The Perils of Pinterest

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Ah–the hazards of “doing” social media for work…what’s just fun and games for regular people gets the fun totally sucked out of it when it’s part of your job. Welcome to my love/hate relationship with Pinterest.

I started using it for fun a few months ago and I was just like any other Pinterest-obsessed female: pinning recipes and house pictures and all kinds of cute stuff. Then I realized ASHA members were using it a ton, and started using it in a business context….and that was the end of the fun.

Here are a few things about Pinterest that drive me crazy when using it in a business context:

  •  “Following” count doesn’t work–Pinterest’s follower counter counts by people, not boards. If you’re managing an org’s Pinterest account, you probably want to follow by boards, not people, as you’re probably interested in just one vertical, not every person’s every board. The result is that you can spend literally hours finding and following boards–only to never have your “following” number never go up. Worse yet, you can follow all those boards, only to refresh your screen and have them all show as not followed…but since the counter doesn’t work you don’t actually know whether you’re following them or not.
  • Glitchy as hell–Yes, the site is still in beta, but it’s still frustrating to have it only work some of the time. You go to a web page that has an image you want to pin. You copy the url and click “add pin” from Pinterest, only to get “no large images found.” Sigh. Then you use the “Pin It” button on your toolbar and, voila, there’s the image. Except sometimes not. Welcome to Pinterest, the site that works correctly maybe half the time. Not great odds if you’re investing time and resources on an org’s account. 
  • Did I Already Pin This?–If there ever were a first world problem, I realize it is this might be it, but when you’re pinning for an org on a certain topic, it can sometimes be really hard to remember whether or not you’ve already pinned something. I’d “pin” it on me just being senile, but I’ve heard the same complaint from others so I know I’m not crazy.

Those are my main gripes with Pinterest–but I know there are more, so I reached out to my friend Heidi Kay, the Pinterest “power user” profiled here on Socialfish a few months ago. Heidi is a partner at PediaStaff, a a staffing firm that specializes in recruiting and placing pediatric therapists, and has grown PediaStaff’s Pinterest following to over 15,000 with her incredibly detailed boards of everything from specific therapy activities to Pinterest tips and tricks (I totally recommend this board for some awesome tips). Here are a few of Heidi’s Pinterest pet peeves:

  • You can’t move pins in bulk to a new board; instead you have to do it manually, which is time-intensive and just a pain.
  • You can’t organize pins within a board. If you pinned something months back but want new followers to see it, it would be nice to be able to re-order pins.
  • Messaging is gone. Apparently you used to be able to message followers; now you can’t. Would be nice for brands to be able to thank people for pinning their stuff, or to thank people for following.
  • Search leaves a lot to be desired. When you have 15,000 followers, you want to be able to do stuff like search which followers have a certain keyword in their boards or follow and unfollow by keyword.

Aside from Heidi and my pet peeves, what other issues have you noticed using Pinterest in a business context?

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