Back on November 10th, Pinterest users received an e-mail from CEO Ben Silbermann about a major announcement. After spending the first two paragraphs talking about his new son and how his wife got baby care tips from Pinterest, he revealed the big news - the arrival of secret boards. Users can make up to three secret boards to try out the new feature, though as usual when it comes to Pinterest, many are wondering how businesses will wind up using them.
Many are saying that this is a great way to increase customer engagement but, according to Pinterest, anything posted to a secret board can be re-pinned to public boards; the re-pin just won't link back to the secret board. Anything leaked to a small group of customers could find its way into the public sphere, which may or may not be a good thing, depending on how you wanted to reveal this content. If, as a business, you think this move is too risky, I thought of a few more uses after playing with the secret boards for a little bit.
Collaborating between employees and departments
Inter-office collaboration, while useful, is not always easy. So far one of the best ways for employees and departments to send drafts or designs to one another is through e-mail. And, for the most part, there is nothing wrong with that. However it does become an issue when you need to look for an old design and wind up either having to dig through a mountain of messages in your inbox or use the typically unwieldy e-mail search function. Usually there is no reason for people outside of a company to see the inner-workings of the design process, and Pinterest's secret boards allow for all of the images of a project to be in one, easily accessible place while also ensuring that the design process is not unfolding publicly.
Creating a private album for oft-shared pictures
MyCorp's social media team goes through a lot of stock images, posting them on Twitter, Facebook, and in contributed articles and blog posts. And, while they can be e-mailed back and forth, it is nice to be able to have one, set place where all of the stock images we have used can be found. Of course to an outsider this board would look like a jumble of unrelated pictures - people in suits, pictures of office buildings, a well-loved stock photo of a stuffed monkey next to an egg with a smiley face drawn onto it. But having all of these images in one place is extremely useful, so these secret boards could wind up acting as a private album for your staff's eyes only.
Communicating with the rest of the office
Getting ready to launch a new product? Or unveil a new logo? Secret boards are a great way to break this news to the rest of your office - while meetings are the time-tested method of keeping everyone in the loop; sometimes people aren't able to attend them. Or they might drift in and out, missing key points that are being made. Secret boards can be circulated around the office, and everyone can check out the material and pictures that have been compiled for launch day. Plus using Pinterest is a lot more fun and interactive to use than sitting through a meeting where you might not have enough time to make any additional points or ask further questions.
The business world is constantly trying to find where exactly it fits in Pinterest. Companies that don't have ubiquitous logos or brands are always slightly at a loss as to what, exactly, they can use Pinterest for, especially as bloggers all across the internet talk about how important Pinterest is. But secret boards are unique in the fact that they can be used to change certain parts of how a company operates. They can actually increase efficiency and keep the office up to date. So give the new feature a shot, and see if you can't find a few neat ways to incorporate Pinterest into your company.