Now that Pinterest is officially the third most popular social network outside of Facebook and Twitter, it’s clear that it’s not only a platform with staying power, but one that’s continually evolving and shaping our conversations. At first, it was a fun way to look at pretty pictures and collect ideas for parties, outfits, home décor and fitness workouts that may or may not ever be realized. And for most of us (myself included), it still is. But now, a new super-user breed has emerged.
The Huffington Post writes, “Any ol' Pinterest user can post a pretty picture and call it a day. But creating a carefully-curated Pinterest page full of well-tailored boards, original content, and lots of interesting pins is a skill very few pinners have truly mastered.” These users have the most popular Pinterest pages by number of followers – the top “super-pinner” at the moment has 2,824,047 followers! It kind of makes you wonder how they became these super-users, doesn’t it? Is it really their amazing pin-curation skills? Or do they have 2.8MM friends who want to know what they’re looking at? Perhaps they are tapping into these 11 tools to help you be a “better pinner” (which is a whole other tangent we could go on here if we had space/time).
But aside from the individual pages that rocket some people into super-user territory, of course brands are tapping into the power of Pinterest, too. One activation that I found particularly interesting (partly because of the amazing photos) is by First Choice, a leading UK travel company. First choice created a contest called “Conflict of Pinterest” which, aside from the contest itself, is resulting in a beautifully curated, crowd-sourced pin board. The contest is asking users to vote for the country they think is the “most beautiful country in the world” via this cool infographic in an effort to create a desire to travel in general, but also change the way people perceive the idea of a "vacation.” If you look at most advertising for vacations (and most Pinterest boards on the subject), you’ll see images of pristine beaches, beautiful sunsets and amazing resorts. But First Choice is trying to raise awareness around the many other types of travel people can do beyond the resort. Understanding the actual culture of a place, what the people do and eat and how they live can be just as rewarding, if not more so, than lying on a sandy beach. Now that’s not to say that beach vacations are bad. But the point is that there is more, and First Choice wants people to know that.
To enter the contest, you can post on Twitter (an often successful, but not earth-shattering concept) or Pinterest, which is what really caught my eye about this (note that Facebook didn’t even make the cut). Users pin the “Conflict of Pinterest” infographic to a new Pinterest board they create named after the country they are voting for, and then fill in the board with beautiful pictures of that country. As stated by First Choice, “boards will be judged based on their curation, beauty, and evocation of the spirit of a place. Judges reserve the right to choose based on their own opinions.” So the Pinterest portion of this contest actually takes thoughtfulness and effort, as opposed to dropping your name in a bucket, and is completely subjective based on the judges’ tastes (Twitter is a random drawing). We’ve seen this concept with video contest submissions before, but Pinterest is opening up a whole new marketing concept with the idea of pin board submissions. With the incredible rise in popularity of Pinterest, I bet we’ll see a rise in this type of marketing campaign as well!