Pinterest Idea Boards Offer Distinctive Platform for Thought Leadership

Yes, Pinterest boards are filled with recipes, travel destinations and cool photographs, but they also can be used for thought leadership such as curating the insights and bright ideas from a major conference or extended event.

Yes, Pinterest boards are filled with recipes, travel destinations and cool photographs, but they also can be used for thought leadership such as curating the insights and bright ideas from a major conference or extended event.

Have you ever attended a conference, speech or major event and wished you could share the nuggets of wisdom you gained? Pinterest has an idea for you.

Actually, Pinterest has an idea board for you.

Sporting events or unfolding election results lend themselves to a series of tweets. A single aha moment from a speech can form a solid foundation for a blog post. A funny episode or clever display makes for a popular Facebook or Instagram post. But Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and blogs aren’t as accommodating to a group of insights.

Jessica Lawlor, writing for, points out that most Pinterest users aren’t there to interact with friends and families. They are looking for ideas and tips. Recipes, travel destinations and cool photographs are common, but any kind of content with a long shelf life works well.

Pinterest can provide a visual scrapbook for ideas gathered at a conference or extended event. The idea board can serve as a handy reference tool both for the person pinning as well as for their followers and event sponsors. The idea board, with a wide range of interesting notes in the form of pins, can become a useful tactic in demonstrating thought leadership.

Since note-taking is a modern-day lost art, curating the high points and breath-through moments from events or conferences can be a real value. Pinterest’s board concept is a perfect platform for this kind of content.

In fact, Pinterest has improved its suitability for this kind of content with what it calls group boards, which allow others to add their pins, enriching the overall value of the content and enticing more followers. You also can pin media coverage of the event. Group boards work best with engagement, so it is smart to promote the group board, starting with other conference or event attendees and extending to your associates with an interest in the subject matter.

Another value of Pinterest is its visual orientation. With photos, videos and graphs, Pinterest is great for showing what you mean, which can transform dry conference presentations into lively, visually appealing content.

Pinterest is measurably different than other leading social media platforms, but some of the same rules apply. Original, relevant content counts. Keywords matter. Engagement, through repining and following, is king. Your Pinterest boards need to fit into a thoughtful strategy and connect with your website.

With that in mind, idea boards can be a distinctive way for you to exercise your thought leadership, even for the menial task of taking notes to capture someone else’s bright ideas.


The Right Tool for the Job

We live in the digital era, but that doesn't mean social media platforms such as Twitter can substitute for reliable public opinion instruments.

We live in the digital era, but that doesn't mean social media platforms such as Twitter can substitute for reliable public opinion instruments.

What's trending on Twitter isn't always an accurate reflection of public opinion. A large number of tweets may indicate public interest in a topic or event, but not a full picture of what the public thinks.

This isn't surprising. Twitter is a self-selected social media tool. The body of tweets doesn't need to reflect the demographics of a community, state or constituency. People who tweet on a topic may be more liberal, more conservative, richer or poorer than the public at large. Comments have value, but can't be rendered in quantitative terms the same as public opinion polling.

Quality public opinion polling is centered on a representative sample of who is interviewed. That assures the findings have credibility as a reliable reflection of the group being surveyed, with a slight margin of error.

The breadth and depth of the digital revolution may tempt some to see social media platforms as mirrors of public opinion. They certainly are reflections, but not ones you can totally rely upon to make decisions on messaging, trustworthy spokespeople and effective communication channels. A solid poll is a much better instrument for that.

Twitter conversations can be valuable to assess. For example, tweets can show the emotional charge in an issue or how an issue activates a particular group. The compressed format helps people distill what they feel to a few words, which in effect become sound bites. Tweets also can show the range of reactions.

In the world of measurement, there is room for evaluation of platforms such as Twitter. But it is important to recognize the right tool for the job. When you need an accurate picture of how a constituency views an issue, a poll with a representative sample is a much better choice.

The Content King's Valuable Jester

Content is king — but if you want the king to get noticed for more than sitting on a throne, you better have an entourage.

One of the best court jesters is the infographic — a playful, colorful way to package your content.

Crowdtap, a social influence marketing platform, drew attention by 1) newsjacking the World Cup and 2) sharing an infographic with interesting content about World Cup viewers based on a survey. 

Titled "The Social Side of the World Cup," the infographic led with a statistic — 72.4 percent of viewers will be active on social media during the games. More than 40 percent expect to post on Facebook, nearly 35 percent will tweet and 13 percent will write a blog.

Perhaps of more interest to brands and their marketers is the next tier of information contained in the Infographic — 47 percent will post something about their favorite team or player, 42 percent will say something about their favorite ad and 30 percent will comment about their least favorite ads. Crowdtap's survey also indicated 52 percent of viewers are more likely to like or follow a brand after the World Cup.

140 Characters, Six Conversation Categories

Fourteen percent of the U.S. population uses Twitter to talk about almost everything. But Pew Research says all those 140-character tweets break down into six groups.

Much like in real life, there is the Divided group, consisting of a lot of politically polarized tweeting that rely on different sources of information by people who rarely intersect online — and maybe in real life.

Other groups include brand clusters, people who comment on brands, but have virtually no interaction with each other, and tight crowds, a type of online insider who tweets at live events to a usually well-defined group of followers and friends.

Community clusters occur when groups comment on topics that spill over into the domain of other groups, such as might have occurred when the United Nations released its report on human rights abuses in North Korea, angering a wide swatch of people.

Broadcast networks involve media types and bloggers getting out the word on their stories or blogs or retweeting stories and blogs from people they follow. This parallels the news aggregator role Twitter has absorbed in its evolution. 

Support networks are where large companies monitor for consumer complaints, then respond quickly with the goal of turning an online gripe into a compliment.

Content Marketing Continues Upswing

B2B marketers are relying more on content marketing to build brand awareness, attract sales leads, retain customers and demonstrate thought leadership.Business-to-business content marketing continues on the upswing, with more than 90 percent of marketers saying they rely on content marketing and spend a third of their budgets on it.

LinkedIn has eclipsed Twitter as the most popular distribution channel for marketing-related content, but B2B marketers are using all distribution channels — from events to videos — more than ever. Tactics with the sharpest gain in usage are research reports, videos and mobile content.

These are some of the recent findings from a survey of B2B marketers by the Content Marketing Institute and MarketingProfs.

Social media tops the list of content marketing distribution, followed closely by posting articles on your own website, e-letters and blogs. The tactic with the best confidence ratings was in-person events. Two-thirds of B2B marketers express confidence in events, with just slightly less confidence in case studies and webinars. Even though social media is the most used tactic in content marketing, only half of B2B marketer respondents expressed confidence in its ability to deliver.

The Political Consumer

Before each party's national convention, The Washington Post created a pair of graphs showing the consumer habits of Democrats and Republicans. Click on image to view larger version.Political point of view extends far beyond whether you support gay marriage or across-the-board tax cuts. That point of view apparently influences other parts of life, including consumption habits.

The Washington Post has developed a pair of visual graphs depicting Democratic and Republican consumers, relying on a Scarborough Research survey that sampled 200,000 U.S. adults.

Some of the findings are obvious enough — a lot more Republicans watch Fox News and eat at Chik-fil-A than Democrats; more Democrats contribute to environmental groups and shop at Kmart than Republicans. After that the findings get interesting and maybe even odd.

Click on image to view larger version. Image was created by The Washington Post.For example, more Democrats than Republicans buy organic products, while more Republicans are likely to eat at a steakhouse than Democrats. Almost three times more Republicans hunt compared to Democrats and Democratic Twitter users outnumber Republicans.

Twice as many Democrats than Republicans are very interested in the NBA. Three times as many Republicans than Democrats own a powerboat.

Almost equal numbers of Democrats and Republicans are covered by Medicare and do yoga. Republican dog owners outnumber their Democratic pup lovers, but more Democrats than Republicans frequent casinos.

One key piece of information from the survey — don't bug Republicans on college football Saturdays and don't interrupt Democrats during the Grammy Awards.

Read the graphs for more interesting comparisons and contrasts.