As Pinterest has grown increasingly successful, it’s attracted a fair number of social media marketers eager for a slice of the buzz.
Kelly Lieberman may be one such social media consultant, but she doesn’t see Pinterest as simply a marketing opportunity. To her, Pinterest is also a lifestyle, a compulsion, and an escape.
“I wear a marketing hat during the day, but I’m also consumed by this platform,” the independent social media manager told the Daily Dot. “I’m fascinated by this opportunity to be creative and share with others.”
Since November, Lieberman has been sharing her interest in Pinterest with a community of fellow users that she’s formed herself. The Atlanta, Georgian is the founder of #pinchat, a Twitter discussion that attracts more than a hundred attendees each Friday night at 10 p.m. ET.
Once I got on Pinterest and was addicted to it, I was talking about it a lot on Twitter. It evolved into talking with a few other people and I said, it’s surprising that there isn’t a chat on Pinterest yet. So I started one.
As #pinchat grows, Lieberman’s opportunities have increased. Her companion Facebook group, Pinterest Chat, has become the authoritative source for Pinterest information, links, and advice. Companies on Pinterest reach out to her instead of the other way around. She’s has been able to get well-known brands like Scholastic and Modcloth to co-host the discussions.
However, she makes an effort to keep the chat from turning into purely a branding or marketing discussion by inviting individual users as hosts, too. Before Scholastic’s cameo last chat, Lieberman invited deaf social media manager Anne Reuss to discuss using Pinterest with a disability. Next week, Heather of Pinfluence will discuss using the site as a creativity tool.
“This week will be Pinterest Challenge Week,” said Lieberman. “We’re going to get back to just taking that Pinterest inspiration and turning it into creation. So we don’t get bogged down in how to use it as a marketing tool, we’ll use it for what it is—an inspiration, an outlet.”
Each week after #pinchat, Lieberman writes a quick email to the Pinterest office to keep folks there up to speed on how she and other users are discussing the social network. She’s done this ever since she first notified Pinterest about #pinchat to gauge their reaction. As it turns out, even cofounder Ben Silbermann is impressed with the discussion.
“I sent my email to Pinterest’s generic address, and the founder, Ben [Silbermann] emailed me back! When that email came back, I was like, ‘Oh, no way,’” she sad. “He said [#pinchat] sounded like a great idea and when things slowed down, he’d be a guest. That’s a conversation I’d love to open up.”