Today I have a different type of post for you. This was a article review I posted back in February on Pinterest. Since this post the site has blown up with companies and brands trying to get their name out. Take Honda’s “Pintermission,” or Modcloth’s scavenger hunt. Pinterest has proved to be an very effective form of interactive marketing. Many of the observations I made in this post have evolved, which is a statement to how much can happen in four months. Nevertheless, it is an interesting look in to how Pinterest “works” to generate revenue and market ideas.
Here it is:
One of the hottest new social networks attracting attention today is Pinterest.The site is marketed as a way to connect and follow ideas and images as links that you can “pin” to a board. If you find that you enjoy someone else’s interests you can choose to “follow” them and see what they pin to their boards as well.
Recently, Pinterest has been under fire for the way they have been generating revenue. It turns out, when a link is made between the original site and Pinterest the link is modified and tracked, so that Pinterest gets paid for directing traffic to the websites. Although a few blogs and websites have claimed this method calls their authenticity in to question, it was an incredibly smart way to make money and says something about using the site for marketing purposes.
First of all, I don’t expect anything I see on Pinterest to be advertising or marketing for an outside company. Unlike the promoted stories on Twitter or the advertisements on the side bar of Facebook, the way that Pinterest advertises for other websites is not invasive. Also, I get to pick and choose my own interests, instead of being told that I want to know about something. For companies, this just means that their products are going directly to the people who are interested in them. I know that I have bought things that I have seen on Pinterest, and I now follow blogs that I was directed to through the links on this site.
I think as PR students it’s important that we notice this new social network. There are a few lessons we could learn from how this website works. I feel like the success of Pinterest indicates, not shockingly, that people like to be in control of the advertisements presented to them. Websites that have used Pinterest as a marketing tool have reported that it is a factor in getting traffic to their site.