Pinterest’s place in social media

posted by Rylee Maxwell

Like any social site, Pinterest was instantly popular for the media-savvy and the avid image-sharers. It also appealed to anyone looking for a good new recipe or fashion statement. 


Many businesses jumped on it as well, adding Pinterest boards to their already impressive social media presence. Companies like the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and Mashable use the site. Even Drake’s own Think Magazine has Pinterest boards displaying photographs from featured stories.

But what real purpose does it serve? What does it do for a company? What does it do for journalists? 

An Inc. article advised caution. While Poynter points out that Pinterest can highlight content or showcase events, once the initial glamour of pinning has faded, how often do even self-acclaimed addicts visit the site? Once the boards are full, Pinterest serves as more of a library to browse than a place to seek out new information.

Unlike Twitter and Facebook, which are heavily used to share information, Pinterest’s main usage for members is creating multiple boards — a sort of online scrapbook of all the things members want to remember, create, or just lol at.

What do you think? Would the image-heavy setting of Pinterest diminish feature value? When does having a presence on every social media site become too much?

8 responses to “Pinterest’s place in social media

  1. Personally I think whether Pinterest is valuable depends on the company. I work for a company that relies on images to sell handmade goods. Pinterest is a bit part of what we do. Images do a lot more to inspire a person to make or buy an item than words do, in my opinion. I don’t necessarily think anyone can have too much of a social media presence. The more a company’s name is out there the more trafic the company drives to its site.

  2. I agree with Rachel that it purely depends on the company. Those companies whose audience enjoys crafting and travel, like we talked about with Midwest Living, would benefit from having a strong presence on Pinterest. Now New York Times? I’m not really seeing the appeal there. I think the NYT works best on social media websites like Twitter where they can get news stories out quickly and keep readers up to date. Updating a board on Pinterest takes some figuring out, and to be honest I’m not sure if the appeal to Pinterest is still there. Some people I’ve talked to have grown tired of endless repins.

  3. I don’t think it is possible for a company to have too much social media presence. The more we see an image of that company or product the more we are familiar with it and can identify it or even want to buy it.
    As for the use of Pinterest, I used to look at it every day before I went to bed but now since my boards are full I only look at it when I need to. For instance when I need some photography ideas or a recipe. Before my boards were full I would simply go to browse but now it seems as though I don’t have time.
    I think Pinterest can help a company but it depends on what sort of company it is. For a health insurance company presence on Pinterest would do almost nothing, but for a gardening, photography, tattooing business it could drive a lot of traffic because pictures would help show case their art/ services.

  4. I don’t think that Pinterest diminishes feature value. I think Pinterest is not an ideal sight for story or company promotion because the content falls victim to the “out of sight, out of mind” scenario. I think the reason Pinterest is not as useful for company promotion or the spread of news is that it does not generated a string of readers or corporation supporters. Magazines are ideal because generally one magazine subscription reaches many more than one viewer. Pinterest briefly catches the attention of the pin viewer but doesn’t generate much follow through.
    Companies need to model their social media strategy based on their audience and the audience they are looking to connect with. Companies also need to actively maintain their presence. If a company’s mission does not coincide with the social media sites and/or they cannot maintain all of their sights, it should consider a more effective way to use social media.

  5. I agree with Raquel, a company can never be overly submerged in social media. But I also agree with Rachel when it comes to Pinterest it depends on the company and its target audience. Although I don’t believe this image dependent social media outlet should be the center of a companies social media strategy.

    The blog post challenged how effective Pinterest can be after boards are filled, but I know from experience that even over loaded boards can be engaging.
    I also work for a company who heavily relies on Pinterest to reach and grow their audience. Not all of the boards I manage are a hit but one in particular draws an audience every Monday. The “Hottest is Modest” board draws new and old followers to see the latest postings of celebrities in red carpet dresses. Out of 5 celebrity pinned photos one is not a modest and that is the one the receives the most comments, while other pinned photos receive several likes. It’s a strategy the company I work for has established and one that seems to be working.

    As far a features are concerned, because audiences are visually driven. Pinterest can be a great way to draw people in to your writing through the photos you pin. Just make sure you have a wonderful photographer whose photos are captivating enough for the audience to make that extra click that links to your feature.

  6. I think it’s a good idea for a company to have as many social media platforms as they can to get the word out about themselves. I agree that it depends on the company when it comes to Pinterest though. Personally, I don’t even have a Pinterest. I’m sure I would be addicted to it like everyone else if I did have one, which is one of the reasons I have never made one. I would rather get information on Twitter and Facebook, but I think that when it comes to images Pinterest is a great spot for companies to market themselves. I think of fashion magazines like Cosmo or Glamour using Pinterest to their advantage. They can share images of the fashion they are reporting on faster than if they put up a link to the image on Twitter. People are usually visual, so Pinterest is probably a great place to check out new pictures of what someone is interested in, but maybe not the best place to get loads of information.

  7. Personally, I think Pintrest is more of a browsing or image library than a source for new content or information. Because even non-members (like me) can scroll through pictures and categories to find fun ideas and inspiration, the platform doesn’t necessitate engagement on a deeper level like other social media sites. I agree with others saying that Pintrest success depends on the company and what’s being marketed. That’s why I was surprised to see that the New York Times and Wall Street Journal have a Pintrest presence. I’m not sure what kind of content they promote, but I’ll have to do a little research.

    Honestly, overall, I think Pintrest serves as a space to get ideas, but not necessarily in relation to the original source. Most people will say “I saw this photo on Pintrest” not “I saw this link on Pintrest to a New York Times photo”, so emphasizing that Pintrest has in a way become it’s own, all-emcompassing brand. I’d be interested to see what the click-though stats are from the site to see if it’s really helping build brands.

  8. I have never really been on Pinterest because it all seems just seems like a picture book to me. I like interactive websites. So I definitely see where the idea that it serves as a scrapbook would fit in. For some companies, visually based ones like food, I can see where that would fit in, but for a lot I don’t think it would be very useful.

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