Do you remember when you were younger, the times before phones, email or instant messaging? Before you could set detailed reminders on your phone or sync all your calenders so you never miss an appointment? How did we remember anything? Notes. Notes to ourselves, notes to our families, nothing more than a little scrap piece of paper to say “Don’t forget to feed the dog” or “Dentist appointment Monday at 11”. And the pinboard organised these. Kept them in one place so they wouldn’t get lost and so appointments could be easily checked. Maybe not as efficient as a smart phone, but it definitely did its job.
But we don’t need it so much anymore. Not in the physical sense anyway. We have phones and tablets and computers that can do all our organising and do all the reminding. But, like everything else, the Pin board has moved to the web in the form of Pinterest.com. And, judging from the success of the website, pin boards have never been so popular.
So what exactly is Pinterest? Well it’s a virtual pin board. A site where people can pin pictures or videos that they see on the internet, they can be categorised and kept together. A pin board can be anything from favourite books to wish lists to favourite sports teams. Any picture can be pinned. If you see something someone else has pinned, you can repin it to your own board and keep it with your items. It’s all about the visual and it’s all about sharing.
Let’s talk business. First off some industries may think they can’t ‘be visual’, especially service industries. But you can, you just have to think outside the box. Some companies are pinning ‘how to guides’ for their products or info graphics. While their product may not make the prettiest picture, the information can be given and presented visually.
Pinterest is also great for referrals. Every picture links back to the website it came from, so put the picture on your site first, and then pin it from there. And don’t forget to add your URL to the description box, people can see where it came from. At the moment, Pinterest drives more referral traffic than LinkedIn, Google+ and Youtube combined. Users spend an average of 72 minutes browsing pins and using the site, to put that into perspective Facebook users spend an average of 45 minutes on the site. And Pinterest is open; boards are available to everybody from the home page, if you put in the price of a product, you will also feature on the gifts page so double the exposure for your brand.
Pin boards always served us well, they kept all the important notes and reminders we needed before technology took over. But the pin board is making its come back online with thanks to Pinterest!