Friday, 1 March 2013

Looking for some 'Pinspiration'?

I have a new string to my bow. I am now a bona fide ‘Pinterest Pro’, in that I set up and manage Pinterest accounts for organisations.

I admit on the surface Pinterest looks to many like a load of pretty pictures of clothes you’ll never wear, recipes you’ll never cook and abs you’ll never achieve!! But I love it.
What would Minnie do?
And, I’m not the only one. Pinterest is having a growth spurt – last December stats showed its growth was up almost 40-fold in just six months. This means its fan base has developed almost 5 times faster than that of sites such as Google and Twitter. In fact it’s now the third most popular social networking site, behind Twitter and Facebook.

Pinterest works like a virtual pin board. Once you have an account you set up your own boards and pin images or videos to them, either from a website or by uploading an image you have on your phone or PC. Generally your boards are topic-based – like plans for your kid’s next birthday party. Any pin on Pinterest can be repined by others using the site, and all pins link back to their source, which means your pin can go ‘viral’! You can follow other pinners, maybe your friends, or complete strangers who share your interests. There is also the option to ‘like’ a pin or comment on it.
Barbie could choose an Action Man...
A massive majority (97%!) of Pinterest users are female, and the site is way ahead of the competition when it comes to converting pinners to purchasers (59% of Pinterest users have purchased an item they saw on Pinterest). It’s basically marketing gold!

But more than that – Pinterest is fun! It’s like shopping without leaving your house and the ensuing credit card bill, it can give ideas on interiors without first filling your house with glossy magazines, it can make you laugh and make you cry. You can plan, dream and motivate yourself.

My first Pinterest ‘client’ is a dog breed organization – The Hungarian Vizsla Club – a not-for-profit group that exists to ensure those that are considering buying a puppy or dog of this breed know what to expect, find a reputable breeder and care for that dog correctly throughout its life. It also runs a welfare section that will take in vizslas that can no longer stay with owners. It will pay vet bills and care for that dog until rehoming is possible. This helps take the strain off national charities; that are inundated with abandoned and abused animals.

Through the Pinterest account I am managing for the Club, I hope to ensure people buy healthy pups from breeders following appropriate guidelines and really understand what a vizsla needs in terms of care, exercise and environment. Sure, there are pretty pictures and jokes, but they lead people back to the Club as a point of contact. Sadly, puppy farmers often advertise successfully via the web, and I hope this helps to offset their influence online.

With these thoughts in my mind, this week’s creative writing project is a short story for an anthology that is accepting submissions on the way the lives of humans and animals intersect. It’s a work in progress at this point, but focusses on the healing affects rescue dogs can have on those that adopt them – and in this case – vice versa. My open-hearted, dog-obsessed elder daughter is the inspiration for the little girl in the tale who truly loves her new pet.

If you haven’t already set up a Pinterest account, maybe now is the time? Let me know what your board might cover in the comment box below, the more offbeat the better. Matryoshka? Interspecies buddying? Street art? If you build it, I will come…


  1. Oh just SOME of my 80+ boards, ha. :) YES, I absolutely love's such a source of inspiration.

    street art:
    little ones:
    new and old:

    1. Excellent - I love it. I'm really hoping the UK get into it as much as the US.

    2. I'm following you now!

      I'm also running this board:
      for an art mag based in Brighton.

  2. Fab blog, V, and this post has me thinking business....

    Is managing a Pinterest account for a biz very time consuming? Is it something beyond posting a clip and asking friends to like it/repin? I want to help my brother sell a product he has created (which is gangbusters in parts of the U.S.), but he's not yet on Pinterest. What's the thinking on the best way to use Pinterest -- worth investing a lot of time? Or just worth posting on the site to see what comes of it?


  3. On one level setting up a Pinterest account is easy. But using Pinterest effectively is an art! It's not enough to stick your wares up and hope the sales roll in (though it's a good place to start since it's becoming more popular than Facebook and members of Pinterest are online for about an hour or more each day giving you plenty of selling time!).

    What's really important is to provide added value to your pins, so you are giving something for free - be it good advice, other leads, general info your client base is likely to be interested in. You want to establish your brand/group/product as a market leader, you want to be 'in the know'. Your base product is just the starting point.

    You can also build a community of customers - making that connection a bot more 'real'. That's the sort of thing website content providers kill for.

    And in some cases people are actually using Pinterest as a direct shop front too.

    Check out these links for further ideas/advice:

    And of course, you can always follow my Pinterest board, where I stick any interesting articles I come across...