our energies. At the moment, I see more value in it for our design team than I do our customers.

    • ginidietrich

      @MSchechter You and I agree on the search implications of Google+. I think ALL companies should be using it for SEO by the end of the year.

  • I took onw peek and ran as fast and as far as I could, from the consumer side. The time-suck potential… yeesh. At the same time, I’d definitely recommend it to retail clients.

    • ginidietrich

      @ShakirahDawud Oh for sure. I completely was sucked in during the holidays. Now I spend maybe 15-20 minutes a day on it. But I’ll bet it was 30 hours in a two week period. Good thing I wasn’t working…I might have gotten fired!

  • MikelZaremba

    @jaybaer imagine a small biz uses Pintrest. Uploads photo of product & watermarks with contact info, then it’s “re-pinned.” Good marketing?

    • jaybaer

      @MikelZaremba I don’t see why not. Is it the number 1 tactic for that biz? Of course, no. But I like the angle.

  • megtripp

    It’s funny — as marketers we tend to react to things based on our gut reaction when we first try them out, and how useful they seem to us… before we stop and think about whether or not we’re actually in the right audience for the platform, or whether the current use of the platform will define it in the long term.

    I’ve seen a ton of people say they have no clue why anyone enjoys Pinterest and how purposeless it seems, and on a personal level, that’s understandable — I’m not one to think everyone needs to be on every platform, and you shouldn’t spend valuable time on things or in places you don’t enjoy. I don’t extend much past a handful of channels, myself. But how you feel bout something personally doesn’t denigrate the marketing value it might possess, or the sincere value someone else might find in it by taking a different approach or by considering all the possibilities. And because you’ve tuned it out in disinterest, you might not have your eyes open to any of that. And off the top of my head:*engagement: with folks who pin things from your commerce site: offer them a “post-pin” code for a discount, or feature their styleboard as “fashionista of the day” at your site (thus encouraging them to share the link with friends, and drive traffic to you), or create a board where you subtly repin folks who seem like they might enjoy your wares, so they click through to see what you’re up to. You could even invite loyal customers to be a part of your “community moodboard”, where they share images and ideas they think fit into the ethos of what you produce. *market research. What can’t people get enough of? What colors are they wishing things came in? What trends have they jumped on, and which ones are they ignoring? What items of yours are getting pinned, and which ones never see the light of Pinterest? What are your competitors seeing pop up again and again?*product launches: when a new line or collection comes out, pin items to your “latest!” board so it shows up in the feed of your most Pinteresty customers. They’re more bound to click through to check things out when they’re in a style headspace than they might be when they’re clicking through to-dos in their email, etc.*customer reviews: if you feel like you can handle it, encourage customers to pin up items you produce with their reviews on a special board. And if they have trouble, you can interact with them there and try and turn around a bad shopping experience. You’ll also see other customers suggesting solutions, “I always go a size down in that” or “it looks great with such and such, try that”Anyway, most social networks drive me batty. But I don’t measure their value for my customers according to how much they appeal to me. 😉

    • megtripp

      oops, my bullets didn’t bullet. 🙂

    • @megtripp wow are you being impersonated by nittygriddyblog ?

      I say this a lot. Marketers. VCs. Start up people. tend to come up with things they think we want to use without asking us if we want to use it. That is why 9 in 10 new products fail.

      I crow all the time that per person Facebook isn’t used very much. But take that few minutes per person per day x 800mil and it seems like we are all living there.

      • @HowieSPM@megtrippnittygriddyblog Crap…How did you know chief Alien? 😉

    • ginidietrich

      @megtripp We are totally on the same page! We have lots of manufacturing clients who keep asking us when we’re going to get them on Twitter or Facebook. Um, we’re not. But you darn well bet they’re on Google+ and LinkedIn and YouTube.

      I love these ideas…thank you for sharing them! And I think you do win the nittygriddyblog comment award!

      • @ginidietrich@megtrippnittygriddyblog Hahaha! Yup I think @megtripp is entitle to a nittyGriddy comment trophy ;).

      • @ginidietrich@megtripp Oh…and my dear Aunt Gini…if this post was less than 500 words, then I’m a blonde blue eyed bears fan 😉 lol.

        • ginidietrich

          @Griddy Well, we get 1,000 words allotted because it is two of us. And it was less than 800. So I can loan 200 to you.

        • @ginidietrich LOL! 🙂

  • mdyoder

    For business, I think it’s a matter of having a social media strategy and knowing your audience. If the people you want to engage with are drooling all over themselves for Pinterest, then you better get yourself over to Pinterest and start pinning! 🙂 It really doesn’t matter if we think it’s cool or the best thing since sliced bread. It matters what our clients/target audience thinks.

    • ginidietrich

      @mdyoder EXACTLY!! Amen.

    • Y @mdyoder Yup. And I see no sign that is happening in a way that is going to benefit the community based small businesses I work with. I’ll monitor it and read stuff like this, but until then there are only so many hours in the day for any entrepreneur. Some day it may be a big deal, but … not yet.

      • ginidietrich

        @wabbitoid I shall sell you some of my clones.

  • RachelAnnPoling

    I think Pinterest has great potential for right now, as long as you produce incredibly visual content. Especially for use in connection with Etsy, it’s great for small-time businesses that sell craft and artsy products. For the rest of the world, I think it will be so much bug on a windshield. Pinterest also has potential for non profits and causes. A stimulating image with the right text can go viral with the click of a PinIt button.

    Pinterest is not for everybody, and I for one don’t want to be the bad egg who pins annoying stuff all the time. Know thy audience!

    • ginidietrich

      @RachelAnnPoling Yep! That’s why I say it’s for businesses that have something visual to share. Not forcing it (I run a PR firm – we have nothing visual to show), but being true to your brand.

  • shonali

    @kamichat 🙂

    • kamichat

      @shonali hey lady, happy new year

      • shonali

        @kamichat HNY!!!!! How are you?!

  • I see this the same way I see shoes- no need for more than 4 pairs or platforms. Blog, Twitter, FB, G+.

    As you can see that was a list of four and Spinsterist wasn’t listed because it hit number 5, the official land of unnecessary time sucks. Thus spaketh Dear Abby.

    • @TheJackB Hey Jack will you pleased friend me on Beebo and Badoo please. So we can talk in private of course.

      • @HowieSPM Just as soon as I finish playing on Squeezeme pleaseme, the place where people get social.

    • ginidietrich

      @TheJackB This four pairs of shoes idea is such a bad one. But I like it for the social networks.

      • @ginidietrich C’mon Dietrich, you love the four pair of shoes of idea. Just think of how much space I just created in your closet. Heck you could give the first 982 pairs to Jack Bauer- he’d love you even more for it.

        • ginidietrich

          @TheJackB NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!

  • AHA, Ms. Gini! What happened to “I don’t know if I want to recover/jump on board Jacque’s ‘Pinterest Anonymous’ train?” (Ok, I might be exaggerating a BIT with that last part…)

    P.S. I find it interesting that one little pin I put on my board has now resulted in 146 likes, 7 comments and 480 repins. True, it IS just a photo of a child somehow dangling upside down from a drawer after getting his pants caught on the knob (yeahhhh…), but this demonstrates the power and potential of this quirky social network. Pretty sure that one, wittle pin is giving me a big head, though. Or should I say, I’m getting a PIN head…! (OK, not a solid joke on my part. Apologies…)

    • ginidietrich

      @jacque_PR Oh I have no intention of recovering. I know I have a problem, but that’s just how it’s going to be. #theend

  • ginidietrich

    @AndreaNiosi Woo hoo!

    • AndreaNiosi

      @ginidietrich It has such great mrktg power for bloggers too; and love the emphasis on visual appeal. Often overlooked in socmedia.

  • ginidietrich

    @Tribe2point0 I think I’m winning!

    • Tribe2point0

      @ginidietrich clearly you are the winner! And not just because you Pinned the best guacamole recipe ever!

      • ginidietrich

        @Tribe2point0 That guacamole is soooooooo good. I have some in my fridge right now. It makes me feel good that you like it.

        • Tribe2point0

          @ginidietrich Just bought the ingredients today to make some :)Thank you so much for sharing the recipe!!

  • VIVAssistants

    Hi, Gini! As someone who did not know very much about Pinterest, thank you for the ‘between friends’ discourse…I’ve learned a lot. My initial impression, Pinterest is a nice mix of the social media/sharing styles of Twitter and Flickr with a little Facebook.

    I followed the Pinterest link you provided and first thing out of my mouth…”I didn’t know Gini liked gardening! Cool.” Now there is something else I like about you as a person (being an avid gardener myself) which also leads me to have a greater affinity for you as a businessperson…this is the B2B aspect of Pinterest. Why? Because we all do business with people we like.
    From a B2C perspective, I think the power of Pinterest lies in the seller’s creativity to get people to buy their products or services. Gini has a kitchen renovation board, it shows her taste, her likes/dislikes in color (white with pops of color and teal cupboards), she likes tin ceilings…basically a bit of old world charm with a little rock and roll. If I were a kitchen designer, remodeling company or contractor in her area, maybe I would point Gini in the direction of my board (for more inspiration) and follow-up with a message asking if she would like to see my work.
    Same applies to the food board (by the way…yum!!). Perhaps I offer Classic Italian cooking classes in her city; I would take the opportunity to send her an invitation to my next class. The list goes on and on…However, is it appropriate? At what point is it trolling vs. savvy selling?

    • ginidietrich

      @VIVAssistants Isn’t that fun?!? I LOVE knowing even more about my friends. Things I wouldn’t otherwise know. For instance, I have a cousin who loves the Fourth of July. I did not know this is her favorite holiday before Pinterest. Because it’s not really a topic of conversation, “So what’s your favorite holiday?” (My birthday is, for future reference).

      LOVE seeing you here. I hope you are well!

  • JoyFull_deb

    @ginidietrich You already know that I’m a Pinterest addict!!! When I found it last year, I went bananas!! I’m visual and it definitely appealed to me and my creative side. What I’ve found is that I will see something that “grabs” me & then click through to see if the there is a website or blog that will either explain more, show tutorials or where I might purchase an item. I have an entire board devoted to “paint chips”….wall colors that I love and save. I’m certain that Benjamin Moore or Valspar don’t have a clue that I will be buying their product as a direct result of pins via other folks out in the universe. (that sentence was entirely too long.) I also love the “quietness” of pinning,…not like FB, thank goodness. I see a great advantage for folks that are “selling” whatever, to pin it to a board. I have found wonderful artisans there….and lots of them link back to etsy or their personal blog/website. Yippeee…then I spend more time looking through all of their designs, etc.

    When I first saw dangordon pinning jewelry, I smiled really big & thought, yeh, great idea, Dan.

    Heck, @DannyBrown even has a Pinterst button on his blog, another plus, as I see it.

    And speaking of other sites, has anyone here been to Similar idea but wowza…great interactions between professional architects, landscape architects, interior designers…yada….yada…yada. Check it out & let me know what you think.

    I see the value in both of these, however, since we are discussing Pinterest, I LOVE it!!! I have nothing to gain monetarily , but I sure have & will buy products because of this platform.

    • thanks for pulling me in@JoyFull_deb To speak to Pinterest: People can say it doesn’t have marketing value and that’s fine. We are all entitled to our own opinions and I sure don’t judge anyone for that. To truly answer the question: “Is Pinterest an effective marketing tool’? I’d say you have to ask yourself what type of product are you selling and who you are targeting? I’m selling jewelry. Targeting women over men. So, in my case I’d strongly disagree. It’s actually perfect for me. Pinterest is one of the easiest social sites to market who I’m trying to reach on the web for any of my particular products. I sell a very visual product and when I post to Pinterest I am connecting with my main potential demographic.What more could I ask for? I target people making virtual wish lists in the form of “pin boards”. Things they want. I’ll say it again… Things they want. It might even be a service, an article to a recipe, a bookmark to a cute outfit for their baby, or (in my case) hopefully a nice shiny diamond ring. Maybe not now, maybe not today…. But, these are wish lists in the forms of diaries telling an emotional story in the making. Everyone is selling something. Everyone is wanting something someone is selling. When you sit back and think about it, Pinterest is a pretty darn good visual matchmaker of these two sides of the equation. Throw in hashtags to categorize the pins and they’ve narrowed it down to a niche as opposed to trying to be everything to everyone such as the two major networks everyone reading this probably spends a good amount of time on. Industries known for visual advertising are more likely to benefit from Pinterest. Food, Fashion, Home & Garden come to mind right away. Anything in those categories are going to see the least resistance. That’s not to say someone couldn’t get creative and turn a so called “boring” industry into something fun on Pinterest if executed the right way. Even tech sites such as Mashable and CNET are using Pinterest to generate web traffic.Here are some stats: My website traffic rose 400% during a Pinterest promo I held during the holidays at the end of last year. Traffic continued to stay at 200% up off the pre-promo start date lows and there are now pins of Samuel Gordon Jewelry stuck on various user boards that get repinned well after the contest is over. I now have a small, but growing, community built on Pinterest for myself.

      • JoyFull_deb

        @DanGordon Yipppeee….that’s what I wanted to hear…your website traffic during & after promo. I agree wholeheartedly with everything you stated. I’ve read the comments women leave under one of pins….yeppers, they want to show it to their significant other, boyfriend, etc., because, like me, it WOW’s them. They repin to their particular board and start “following” all of your pins. Happiness….

        Glad that I “pulled you into the convo”…are you subscribed to @ginidietrich blog???? I hope you will be now. Thanks, Dan, for your comments here.

      • ginidietrich

        @DanGordon Did you vote yes, then?!?!

        • @ginidietrich of course! 🙂 I did that before I commented.

    • ginidietrich

      @JoyFull_debdangordon I love that Dan has FANTASTIC taste in watches. You can be sure I will be using him for gifts in the future.

      • @ginidietrich@JoyFull_debdangordon I was looking for them to follow on Pinterest, what’s their name on there, couldn’t find it. Sigh.

        • JoyFull_deb

          @delwilliams Del, if you are looking for me, I’m listed as Deb Bruser and Dan is listed as Daniel Gordon. Hope this helps…

  • DanGordon

    @JoyFull_deb thanks 🙂 responded. I actually had to cut down my response. I got cutoff for “character limit”. sounds about right.

    • JoyFull_deb

      @DanGordon I just read your post….loved it!!!! I responded to your post just now. Thanks, Dan….you #ROCK !!!

  • Um, I just found out that Pinterest is still by invitation only. You aren’t seriously suggesting that there is anything to be gained by using a platform that isn’t even available to the general public yet, are you? Sorry, but entrepreneurs have far better things to do with their time – unless they are in a very strange market that includes a lot of people “into it”.

    • @wabbitoid All the social networks were invitation only at one point. The thing is it’s easy to get one, and think of this, with that invite only in place it has managed to grow leaps and bounds. The thing with being an entrepreneur is that the real ones go where their audience is, it’s that simple. If it is in one of the industries Gini described, they would be silly not to be there.

      • ginidietrich

        @delwilliams@wabbitoid What Del said! (Thank you, Del!)

  • DanGordon

    @ginidietrich gotcha 🙂 voted first thing when I landed on the post.

  • lorenzocaum

    I think Pinterest is still invite-only as it creates a desire for people to join. They are growing quickly. On Hacker News, their was a post about all of these Pinterest “copies” popping up around the interwebs.

    • ginidietrich

      @lorenzocaum Wow! Already?!? Aren’t people funny? Come up with something new instead of copying!

      • KarenARocks

        @ginidietrich@lorenzocaum The copy cats are out there alright – try Pinspire for example. Which is EXACTLY the same as Pinterest (and looks identical). I don’t get it.

        • ginidietrich

          @KarenARocks Shut. Up. I have to go find this.

  • ThePaulSutton

    I have something else to throw into this debate at this juncture (and sorry I’ve now been here to put my side across over the last few hours – I do value sleep and even now it’s only 5am in the UK!).

    So this was raised in a conversation about this debate on Google+. I’d started to wonder whether there was a huge divide in usage of Pinterest across the Atlantic, as all of the stories I’ve been reading about genuine business value and, particularly, massive adoption among ‘the public’ (eg non geeks) simply do not make any sense in a UK context. In the UK there is talk of Pinterest, but this is mostly driven by the hype in the tech/social media blogs – there’s very, very little in the way of people using it for much or understanding why they’re using it if they are! But Gwen Morrison posted this gem, a map of how popular it is around the world: .

    It explains a lot. In the US, Pinterest is the 30th most popular site. In Canada it’s the 74th. And yet in the UK it’s only the 149th. There is traditionally a lag of take up in most social media platforms between the US and the UK, largely because the vast majority come out of the States. (Other than Spotify, which we had for about 2 years before you guys…mwah-ha-haaaaa!) Given this, it’s no wonder that there is such a marked difference between my opinion and that of Miss @ginidietrich

    • belllindsay

      @ThePaulSutton@ginidietrich Phew. Only 74%…? There’s hope for Canada yet!! 🙂

    • ginidietrich

      @ThePaulSutton It IS interesting the divide between the countries. I think this, and your email (which I’ll get to in a bit), are right. We should further explore this.

  • ImranAnwar

    @DaveChaffey I’m in the minority with u on such sites

    • DaveChaffey

      @imrananwar Re: Pinterest – snap = remember how people said Quora was going to change the social world a year ago..

      • ImranAnwar

        @DaveChaffey maybe how these sites will change the world is by helping kill such false hype predictions of changing social/world.

  • AbFab40

    @mrsd_daily Thanks for flagging – like to give these things a try so may well have a play over the weekend and see if the addition strikes!

    • mrsd_daily

      @AbFab40 it’s soothing – think mood boards – my biggest boards are fashion and food – but you can get interior décor tips etc

  • I voted ‘Yes’ – but it’s worth noting that I also though twitter was stupid and would never fly.

    As for Pinterest, I think it’s a mistake to dismiss it’s potential for B2B marketing so readily. The obvious example would be visual communication business… Graphic design, commercial signs, and web design portfolios. And what about office design and decor? Office equipment? Catering? It just requires a little creative thinking.

    • ginidietrich

      @JonAston YOU thought Twitter was stupid?? That’s funny.

  • This debate has already taken place. It’s the debate about whether the horseless carriage will ever take the place of a horse and buggy. I believe the debate has been settled. Pinterest may or may not have legs, but whether it’s actually called Pinterest the virtual bulletin board and the concept of “repinning” will survive. It’s a very comfortable platform for the novice. As for the business looking to turn a a customer into an ambassador, , isn’t that repinning? Some platforms are better fits than others. Time is a limited resource for a business. It’s also a limited resource for a customer. When a business can engage a customer on multiple platforms that business has in fact limited the amount of time that customer can engage the competition. Is it then worth it for the business to invest resources in a new platform? The idea of making a static pronouncement in such a dynamic medium (20 new SM platforms have gone live while I type this comment) is short sighted. Still it does make for a nice post and had this debate taken place last year about a new geotagging platform, the nay might have been right.

    • ginidietrich

      @barryrsilver Did the horseless carriage win?? 🙂

      Yes, of course, you’re right. But don’t use all of your commenting power on this blog post. The FB question of the week airs at noon and you are featured!

    • @barryrsilver You make an interesting point and it’s one that bears repeating, I think: that Pinterest is, in someways, just one example of how content is shifting towards the visual. It can be a huge traffic driver – and I’ll be experimenting with a PinIt button on my blog in short order just to see if it impacts shares on my end.

  • newraycom

    @danielghebert Thanks for the RT and …you’re welcome 🙂

  • Okay…I was thinking I was actually going to dip a toe in after seeing your board. Now I’m on the “waiting list.” Really? Lost my buzz entirely.

    • ginidietrich

      @MimiMeredith Um, I’ll send you an invite right now.

      • @ginidietrich I’m feeling super cool already!

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  • My friends over gavinadv have been using Pinterest for a home design client – check out their newest blog post on the topics:

    • ginidietrich

      @jasonkonopinski gavinadv VERY cool!

  • gavinadv

    @jasonkonopinski thanks for the shout out! Interesting ongoing debate.

    • jasonkonopinski

      @gavinadv You bet. It was a lively debate, to be sure.

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  • Meggie_Lynne

    @JustInTheSouth very interesting debate, coming from a @Pinterest addict!

    • JustInTheSouth

      @Meggie_Lynne Thank you for the tweets over the weekend. Hope that you had a good one.

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  • katecharb

    @Kristinesimpson @pinterest is my new obsession!

  • dibegin

    More duplication. #yay My Pinterest remain blank. MT @Kristinesimpson @katecharb The Pinterest Debate @ginidietrich

    • Kristinesimpson

      @dibegin The only reason I use it is for planning a wedding. Not sure if I would have been drawn in otherwise. However, I am not addicted 😛

      • dibegin

        @kristinesimpson I guess if I had a specific immediate need I’d also find the value.

  • ginidietrich

    @harrietglynn And he’s still not convinced Pinterest rocks

    • harrietglynn

      @ginidietrich It’s rather obvious to the, eh hem, ladies 😉

      • ginidietrich

        @harrietglynn LOL! Yes, yes it is.

  • LimelitePR

    @harrietglynn thanks. Yeah, I saw/read that too #PR #pinterest

  • BrunchGirl

    @rachaelpeli @ginidietrich thanks! Nice meeting you today!

  • ginidietrich

    @rachaelpeli Thank you!

  • candacemountain

    @olalasman I have a new article up on the blog all about marketing with Pinterest:


    Gini …

    I just don’t “get” Pinterest … it isn’t a model that corresponds to anything in my reality AT ALL … and all the “how to use it” articles and videos eventually end up focusing on “cute shoes”, which is not even remotely an interest for me. This is just the “big kid” version of my 11-year-old daughter putting print-outs of pics of Johnny Depp up on her walls … I can’t even think of anything that I’d want to stick on a “board”!

    – B.T.

    • ginidietrich

      @BTRIPP Your’e a boy.

  • MarcAllende

    Pintrest wasn’t made for social bookmarking, it was made for social scrapbooking – just collecting images. If you want bookmarking and a more diverse community, I’d suggest checking out . It looks a lot like Pintrest too

    • ginidietrich

      @MarcAllende I’ve been using it to bookmark blog posts, articles, and case studies. So it may not have launched that way, but it’s certainly being used that way.

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  • MariaPetrescu

    Well, just one example of using Pinterest. I run an interviews website, with several interviews formats (long, short, about startups, about food bloggers, and so on). So after a lot of thinking and attempts to find a grid like template on Tumblr first and a customized one later, we found Pinterest. And we used it, saving the money we would have spent if we asked someone to make it for us, since we needed a page where to show our interviews by format. An archive, if you will, since the website doesn’t have a proper one. So here it is:

    • ginidietrich

      @MariaPetrescu YAY! I’m going to go follow it now!

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  • highaltitudes

    REAL men don’t Pinterest…

    • ginidietrich

       @highaltitudes Puh-shah! They so do!

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