To Pin Or Not To Pin?



The social media site Pinterest was launched five years ago, and it became an instant success. Its site appealed particularly to women, however men are increasingly being drawn into the site and Pinterest is seeking to encourage more men onto the social media platform.

Pinterest is used for a multitude of different purposes; some use it to indulge in and learn about hobbies, some to plan holidays and family meals, and some for health and fitness, whilst others access it for gardening ideas. The times of year see shifts in interest, which relate directly to many of these pursuits.

Pinterest is now a serious contender for the mobile social platform, alongside Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Google and Youtube. However, because of its bias towards women, Pinterest is now trying to address the balance by making subtle changes. They’re seeking to increase the search functionality by appealing to a wider audience – possibly reaching out to a more masculine audience in the process.

Particularly in the USA, female Pinterest users far outnumber male users, and by encouraging a wider scope for advertising (for example, changes in the way culinary pursuits are portrayed) Pinterest hopes to pull more male users in.

It is not only content that women and men seem to enjoy differently, but also the way that an image is presented. Men seem to enjoy video content more, whilst women will ponder the still images.

Businesses, while not placing direct adverts, use the site to pin images which have links to their sites – Etsy is the number one example of this. Although only 8% of the pins come directly from them, they are constantly repinned by users who enjoy their products.

By setting up a verified business account, businesses can use the site more effectively and watch how their products are performing. Pinterest analytics provide ongoing information as to what appeals to people, how images are attracting initial attention, and what and how much gets repinned. This in turn allows the business to understand which items to focus on and how it performs on the social media platform. Customers can be fickle, so to enable a business to keep track of the waxing and waning of its products, the changes in taste are indicated. This will show whether it’s time for alteration or amendment, and the business can then redesign its site, if necessary.

Social media promotes a stream of information, and Pinterest particularly encourages intelligent use by businesses, and whilst seeking to redress the male and female balance of its audience will enable more businesses to achieve an increase in sales and services.

The Apple Watch – Productive or Distractive?



The advent of the Apple Watch has been greeted with much enthusiasm and excitement. Hailed by many as a new era in the world of communication, it shrinks distance, time and relationships to an ever more manageable timescale and inevitably has an ongoing impact on business.

Whether it will be an asset or a disadvantage is entirely up to the user.

The tool which is designed to be used easily, discreetly and instantly, whilst causing the least disruption to busy meetings or the general workplace, can also, in some cases, be the cause of loss of focus and inevitably a loss of productivity. Basically, the issue boils down to one’s own personal sense of discipline.

Whilst the Apple watch can be used to check markets, liaise with work colleagues, and observe production, it can also alert the wearer to social media with chats, messages, emails and other notifications. Unless one has a fairly strong will, these things can be distracting and cause a change in the line of thought. It can take up to twenty minutes to get back on track, and that means loss of productivity which can be material, mental or both.

In terms of business efficiency, the Apple watch comes into its own by enabling quick changes of plan, along with rapidly alerting the wearer to different management decisions and so facilitating an instant response to any changes. Adjusting work flow can enable increased productivity, with time lapses becoming a thing of the past.

Inevitably, the app market will expand to enable the Apple watch to be used in place of a host of gadgets or key cards, for tasks such as paying bills more easily, checking in at hotels, etc. Health apps will also monitor the body, but will they actually change our behaviour as to what we eat and how much we exercise?

The Apple watch could save money, time and maybe even lives….but somehow we will have to resist the distractive element so we can use it beneficially and to its maximum potential.