An interesting thing happened yesterday! The Mrs. was scrolling through the popular page on Pinterest (as she does on a weekly basis), and she saw an image she recognized. Randomly enough, it was my wine bottle Christmas lights!
This particular photo was from a post I did back in December of 2010, way before I even started using Pinterest, and therefore wasn’t one of the items I had pinned. In fact, if you perform a search for Christmas wine bottle on Pinterest it may still appear intermingled with some of the other images. Someone else had obviously shared it from my website and sent it semi-viral.
So what does this all mean!?!?!?
Well, contrary to what you may have believed from the title of this post, I can’t retire quite yet. Instead, what this demonstrates is the same thing that advocates of social media have been saying for a couple of years now, i.e. that brands no longer have control over how they’re viewed online. Conversations about your brand/company are happening all the time, and just because you don’t see them doesn’t mean they’re not happening.
Companies are sloooooowly starting to get a little more savvy, and using different types of “monitoring tools” in order to be alerted when their brand/company name pops up online. That’s great, but it still only goes part of the way to understanding how you’re reaching your audience.
The above post on Pinterest is a perfect example, as even the most sophisticated social media monitoring software wouldn’t have caught this! The closest thing that Pinterest in particular offers, is the ability (which few people are aware of, since it’s via a short hack) to see who’s been “repinning” images from your website. If you click this link, it will show you the pinned images from BlogYourWine.com. I did a quick count, and I estimate about 1 in 20 of those are images that I pinned.
To conclude: I was on the phone speaking with a marketing guy at a very well-known winery in Paso Robles a few weeks ago. We got onto the submit of wine bloggers and whether their winery sends out samples of their wines for review. He laughed and told me: “We prefer for our wines not to be reviewed online. Instead, we like to control what’s said about our brand, and craft our online voice accordingly.”
I thought that was pretty-cute, but also kind-of scary that wineries still think that way!