I like to think of social media as a grocery store. When you go “social media shopping,” Facebook is like the friend you bump into at the store, Twitter is the stranger with whom you strike up a conversation, but Pinterest is the store itself, with all its pretty products calling, “Buy me so you can make that perfect dish.”
Since I’ve waved to my friends on Facebook and tweeted minutiae on Twitter, I thought it time to open wide the doors to the Pinterest store. Although I’ve yet to learn about collaborative boards or how to interpret Pinterest analytics, I have discovered a way to make Pinterest into a fun game. PinWoot.
PinWoot is based on the concept of seeds (like currency) which you bank as you like or repin other pins or follow other pinners. When others like, repin, or follow you, they withdraw those seeds you’ve banked. The cool thing is, each person gets to set the price of their seeds. If you aren’t a pinner, this might sound a bit confusing, but it makes sense. You invest in others so they will, in turn, invest in you. This community of pinners share your pins with their followers and, like tweets, your pins can go viral. They don’t have the “friend” restriction of Facebook or the character limitation of Tweeter, although you don’t want to add too many words to describe the image, and many don’t describe at all. Being a writer, though, I can’t resist adding my take on images.
Of course, PinWoot boasts that you can get thousands of followers through their site, and they have a payment program for this very thing. But if you want to put in the elbow grease into liking, repinning, and following to increase your seed bank, you don’t have to spend a cent. So on a weekday last week, I decided to test PinWoot. What I discovered amazed me. Within the course of one day, I experienced these stats:
- Started as a two-month Newbie Pinner with 48 followers
- After one day on-and-off PinWoot, added 45 followers
- Because of increased Pinterest activity, garnered 4 followers
- TOTAL: about 100% increase in one day to 97 followers
My goal was to reach 100 total followers. Almost there. I do have a few tips before PinWooting:
- Keep your total seeds over 100. Otherwise others won’t be able to draw on your account.
- Don’t follow anyone arbitrarily. Review the boards of those you might follow and be sure they have similar interests. PinWoot frowns upon unfollowing.
- Personally invite those who you follow to your boards. I didn’t do this consistently but it paid off when I did. Most followed all or at least one board.
- Be careful about reported scammers when PinWoot indicates them with a warning.
- Don’t like or repin anything that aren’t quality images. You don’t want to ruin your pinning reputation with junk.
- Use the contact/feedback page to vote on issues you or others raise. I’ve suggested that they make it possible to update our boards and a direct way to follow back those who follow us first.
There are a few kinks this new site needs to work out, but overall, it was a positive experience. When I started this “game” I wanted more followers, likes, and pins, for my first purpose of this site, like Facebook and Twitter, was to brand my name and novel. But I’ve learned that it proved to be downright fun–more like games that others (but never me) play on Facebook. Warning–both Pinterest and this “game” can be an addictive time-suck but time invested can lead to more exposure and promotion of your product or ideas. Besides, as a writer, sometimes I need to break from the world of words and want to shop in the visual mega-store of Pinterest.
What has your experience been on Pinterest? Have you spent hours following and unfollowing strangers who aren’t invested in you (like I did for a month), or have you discovered a secret like PinWoot? I would love for you to share your Pinterest experiences.