I had a very interesting conversation about Pinterest this evening and seeing as it’s at the forefront, well was pre- $1bn deal with Facebook & Instagram, of most marketing professionals’ minds I figure why not delve into some notable basics. If you’re in marketing, slightly lost (read: loose generalization), and would like some tips to help your company make the most of this quirky photo pinning site, jump on board the pinterest express.
Why Pinterest is Nifty:
1. Virtual cork board = cool. 2. Capture pictures to a clean format and cross post them to multiple platforms. Ease of use and cool factor, hell yes. 3. Ability to showcase your own work should you not be concerned with losing ownership. Yep, basic but, the cork board formatting keeps it pretty rad. 4. The bookmarklet feature = crazy amount of cool points earned. It’s like playing the game Operation only with digital photos. Click, extract, zap to board!
Don’t have time to send an email to your parents once your vacation photos are finally all uploaded to your computer? That’s okay. Just pin other peoples’ images of places that could be where you were, name a few boards, and you’re off running. See? Endless opportunities, even for the faint of social media heart.
Why Pinterest can be Painful:
It’s another social site. The legal jargon is awkward, confusing (when is not?), and has apparently garnered enough fervent annoyance to form a class action lawsuit. We can ‘like’ a photo, sure. But, re-pin it on a board in a site owned by you? Well, I’ll be a humdinger, you best keep your grimy mitts outta that bag of widgets. Wait, what if I I screenshot a copyrighted image from Flickr, save it, upload it to Facebook, and showcase it w/o cred to the photog? Oh snap, yep, that will surely temple you into “don’t do it” territory.
Annoyed by this? Confused? Perhaps. See that’s why I like to keep my photos where I can see them. On 35mm negatives. Except when I’m taking an iPhone pic of myself making a kissy face in my bathroom mirror, definitely have to post as many of those as possible. For the majority of us, however; we take digital photos and we want to share them (if we aren’t trying to sell ’em) and that makes these sites rather sticky. So just be careful. Think twice, and if your gut says “uh uh” -don’t pin it.
See Mom? That’s why Pinterest sucks. It confuses many of us, it alarms most brands, and it is now seriously popular.
Here’s how you can make Pinterest not turn into a Pin-test of pushing the copyright boundaries:
1. Re-pin the crap that’s already floating around the ether (that doesn’t have a blatant watermark or scream “someone else’s livelihood”), to start. There’s enough there to keep you busy for a century so don’t throw that “but it’s about being unique” garbage at me.
2. Glance over the legal jabber. Have a friend do it, or if you’re wealthy, make use of the retainer the family has with in-house legal counsel. Understand what it’s about. Hell, just read the about section. You don’t buy a nail gun and not read the instructions. If it can hurt you, read the damn owner’s manual.
3. Title your boards with meaningful phrases. You know, like Blanchard’s: Zombie Apocalypse weaponry, or my Mom’s: All the Boats I’ve Rocked. This is marketing 101 folks.
4. If you’re with a company, reiterate: with a company, and your actionable items now include adding Pinterest photos, shares, and tags, know WHY the organization is there to start. You don’t go to a destination and then go “hmph, what do I do here?”. No. You go someplace with a goal in mind. Stop opening useless accounts just because other people are. Streamline your efforts and do shit that’s meaningful to your organization. DO SHIT THAT IS MEANINGFUL TO YOUR ORGANIZATION IN THE SOCIAL SPACE. Sorry, I’m not yelling, I rarely do. That sentence is highly necessary. If your time isn’t spent in meaningful ways than call me. I see the guys on the corner of my street with cardboard signs that would be happy to trade places with you for a day. Hell, an hour.
This is my last point. It matters. Acknowledge it and then do something: Pictures speak to every human being on the face of this human, earthen, blue green mass of revolving energy. Basic level: pictures carry weight of unspoken words. At the complex level: pictures represent the thoughts, beliefs, and ideals of people or groups of people. Pin with pride, not the wave of the popular tide. Especially if you’re with a branded company.