Hi, my name is Barbara and well, I had a bit of a problem…… Let me tell you about how it started.
Last winter I discovered Pinterest by accident through Etsy shop statistics. Etsy Shop Stats are tools that are available to Etsy sellers. Really cool tools, similar to google analytics that examine how customers find and interact with your etsy shop. I spotted Pinterest as a referring link and almost overnight watched it climb and sit solidly in third place, only behind etsy itself and customers typing in my Etsy URL to go directly to my etsy shop. In a very short period of time, THOUSANDS of people from Pinterest alone had come to visit my Etsy shop BMJNYC based on a few photos that strangers had “pinned” (created a live link to my etsy shop) onto their personal pin boards. I had done nothing actively to promote myself. It was just crazy, like manna from heaven.
Under the guise of research, I set out to discover how this amorphous powerhouse of social media worked. I set up my account and immediately got slurped-up into a colorful swirling vortex of cascading images on bottomless pages. Unknowingly, I had stepped into pinterest quicksand and was losing my free will. Hours were lost, mail piled up, my family went hungry and even the dog felt neglected, being left to whimper and cry because he had to pee so badly. My ass was crazy glued to my favorite chair, eyes deadlocked onto my laptop where little pretty pictures dribbled down my screen in a rhythmic flow. In my semi comatose state, I would adeptly re-pin only the most special pictures onto my little pin boards before they disappeared for what felt like sad eternity. I was a mess and this was clearly out of control.
Oddly, my cure came disguised as yet another form of social media. One day by accident I signed onto my pinterest account through Facebook. Little did I realize that for the next few weeks every time I pinned something my excellent taste and sharp intellect would be apparent to everyone I know via my personal newsfeed. Yes, I, who rarely posts onto my Facebook wall because I’m so private was now broadcasting my fondness of bad outfits spotted at Walmart, tips for fighting off ninjas and links to recipes for Tuna Surprise! OMG! I wanted to die.
So, now that I’ve had a little space from this humbling experience and can laugh about it, what did I actually learn? My exaggerated stupidity aside, I think that Pinterest is an interesting mechanism for sharing snippets of information, connecting and branding. Users, who are mostly women with a fondness for hunting and gathering, love the fertile soil for accumulating stuff that doesn’t cost anything or clutter their closets. As a designer/maker, I can’t tell you yet if pinterest has played an important part in my growth. Currently, Green with Envy and Bucolic Setting are two of my most frequently pinned items and were well received pre-pinterest. However, when an image is hot on pinterest it’s raging burning viral hot, a whole new level of hotness. The marketing potential and reach is incredible.
AND yes, I will still play. It’s mindless fun after all. Fortunately I’ve figured out how to dislodge myself from the monster when I need to and Peety my dog is especially grateful for that.
Has Pinterest been a problem for you? Do you think it’s a good marketing tool? Does pinning something make you want to own the real version or are ownership feelings confused by already having the image filed on your personal pin board? If a respected source pins something are you more apt to buy it? Have you ever bought something you discovered on pinterest? Tell me what you think…..
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