A new social networking site has recently found its way into the hearts of Barrington business owners and individuals of all ages. Pinterest is now the third most popular social network on the web, behind Facebook and Twitter. That’s according to a 2012 digital marketing trend report recently released by marketing service Experian. If you spend time on social media sites, it’s hard not to notice that the popularity of Pinterest seems to be growing at warp-speed right here in Barrington.
Pinterest is a pinboard-style social photo sharing website that allows users to create theme-based image collections of favorite events, interests, hobbies and more. People use the tool to plan parties, save recipes and collect pictures of things like favorite books, hairstyles, fashions, home decor or ideas for crafts and other do-it-yourself projects.
We’ve hopped on board the Pinterest bandwagon here at 365Barrington.com. Every post we publish has a little “Pin-it” button by the title so you can add our images to your own Pinboards. If you’re new to Pinterest, please join us because we’re just getting started, too. You can find and follow our Pinterest pages at Pinterest.com/365Barrington and you’ll see all of our pins to date at Pinterest.com/365Barrington/pins.
We love Pinterest because the highly visual service is FREE, it’s easy to learn, the possibilities are endless and the Barrington business community is getting on board, big time. So we decided to catch up with five local Pinners to find out how they’re using this hot new tool…
Barrington Area Library
The Barrington Area Library has been creating their pinboards since March and have a growing number of followers on their various community-themed pages. Karen McBride, the library’s public information manager, filled us in on how BAL uses Pinterest:
365Barrington: Why did the BAL create its own Pinterest page?
Karen: Anything that’s new online comes to our attention because it’s such a big part of what we do now. We are moving away from traditional library resources to more online resources. Pinterest was getting a lot of buzz and we were getting excited about it because we were already using the site personally. A small group of us got together and had a conversation about how we could use this for the library and it seemed like there were so many exciting applications for it.
365Barrington: What kind of things do you pin?
Karen: As an example, something that people always ask librarians is “what are you reading right now?” So, two of the pin boards are“What Adult Services is Reading Now,”and “What Youth Services is Reading Now.”
Also, now that we are digitizing history resources, Pinterest is a great place to share those photos. And they are getting a lot of views! It’s great because those pictures would otherwise just sit there. Pinterest gives them an audience.
The Barrington Area Library is so passionate about Pinterest, they’re hosting a Pinterest class tomorrow night, Thursday June 7th, from 7 to 8 p.m. There is no cost to sign up for this computer class and you can CLICK HERE to register. You can find and follow the library’s pins at Pinterest.com/BALibrary.
We talked to Angelina Owner Katie Kuempel about how she uses Pinterest to help promote the merchandise in her popular downtown Barrington boutique and were interested to learn, among other things, that it sometimes serves as the inspiration for her shop’s artful and ever-changing window displays!
365Barrington: How do you use Pinterest to promote your boutique?
Katie: I use it to show new products and items from the store that we have always loved. We have an “Angelina Style” pinboard too, where we pin other things that we like that aren’t necessarily in the store.
365Barrington: Why did you decide to create a Pinterest account specifically for your shop, Angelina?
Katie: I started using it personally to get ideas for displays, which was perfect because we are always trying to put together creative displays in the store and in the window. Social networking in general is becoming very visual. It’s all about pictures and I think we’re very visual people. You look online or in magazines and, if you see something that’s interesting, you click and read on. Even Facebook has become very visual and the new Facebook app for iphone is all pictures now. There are barely any status updates! That’s what social networking is moving towards.
You can find and follow Angelina’s pins at Pinterest.com/ShopAngelina.
Pasquesi Home & Garden
Lisa Pasquesi, marketing manager at Pasquesi Home & Garden, told us that she decided to create a Pinterest presence for the business because of its quick, yet effective marketing capabilities.
365Barrington: Why did Pasquesi Home & Garden decide to join Pinterest?
Lisa: We just launched the page a couple of weeks ago. I had been reading blogs about social media and read a lot about how fast Pinterest was growing, so I thouight it would be an important presence for our business. Our goal is not only to promote products we sell, but to also pin things we see from the web that can give people inspiration.
365Barrington: What’s your favorite part about the website?
Lisa: I think it’s easy to use, easy to pin things and I think it gives people a different perspective. Even though we are posting some of the products from our business, we are also posting things that we don’t sell that still relate to our business.
You can find and follow Pasquesi Home and Garden’s pins at Pinterest/Pasquesis.
Owner Gina Mahony clued us in on how and why Abernook, an online keepsake gift store (with a pickup location at 127 E Main Street in Barrington), started pinning.
365Barrington: What drove Abernook to create a Pinterest account?
Gina: We saw that Pinterest was becoming more and more popular about five months ago and we like to be part of the growing trends, so we tested it out. After a while we started seeing that people had pinned our items and were visiting our site.
365Barrington: How does Abernook use the site?
Gina: We try to pin things from other area businesses that we like or are familiar with. Our store is based on gifts by occassion, and our boards are set up like that. For instance, we pin religious gifts, birthday gifts, unique packaging ideas and we like to pin food because we are all women here who get hungry! And if we’re on Pinterest and we see something yummy from a restaurant or a recipe we like, we pin it.
You can find and follow Abernook’s pins at Pinterest.com/Abernook.
TT Patton owner, Theresa Patton talked to us a bit about how she set up TTP’s personal and inspirational Pinterest page and how she uses it to share information about the custom invitations and stationery, unique journals, fine writing instruments, artistic greeting cards and elegant writing papers she sells in her shop.
365 Barrington: How do you use Pinterest for TTP?
Theresa: We use it in various ways—It’s a combination of a personal page and a business page, so sometimes I pin things that inspire me that are relevent to the business, and sometimes I pin things that are actually sold by TTPatton. There have been a couple of times where people have come up to me and said “I saw that on Pinterest,” after looking at the page.
365Barrington: Got any clever techniques you’d like to share?
Theresa: Occasionally I’ll use things from some of the products in different ways so people can actually see the product’s application. But sometimes my pins are purely personal.
You can find and follow TT Patton’s pins at Pinterest.com/TTPatton.
Those familiar with Pinterest may know that there’s a wait of approximately two to three days after you sign up before you can start using it, unless you’ve received an emailed invite from a friend. That’s probably because Pinterest has acquired 10 million unique visitors per month faster than any other company-owned website.
Looks to us like Pinterest has potential to be whatever you make of it—whether it be a fun marketing tool, a site for personal expression…or both. Happy Pinning!
About the Author
We’re excited to introduce you to local writer, Laura Pavin, who will be contributing stories at 365Barrington.com, starting this spring. Laura is a quick-response news and feature writer with a keen eye for human interest happenings in Barrington. She’s totally on top of the local social networking scene and you can follow her Tweets by clicking HERE. One of our favorite things about Laura is that she’s a recent graduate of the University of Illinois in Champaign/Urbana. I*L*L – I*N*I ! To learn more about Laura’s background and the stories she writes for local news publications, visit her website at LauraPavin.Wordpress.com.