I was Pinterest When Pinterest Wasn’t Cool

If you’re old enough to remember Barbara “I Was Country When Country Wasn’t Cool” Mandrell and her lovely sisters, you’re probably old enough to have engaged in one of my favorite holiday pastimes as a child – studying the Sears catalog. The day it arrived in the mailbox each fall was a day my sister and I eagerly awaited. We had our pens ready and we fought over who would get to look at the thick book with thin, shiny pages first. Circling all the toys we hoped Santa would bring us was just plain fun. We knew we wouldn’t get all of those toys (although we got plenty). We certainly didn’t need them. It was pure fantasy. What fun it would be, we imagined, to wear one of those Mary Lou Retton leotards while dressing up our Cabbage Patch dolls and making masterpieces on our Light Brights. The catalog served its purpose. It let our parents know in no uncertain terms what we’d soon be telling the red-suited man at the mall about.

When the fun of Christmas ended, my friends and I used the catalog to decorate our imaginary dream homes. We’d fill notebooks listing our selections for each room of the house – comforters and bed skirts, lamps and even tacky wall paper (it was the 80s). Let’s just say our interior design careers peaked early.

“I took a lot of kidding because I didn’t fit in. Now look at everybody trying to be what I was then.” – Barbara Mandrell

But today, designing and virtually proclaiming the lifestyle we’d like to have is just a click away on Pinterest. Although I primarily use Pinterest to save recipes, I have to admit there is some appeal to assembling pin boards with ideas for a luxurious home, a perfectly organized office or the craft projects we’d like to do with our kids someday.

Some of my favorite retailers have capitalized on this fantasy, offering prizes (usually shopping sprees) to customers who pin their products to a contest-themed Pinterest board. It’s a smart move on their part — driving consumers to their website where we study items we’d like to own and capture them on a social sharing site we return to often.

If you manage a business, whether it is b2c or b2b, consider what visual assets you have and how you can make Pinterest a part of your social media mix and content marketing strategy.

Now, just for fun…


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