I know I’m not alone in my addiction. Only 6 months ago, Pinterest was at the 11.7 unique monthly users mark. I can only imagine what it is now.
Brands have definitely taken note of this, and are popping up all over the Pinterestsphere to pin and interact with their fans in the space, since for a lot of brands, that’s where their fans are spending a lot of their time online. A lot of brands are using the platform really well. My personal favorite? Chobani. Not only do they subtly yet effectively integrate their product into pins, but they inject their branding wonderfully – a humorous and fun personality of “Nothing But Good.” Example: The Board “You So Crafty.” They also have a whole Pinterest board devoted to Instagram, called “Insta-piration.” A great way to blend social networks.
As more and more brands join Pinterest, I’m noticing what has happened with Twitter and Facebook – how do they differentiate themselves and stand out? How do they stay fresh and relevant? The answer for some: “live-pinning.” Years back when Twitter was taking off, live-tweeting was really popular to make followers feel like they were really “there” to engage and follow along with certain events. The practice is still alive and thriving today. Just follow a hashtag and you can follow the live tweets.
One of the first brands to live-pin was Oscar de la Renta live-pinning their bridal fashion show back in the spring of 2012. I loved the innovation, since this practice hadn’t really been done yet. But, was it a success?
Looking back at the board of their live pins, it seems they received a lot of re-pins and likes on their new bridal collection. Why? I don’t think it was necessarily for the LIVE aspect, but for the fact that it was bridal. Search your own Pinterest network feed right now, and its infiltrated with bridal pins. Brides-to-be (and girls who aren’t even engaged) are pinning away to plan their weddings. It fits the demographic of who’s pinning on Pinterest. Even if you can’t afford it, it can inspire your gown, which Pinterest is all about. Inspiration.
Verdict: Live-pin is a win.
Then in June, a particular pin caught my eye from Better Homes and Gardens, which caused me to question it:
After the event that weekend, I evaluated the situation. In addition to their board that they live-pinned to, they live-tweeted:
Great to see them live-tweeting, too. And using photos. However, they were also live-tweeting just commentary from the event without photos, which is great for a quick description about the event without being forced to include a photo:
I think Better Homes and Gardens does an awesome job on Pinterest. So many great boards on-point with what Pinterest is all about – inspiring visuals. But the Chill & Grill live-pins fell flat to me. The pins did not garner much engagement with fans. A few likes and re-pins, but to me, if they would have stuck with Twitter, it would have been more effective. That’s because there are visuals AND text-only to live-tweet about. A great combination to watch and interact with, and easy to follow along with the #chillandgrill hashtag.
Pins of food with recipes would have worked really well with the content being pinned on Pinterest, but then there were photos of some of the BHG editors. With all due respect to these editors, I personally don’t want to pin them casually posing for a photo. If I’m pinning a picture of a person, it’s either iconic, or it’s because I love something about what they’re wearing, their makeup or hairdo, etc. An editor just posing for an event picture? Not pin-worthy.
Verdict: Live-pin is a flop.
My final example comes from other magazine sources. I’m seeing some of these pages live-pinning breaking celeb news. Miley Cyrus got a new tattoo? The pin doesn’t show it, but is an image of her linking over to the story. I don’t think many would pin that. However, if it were a picture of the tattoo itself, that might get some pin love from tattoo fans inspired by her ink. Here’s an example from InStyle:
I get that they are promoting an article and website traffic, but again, why would I pin this image of Lea Michelle? I’d rather pin images of her actual finished photos from the shoot than behind the scenes. Take a look at the pins on Pinterest, and the images are polished and beautiful. I don’t want the guy in the photo shown above in my pin! I want just Lea looking gorgeous.
Pinterest isn’t necessarily about right.this.second. As I said, it’s about inspiration and ideas. I can pin something that was posted a year ago because I find it useful or inspiring, not because it’s in the now. If I need breaking news or live information, I will go to Twitter or a website to get what I need. Then I can decide if I want to pin something from that.
The verdict overall? I think the live aspect should be left to Twitter (especially since Twitter can allow images), and Pinterest can be after the fact. Even if the live-pinning is relevant to your followers, capture the most engaging images at the event, then decide what to pin later. I bet you’ll get more results that way.
So what do you think – am I missing something? Live-pinning: On-point or pointless?