Pinterest – The Art Deco of the Social Space

We are trying so hard…so hard to find a way to cram all of our short lived pre-conceived notions into this perplexing visual space. Pinterest intrigues us, fascinates us, and allows us to touch the visual cues that we once allowed technology to overshadow.

Have you walked through an art gallery, finding yourself lost in a see of visual stories positioned vertically and horizontally for you to ponder. Have you found yourself in this art gallery stopping to gaze and then find yourself conversing with another on-looker.

What makes us vertically scroll the horizontally decked board of visual cues that we call Pinterest. What makes us stop and look a little longer at someone’s daily art? What makes us want to engage a new set of friends that allow us to connect in a different language.

Pictures have a special place is our visual hearts…to explore, share, and gaze. They allow us to dream, cry, laugh, wonder, and explore just a little bit.

Wikipedia defines art deco:

“At its best, art deco represented elegance, glamour, functionality and modernity…Although many design movements have political or philosophical beginnings or intentions, art deco was purely decorative.”

Yes…I would have to agree. Now, this is a romantic view of this new social technology…one that has spread across the social space like a fire storm. It has made us wonder why it is now the third largest social network. It has also made us wonder how it creates such rich SEO and digital connection for blogs and online retail outlets. It also makes us wonder if the marketers are going to take the art deco out of the visual exploration.

I don’t know about you, but I have chosen carefully this time. I have chosen which boards to follow, which person to follow, and eagerly un-follow people that do not bring something interesting, innovative, and new to my stream of images.  Pintest has become for me the art deco of the social space. My Pinterest stream is one of “elegance, glamour, functionality, and modernity.”

As I sit in marketing meetings, discussion strategy after strategy how to leverage this explosion of paint and color dominated by female artists…I wonder if Pinterest can be quantified.

Well…this is what I know if we marketers are going to try to figure out this social canvas.

1) Users communicate strictly through visual cues. Yes…we find an image to save or share and we pin it to a board that fits the respective category. From birthday wishes, favorite Porsche’s, most intriguing tattoos, cake decorations, and even decorations for that new room…we have visual categories to segment these images. Each image that inspires us might inspire others to think, ponder, share, re-pin, or even comment. What we might interpret and categorize a 356 Bathtub Porsche as “Vintage Cars”…that image might also be re-pinned and categorized as the “Childhood Memories.” We communicate through visual cues…cues that spark emotion and memories.

2) You cannot use the same social strategy used with other social outlets. Pinterest has another human emotion built upon those visual connections of emotions. They say a picture is worth a 1000 words, well each image encompasses those words and releases us from the burden to explain it other than just pinning it.

3) Think visually and imagine how people would share art. If you are really trying to figure out to leverage Pinterest in your social strategy…you have to think beyond the digital connections. You have to think past the how to get people to click and find your contest or campaign. You have to think…what images are going to inspire people to stop and look for just a bit. What will make someone stop scrolling and look at the visual image you posted. What does that image communicate and how will it inspire them to take the next step.

4) Are you marketing or are you inspiring people to think visually. Think of your favorite photos, images, drawings, fonts, colors…what makes you stop and take notice. How can you design visual content so it can be pinned to connect with individuals in a different way. If you are a realtor, why just post pictures of a house…that is why you have MLS and your home website. Why not post pictures of those homes that inspires those buyers to see a residence as his/her residence (well mainly her residence). What visual details about that house will inspire someone to take notice and click. Think…it is more that a shot of the master bedroom or bath, how about shots of fixtures and moldings that represent the construction detail.

Think visually…think about social through the visual lens of an artist sharing his/her favorite artwork. If you are interested in the Psychology of Pinterest, here is an interesting post: http://luckierethinktank.com/2011/12/the-psychology-behind-pinterest/

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