In researching the initial concept behind Pinterest, I believe it was primarily designed as a social media tool that allows people to connect through sharing personal or public internet images they can easily and quickly “pin” to their page’s subject “boards.” And quite honestly, I do believe it was initially geared towards or at least favored by stay-home doctors’ and bankers’ wives, soccer moms, hobbyists, dreamers, etc.
Regardless of its inception, small businesses are now using it to sell or draw attention to their mom-and-pop-shopped, home-manufactured “widgets.” Will anyone get rich quick? Probably not quickly, but it’s too early yet to measure the returns on their investment, which is free (as long as the pinning doesn’t become addicting, time equaling money). As far as its effectiveness, remember that Twitter and Facebook seemed to exist only as an excuse for high school students NOT to do their homework or get to their next class on time. Now look at how businesses are using both.
For service industries, such as music performance, it’s a little more difficult to see Pinterest’s potential usefulness, but I do believe it is there. What can using it hurt? It’s free, and once the boards are in place, it’s almost effortless – just a matter of pinning (sharing) images and videos, by the way. Does your band have a video currently on YouTube? Do you have promotional images of your band or logo? Then toss them up there! Why not?! Someone who normally may not see your band WILL now see it, even if he or she doesn’t “re-pin” the image or video. Boast your band! Create a board that has logos of the clubs you’ve played in, or want to play in. Make a board of your band’s influences. Make another board for your merchandising! Pictures are eye-catching. Pinterest could create for you a wordless resume in images for your band. I find the possibilities intriguing, a picture to me being worth more than a thousand words. And even in saying that, each image has a space for a “description.”
Additionally, once developed, Pinterest could become quite valuable. Anything could potentially become “the next big thing.” The public couldn’t live without MySpace and Friendster, and now they are both graveyards. Everything is transient. If books, magazines and CDs can die off as they are presently doing, so can Facebook, YouTube and music downloading (in its current form). More than anything, if people are in fact flocking to Pinterest in waves, then take advantage of it!
I like Pinterest if only for one reason: publicity. It’s useful to a band, like with Twitter. Just today, I got an email conformation that a specific venue I have been trying to get the Mad Poets to play in is now following us on Twitter. Meaningless? Maybe…but maybe not. I do know this: Someone – because of their affiliation in some capacity with that venue, who is obviously working for that venue – has now seen the name, “The Mad Poets.” That’s great! We are a band that structures its processes in building our following a lot like how the Grateful Dead did: one fan at a time. As far as Pinterest goes, five people whose names I don’t recognize have already “re-pinned” some of our Mad Poets images (automated confirmations, including the name of the “pinner” are emailed). We’ve only had our account up with Pinterest for a couple of days! One last question I pose to you: Can your band suffer from too many people being made aware of its name?!
For a musician or band not to use any and every promotional resource available to them, especially ones that are free, just because they can’t see the potential worth of that resource, is just being short-sighted! ALWAYS think outside of the box in ALL that you do, especially when it comes to promoting yourself and your music!