More Than a Pretty Picture

Some brands are turning to Pinterest to build their online communities by offering arresting visual displays, from recipes to cool hangouts in Italy.With Facebook fatigue and a puzzling new algorithm, some people are ready to step back a pace on social media. Maybe they should simply redirect their energies to a different platform — Pinterest. 

Its user numbers aren't as gaudy as Facebook's, but its visual interface is more focused and appealing, especially to women — who make up 80 percent of the people who "pin" on Pinterest.

Facebook allows you to upload photos to your feed, but Pinterest enables you to create boards centered on subject matter, whether it's recipes involving Nilla Wafers or the splendors of Paris.

Nilla Wafers has centered a campaign to reconnect with consumers on Pinterest. Its packaging encourages purchasers or store browsers to check out visually inspiring pins with recipes and holiday ideas. The pins became a vehicle to drive clicks on the Mondelelez Snackworks website.

The vertically designed recipes evoked the sense of looking at an actual cookbook and attracted attention based on that familiarity. They aimed at people who like to cook, a great demographic match with the majority of pinners on the platform. Recipes are one of the social network's most popular forms of content.

Sharing travel pictures or scenes from a vacation also fit well with Pinterest. One blogger used Pinterest to illustrate a series of hikes she recommended. Fodor's Travel showcased "The Ultimate Paris." A traveler documented her 24 hours in Madrid. Pinterest's map feature can help travelers plan a day of sightseeing. Most pinners have a bucket list travel board and welcome the addition of images of beautiful vistas.

The winning virtue in Pinterest is good art. A great picture, a colorful map or an offbeat perspective grabs attention and leads the eye into a stroll through your online gallery. 

"Vision boards" are an interesting, aspirational use of Pinterest. People or brands create boards that focus on an experience you want to have. They provide visual stimulation — both online and in hard-copy form — to propel you to realize your vision, such as starting a new business, writing a book, dancing all night or hanging out in Italy.

So before you give up on social media, give Pinterest a try. It's a lot more than a pretty picture.