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Pinsanity

February 26, 2012
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Is the the title peaking your pinterest? If you aren’t attempting to figure out the new Facebook timeline, so there is such a thing as a “right” cover photo? and you aren’t tweeting about how you misplaced your dignity somewhere at the frat house the night before, then you are definitely meticulously scanning and creating elaborate pin boards for yourself on Pinterest in a concerted effort to visually display what you are passionate about.

If you live under a rock, you probably didn’t think my title was that interesting because you 1. haven’t heard of pinterest and 2. also don’t know about Jeremy Lin, the asian star child making tiger mothers across the nation reconsider their investment in violin lessons.  So if you live under a rock, I am not going to explain pinterest to you because it would be pointless (pin-tless?).

For the new pinners out there, you may be wondering what is the point? (pin-t?) of all this? Why is Pinterest gaining so much traction, and what use is it beyond procrastination and a more efficient way to glance at food porn and plan my wedding simultaneously?

I have a theory. Like all social media platforms, when there is an opportunity to express one’s individuality, there is also a hidden opportunity for self promotion. My theory is that pinterest is unique in that you are creating a visual image/reputation for yourself that is beyond your more exclusive digital networks of Facebook.  In the same way that Twitter is an opportunity to self promote whether as an aggregator of ideas or the source of ideas, Pinterest is an opportunity to visually self promote, and in some ways, it sends a stronger message than the 140 character limit on Twitter.

An example:

You are designing this board on Pinterest, lets call it “travel”.  So you are going to put up a bunch of nice pictures of places that you would like to travel to.  So you start perusing your friends boards, maybe you go to the most popular boards, then you find yourself on a strangers much cooler, more developed travel board.  So you start thinking to yourself, wow this person must be really well rounded because they want to go to so many places.  Then you extrapolate, this person must be really cool….so you wander to their board about fashion.  Suddenly you are obsessed with this person’s interests. I wonder what kind of kitchen they want….and you are sucked into the Pinterest black hole of a stranger who you you have convinced yourself is  cooler version of you.

So you repin absolutely everything. Now you are looking preeetttyyyy interesting (pinteresting?) if you do say so yourself.

And the cycle continues. If you are lucky, people will buy into your boards and start following your Pinterests and you become Pinterest’s next Jane Wang (retiree that casually has thousands of followers).

Do you see where I am going with this? Pinterest is like the LinkedIn of gauging how interesting you are with the masses. Its like the high school cafeteria except the food looks better and the clothes are free.

Keeping that in mind, whats the best way to self promote?

1.Instead of repinning, start finding your own unique stuff to pin on your boards, your profile will get more facetime with strangers.  The more strangers that visit your boards, the better.

2. Get really specific with your boards.  So you are into dessert? Don’t do a “dessert” board….just go HAM on making a board strictly devoted to Nutella based desserts.  You will access a niche, and your boards will spread like wildfire.

3. Invite your friends (I mean, that is a given right? I just thought I would shout out to the geezers out there)

4. There is definitely a way to look like a sociopath on Pinterest.  Don’t be that person with boards that are a) devoted to really weird things like sock monkeys or really emo quote posters and memes. and b) the girl that appears to have her entire wedding planned out down to the way you plan to fold your napkins. Don’t display your hand ladies, keep the wedding obsession to yourself, or in a journal, or maybe when you are actually engaged. 

So think before you pin. get pinning. be cool, and maybe your future boss will follow you someday making the interview process that much easier because….well, frankly you are just a whole lot cooler that him.

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