Pinterest: Google but better?

Pinterest: Google but better?

We’ve been blogging a lot about Pinterest here at Journalista HQ. Partly as it’s so addictive but mainly as, for me, it’s the first social media channel that does something entirely different from Facebook.

Like all the best inventions, Pinterest performs a task that I was already doing but does it much, much better. My wallet, Moleskine notebook, handbag pockets and sometimes even jean pockets are stuffed full of pages ripped out of magazines, newspapers and leaflets. They comprise pictures, quotes, websites, products and concepts that I like and want to record and share. My dream house has always been designed with a massive cork board on the study wall to capture these clippings and link them all together.

Now with Pinterest I can save trees and pocket space by doing this virtually. As I read more and more magazines, papers and marketing materials on my iPad I can clip them digitally (by taking a screen shot) and post them directly onto my virtual pinboard, saving them for future reference and sharing them with others. No more having to post ripped out recipes from magazines as my grandma used to do to my mum years ago. My colleague Lorna and I even have a shared cheesecake recipe pin board, maybe it should be for interesting PR campaigns instead – we’ll work up to that one!

But most powerfully, Pinterest doesn’t just enable you to capture your own findings and share them. It helps you find other people’s precious clippings as well.

Unlike Google images, where pictures are collated from across a random collection of all the world’s information, Pinterest requires a bit more love. So the pictures you find are caringly labelled by others like yourself who only post precious things that they want to save and share. The 48-hour wait between signing up to Pinterest and having an account reinforces this ‘love’ relationship and I hope that Pinterest protects this. The careful guarding of the Pinterest community means that the process of cutting through the dirge of SEO’d crap is vastly more efficient than in other search filters, such as Google.

I got a sense of this when I first started using Pinterest but it came to life most powerfully yesterday when it put me on the right path to finding the wedding that suited my fiancee and I.

I’m planning to get married in Hawaii next September. Google “weddings in Hawaii” and all you get is a list of naff venues and cheesy locations, hotels and ad sites. Not the retro-inspired and relaxed north-shore affair that we’re looking for. I’ve been going down the Google route for a few months but earlier this week I used Pinterest for my search. By using pictures instead of words to direct my search I was able to cut through the chaff much quicker and refine the results to my personal taste, which I can’t quite put into words yet as it’s all about the visuals. I came across a beautiful collection of pictures, in an Instagram style and was able to follow the links from these pins to a website where I posted a query asking for some assistance in planning my wedding. Today I got a lovely response and a link to the wedding planner who created this wedding and links to the photographers, florists and venue they used. Sorted. Not that I’ll copy their wedding in full – but it gives me the bounce point I needed to get in touch with the right people. Those beyond the sugar-crusted floral explosions in a hotel lobby.

This personal experience showed me that the opportunities of using Pinterest as a more refined search tool are vast. As a new but swiftly growing entrant to the social media mix, early adopters can pursue a massive market advantage for very little investment. For companies selling products to consumers, the benefits of a a free shop window to your retail site are obvious. But service and knowledge-based businesses have an enormous amount to gain from investing in a strong presence on the site as well. Pinterest offers companies and professionals the opportunity to brand themselves in a fresh, visual and engaging way.

The CEO of the live environment company Allium Opus has used the site to capture inspiring images that represent him and his attitude to the industry. His collection of pins says more about his style and approach to growing the seed of an idea into a worldwide live event than a marketing blurb ever could. The Chartered Institute of Professional Relations is also using the site to better connect to their members with shared images of inspiring campaigns, creative inspiration and advice.

The potential for Pinterest is endless and here at Journalista we’re continuing to explore the opportunities it offers from branding, ideas-generation and concept-creation through to revenue generation. If you’d like to work with us to explore this further or have any other insights into using this site please get in touch!

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A blend of marketing advice, PR know-how and topical news commentary courtesy of the Journalista team. We run successful campaigns and communications strategies for a range of clients including health, communities and social care. Stay up to date with our bloggers by subscribing to our RSS feed or blog bulletin.

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