I’ve been watching the hype build around Pinterest over the last couple of months with interest (excuse the pun). I imagine you’ve already come across it. You may have already have signed up for the service.
I never like to assume, but if I had to, I’d imagine it was because you read something claiming it was the ‘next big thing’ rather than someone using the service and singing its praises. That’s the way I came across the service, there’s been a tidal wave of marketing blogs explaining to you how you can integrate it into your marketing strategy. Even we’re guilty at SiteVisibility, including it as P in our ongoing A-Z of SEO.
In this article I’m not going to predict the success or failure of the site. I’ve not got a good track record in that area. For example I once predicted Pownce was going to be bigger than Twitter. I bet you’d forgotten about Pownce hadn’t you? Instead I’m going to talk a bit about why the ‘social media marketing industry’ (which I’m a consenting member of) wants there to be a constant stream of ‘next big things’ even if nothing ultimately comes of them.
Have you ever seen a social media presentation with a slide along the lines of the below?
I bet you have – it’s practically the law when putting a deck together: you have to include one of these logo-pukes. Why? It’s about power and showing off; it’s saying “look how knowledgeable I am, I know about all these services which you haven’t heard of. That’s why I’m qualified to talk about social media because I could find a rainbow colour spiral with the Quora logo wonkily cut and pasted on it.”
I bet as we speak there are people constructing a Frankenstein clip-art Pinterest logo amalgams.
The whole world of social media marketing relies on the idea that there’s an elite few who have some kind of secret knowledge that mere mortals could never acquire. The truth? Really it’s made up of people who have a copy of Powerpoint and follow Mashable on Twitter. Pinterest plays into that narrative. Long-gone are the days where you can ask an audience ‘so who’s got a Twitter Account?’ and only a few hands go up. Now to make the audience feel like a Luddite you’ve got to ask about Pinterest.
This movement is great news for the Gurus: you don’t have to worry about the nitty gritty of what to do with social media once you’ve run an obligatory Facebook Competition. Instead you’ve got to try and come up with a Pinterest Strategy. All the time new services are drawing attention of social media magpies people are not concentrating on forcing through the dip on the social networks they have already invested in.
So I’m not saying Pinterest won’t take off, I kind of hope it does. I’m saying unless you aim of your marketing campaign is to get noticed by the trade-press you’re wasting your time reading about Pinterest. Take the campaigns and the accounts you’ve already got and do something amazing with them. Don’t treat them like a gym membership where you use them religiously for six weeks only to never follow through. Social media isn’t just about buzz words like engagement, relationships and other fuzzy words. It’s also about follow-through, commitment and sticking with it.