Pinterest makes me buy things.

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PartnerComm designer Delia Jalomo weighs in on the right way to push your brand through Pinterest.

You know, I’ve never been a true Martha Stewart-type. I eat tuna straight out of the pouch sometimes for dinner and glitter is not allowed in my household.

But in late September I was surfing Pinterest on a Friday evening and saw something I decided I absolutely could not live without making: metallic spray-painted pumpkins.

And with the abundance of miniature pumpkins at every supermarket in town, it couldn’t seem easier. And, the act of painting them really was. But the act of shopping for them? OK let me talk to you about how Pinterest really works:

You see something you really like. Then, because you’re so interested in say, spray-painting decorative gourds, you search for similar ideas and wind up with so many ways to dress up a pumpkin you start to create a plan to make this thing happen. This will involve shopping. I knew at one point I’d need to buy:

  1. A can of metallic spray paint
  2. Painter’s tape (for taping off stems to protect them from Brilliant Copper 65 or whatever)
  3. Miniature pumpkins
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Of course that didn’t happen.

I was walking through the craft store with two spray cans in hand when I discovered that Martha Stewart made of line of metallic acrylic paints — of which there were far more colors to choose.

An hour later I left with 2 cans of spray paint, 3 squeeze bottles of acrylic paint, and a pack of small paintbrushes for my project. Probably overkill, but I justified this with the reasoning that I remembered I already had painter’s tape at home. Even Steven. On the way out I picked up a set of tiny canvases because they were cute. I stopped by the grocery store for the pumpkins and I was set.

So, in total my list probably cost about $10 in theory. But in reality I wound up spending more than I’m proud to admit.

And, this is the deal with Pinterest. There was a lot of buzz about it being the next big thing in social media for business, then the social media blogs and business columns began to claim that it wasn’t. Ever since, businesses have been kind of in a limbo about whether or not they should get on the Pin wagon. Should you? Well, this is the thing:

Pinterest doesn’t sell products — it sells ideas. But ideas inspire people to buy things.

Maybe the key to selling a product on Pinterest lies not in selling the product itself, but in creating Pinnable content that shows people how to use the product. Maybe this product has multiple uses, or can be used in an unconventional way.

Oh no, I'd LOVE to have glue AND glitter on my hands at around the same point in time. 

Oh no, I'd LOVE to have glue AND glitter on my hands at around the same point in time. 

If you go back to my glitterphobia, it stands to reason that I would NOT enjoy making Martha Stewart’s famous glittered pumpkins. But, they were all over Pinterest this fall, and someone had the idea to spray paint them instead. I wound up at the craft store buying a product by Martha Stewart that I didn’t even know existed until I was on my way out. And what else did i buy? A whole bunch of other stuff I didn’t need.

And, I’ll probably do it again in the not so distant future. The holidays are coming up after all, and I’m sure Pinterest will convince me I need more craft supplies.

Social Media Is Here — Just Embrace It

OK, stop the intervention, people. For real. I don’t have a problem with social media techniques. Yeah, I checked in at Molokini Crater yesterday afternoon – but isn’t that what Facebook is for? If it’s not the ultimate use of social media, then explain this:

Why is there even a Facebook checkpoint at Molokini Crater then?

Boosh.

Did you hear that? It’s the crashing sound of a technology wave blowing your mind. Or, maybe it’s a real wave. But that’s neither here nor there.

You know, this joint really looks better in pictures.

You know, this joint really looks better in pictures.

I’m one of those “super users” that treats my Facebook feed like my personal AP wire. I broadcast, I read other people’s news, I turn off news that’s not interesting and tune in to news that’s entertaining. How else should I keep up with the people I love, their starter marriages and then subsequent divorces? Or read in real time what a group of friends is doing about a social or environmental cause? Or organize a protest against something horrible and unethical? A newspaper? Phffssh.

Word on the street is that daily news is becoming obsolete. But, aren’t we talking information now more than ever?

The 711 people on my friends list know I’m a cat enthusiast (but mostly just when they’re wearing clothing), a cartoon-watcher and that I live somewhere in North Texas. But what they probably don’t know is my background with daily news at a large metropolitan newspaper, and my fascination with the changing face of communication. I work in a company full of employee communication experts. Communication is important to me.

Word on the street is that daily news is becoming obsolete. But, aren’t we talking information now more than ever? And more importantly – isn’t there some way you or your business can capitalize on this?

The brown booby. I hope that's, uh, how you spell that.

The brown booby. I hope that's, uh, how you spell that.

I went solo on my luxury cruise to the Crater yesterday, but I somehow managed to have an engaging mobile conversation with friends all over the world about something called a “booby” (which to my friend’s grandpa’s chagrin, turned out to be a bird), uploaded a bunch of photos and made people interested in visiting the crater because my life is awesome. They asked about what cruise I took and what the crater experience was like. I think by the time I was done the state of Hawaii should have paid me for driving possible tourism.

When I came home, out of curiosity I looked at my check-in to see how Molokini Crater is classified at their check-in point. Answer? A business. Neat! I thought it was a park or something. And it probably is. In the very least it’s a natural wonder. Which I’m sure is something people talk about anyway, but their check-in provided a forum for 20 people from different parts of the world in completely different walks of life to gather and discuss and potentially spend money. Can Facebook or any other type of social media do this for you? Possibly.

Create a checkpoint and invite me over. An open bar helps.