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Serving up Pinterest popovers for breakfast



Pinterest is concerned that your fans might not be following you on Pinterest. Sure, you have a Follow button on your website but it’s all mashed in there with that Twitter button and Facebook button and YouTube button and so on and so on. They also want you to know that helping people find you and your Pins is good customer service, so it’s your duty to do everything you can to guide your customers to the promised pin-land. . . .

. .  . Like install the NEW Pinterest pop-up Follow button.

Pinterest Follow Button

Here it is on Nordstrom’s website. It’s a beautiful popover with pins and a giant red Follow button. When your visitor clicks, they don’t ever leave your website. One click (assuming that they’re already logged in to Pinterest) and you’re engaged. The box goes away and your Pins will begin showing up in their home feed.

I have issues. First, I wonder if this thing is smart enough to recognize my cookie. I don’t want to deal with this popover every time I visit one of my favorite sites. Second, as an internet browser and potential customer, I don’t want this. I don’t want this so much that I’ll probably pass on following you Pinterest even if I would have followed you before you popped.

Pop-ups are annoying. They get in the way of seeing what’s on your page and that’s my third issue – these pop-ups are giant ads for Pinterest. Is that what you want your customers to experience when they hit your site? Or do you want them to immediately see your latest blog post or the newest items in your store?

Think about the pop-ups you normally see, sign up for our email, download our free ebook, join our club and get 10% off. All of those work in your favor. They’re about capturing data from your customer so you can continue to sell to them once they’ve left. At the lowest level, this Pinterest button also captures information but are you really going to use it? Are you going to track down all of your Pinterest followers and. . . what? Pin something they might like? You can do that with a normal-sized follow button.

This new button makes me think Pinterest is suffering from Chihuahua syndrome – can’t compete with the big dogs on size, so they bark like a maniac to get your attention. This pop-up shouts, “forget Facebook, Pinterest is our preferred social media site.” If it’s true, then maybe this button is the perfect marketing tool for you.

However, if you’re barely keeping up your Pinterest page, I wouldn’t risk annoying customers with a screen obliterating Follow button. But you may not have a choice. The Pinterest blog says:

If you have the original Follow button in place, you won’t have to do anything to get the new version—it’ll just work!
You can get the new Follow button on our widget builder.

Does this mean all of our sweet little buttons are going to grow into page-stealing monsters over night? Gosh. I hope not.

What do you think of this new option. Like it or loathe it?

BTW: here are some actual Pinterest Popovers we can all enjoy.

  • http://kentbrewster.com kentbrew

    Hi, Cynthia. The new Follow page won’t show automatically; it only appears after someone clicks the button.

  • http://www.pinkcakebox.com Pink Cake Box

    We implemented it on our site yesterday. I like the fact that it shows a preview of your latest pins without redirecting the user off your site. And to the other commenters point, this is not an automatic popup and requires the user to first engage with the follow button. While it would be nice to make the popup optional, I’m hopeful it will help increase our following. We’ll see :)

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  • http://www.catherinecantieri.com Catherine Cantieri

    Now I’m hungry for popovers… :-) Seriously, excellent analysis of how an engagement idea that sounds great can actually alienate potential visitors!