Shall we agree to some simple rules? Shall we be open, honest and right in your face at all times? You’re up for that? Nice. Here comes: Pinterest. It’s not that big of a deal. Honestly, do not get overly excited. From my high perch here at Porter Novelli Towers, it looks like every couple of weeks, some new social media channel tackles the world, and is rewriting history. Myspace. Google Wave. Facebook. Twitter. Google+. Foursquare. Gowalla. Quora. Pinterest. Yammer. Path. Heatmap. Instagram. Yelp.
Some are long forgotten now, others thrive, and some hang on for dear life. But every couple of weeks we go through the hype cycle of yet another network, yet another way of sharing content and precious pieces of highly private life. It’s a bit like the Beatles coming to town: Giggles, groupies, T-shirts and lots of screaming. If you were a Foursquare skeptic, you cannot miss this concert: go Pinterest, go, woohoo!
But it does not crank up my adrenaline a bit. Oh, I love playing with the new tools. I love redoing my profile, linking it, trying it… nagging about it, and most often, throwing it away. Only the strong tools survive. But I’m getting immune to the excitement of the new shiny tool. Show me what is behind it: is it location savvy? A content curator? A picture sharing tool? An interaction platform? An online virtual Rolodex? Is it a steak knife? Or a Swiss Army knife? What can I use the tool for?
Because that’s what they are, all those shiny apps: they are social tools. I got an offer on Twitter from a GuruNinja, to establish my Pinterest strategy. My Highly Personalized Own Pinterest Strategy… for 24,000 dollars. Now I am a consultant myself: A good strategy is worth investing a ton of money in. But… shall we agree to some simple rules? Shall we be open, honest and right in your face at all times? You’re up for that? Ok, here comes: Pinterest is not a strategy, neither is Foursquare, or Facebook. Or Twitter.
Strategy is what makes communications work. It goes back to what messages need to be tailored to your target audiences in order to drive behavioral change. Your Twitter, Pinterest, or press release are vehicles, tools, platforms.
So forgive me that I do not hop and down as energetic as I should each time a new tool is launched: I’m a strategist, you know. I am platform independent by definition, generalist by vocation, McGyver by nature, skeptic by choice. I will not bend my strategy to accommodate a tool. I go for the toolkit that suits my strategy best.
And…. between us… Pinterest is the Gentlemint for women, right?