By Rhiannon Butlin
Social Media Week took place in London last week and during that time Pinterest offered a talk called, Anti-Social: Why Pinterest is All About The Personal Experience. Fortunately I had a man on the ground ready to give the 411 on what makes this platform so unusual and how this can inform consumer understanding.
Back in the 18th century, long before don’t tell the bride and contouring, youtube tutorials, girls got their kicks from gluing bits of paper onto crap they found around the house. It was called ‘decoupage’ and it was The S***.
Two-hundred years later. Two dimensional floral arrangements and be-ribboned kittens have been replaced by blow-drying tips and ‘overnight oats’ recipes. Enter Pinterest.
But what does this all have to do with Marc, and more importantly, what does it have to do with Marc’s trousers?
Pinterest is a social networking concept which provides unique insight into consumer behaviour. Why? Because it’s not a social network. Pinterest describe themselves as a ‘thought catalog’. ‘Pinners’, unlike ‘facebookers’*, or ‘grammers’, do not use a public filter. Instead, we are left with an intimate view of our subject. One which can inform us on how consumers plan**.
The pinner forgoes the immediacy that seems to dominate the age we live in, instead often choosing to plan important life events, weeks, months and even years in advance. Pinterest can predict trends much earlier than if we were to simply look at sales date. Which brings me to the profiling exercise we all took part in. It didn’t even occur to me to consider Pinterest as a social media form which could contribute to a consumer profile. And yet, the nature of the format can illuminate a consumer profile, Pinterest is a form used by planners***, by people undergoing a considerable life change**** and by people who make considered decisions when buying.
So maybe next time I’m writing a profile for Claire, a recently engaged 27 yr old with a fondness for tangerine callalilys, or Toni, 39, who’s husband has finally given the okay on redecorating the front room, I might give Pinterest a thought. And Marc’s trousers? Well, I may have lied about the relevance of Marc’s trousers.
*is this a word?
**’plan’ is a key word when it comes to Pinterest, Halloween starts trending in July. *** See!
**** something which is a crucial catalyst for new buying behaviour.
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