Social Media Star: How Christine Martinez pinned her way to 5 million Pinterest followers

Christine Martinez
Christine Martinez

Each Friday, we’ll be profiling one of our favourite movers and shakers on social media. From the pop-up power of Pinterest to the beautifully crafted images on Instagram, we’re learning the tricks of the trade from the ladies that do it best (and most stylishly, of course).

Bay Area power pinner Christine Martinez was one of the first to hop on the Pinterest bandwagon back in 2010. The 8th to receive an invite to the now hugely popular online scrapboard site, Martinez pinned her way to the top with her penchant for quirky interior decorating, fashion, vibrant prints and of course, dog accoutrements fit for her dog Miles. “It was a very cool and unique experience to be on Pinterest when only a handful of others were, and to be able to have so much influence over how people use Pinterest today,” she says.

With over 5 million followers, it would be an understatement to say that the popular social media platform hasn’t changed her life. Not only has she travelled to exotic places to live-pin fashion shoots with brands like Calypso St. Barth and Cole Haan, but her Pinterest reputation has also led her to the role as the creative director for the up and coming shopping social media platform luvocracy.com. To let fellow pinners into her psyche, she’s even written a whole book, The Complete Idiots Guide to Pinterest Marketing.

We did the book one better and got to know more about the girl behind the screen for our first Social Media Star feature.

As you mention on Pinterest, your dog Miles is a big part of your life. How has Miles played a part in your Pinterest world?
As silly as it may sound, Miles is at the center of everything I do. We’ve been long time business partners. He travels with me and inspired me to start a blog (milestostyle.com) a couple of years back that I plan on relaunching later this year. He comes to work with me everyday and just keeps me happy and inspired. I love pinning great dog products and directing people toward cool pet blogs for design inclined dog lovers. I’ve even written for pet publications in the past! All because I just love my little guy.

You wrote a whole book on Pinterest marketing, but if you had to scale it down to a sentence, what do you think the most important thing to know is?
Tell your brand’s visual story everyday (and keep it beautiful).

What sorts of things are your favourite to pin?
I have a background in interior design so naturally, I love pinning images of fabulous interior spaces. I’ve also been an entrepreneur for many years, and I’ve relied a lot on the inspiration I find online to keep me motivated. That’s why I started my “Words to Live By” board. I always jump at the opportunity to provide my followers with a little bit of encouragement through a positive pin. But one of the things I love pinning the most is fashion inspiration. I’ve always had a deep love and appreciation for fashion, and I love expressing that side of myself on Pinterest.

How many times a day to you typically pin. Would you consider yourself obsessed?
My pinning habit has fluctuated a bit because I’ve been so busy lately! But I definitely try to pin everyday because I enjoy it so much. I consider it playtime! I don’t know that I would say I’m obsessed, but it’s certainly become part of my daily routine. I love pinning when I’m waiting for my train before and after work, and at night when I’m winding down and de-stressing. Pinterest and a glass of wine is my favorite way to end a long day.

Is it fair to say Pinterest has changed your life? If so, how?
Pinterest has changed my life in so many amazing and unimaginable ways! I never expected that I would be a published author and part of such a major book franchise like The Complete Idiot’s Guide. My influence has also led to working with brands I love like Calypso St. Barth, Banana Republic, Cole Haan, India Hicks, and so many others. I’ve been able to travel to exotic locations to “live pin” fashion photo shoots, and meet so many incredibly talented and creative people. In fact, a lot of my newest friends are other power pinners here in the SF Bay Area. We love getting together for brunches and to support each other in our endeavors. But the biggest way Pinterest has changed my life is that it led me to my current role as the creative director of luvocracy.com, an amazing new platform that’s all about shopping from the people you trust!

Why do you think Pinterest is becoming such a major social media platform for so many industries? How is it different from other social media platforms?
I think it goes back to the old saying “a picture is worth a thousand words.” Personally, although I wish it were different, I don’t have as much time these days to read. Pinterest gives me the ability to take in massive amounts of information just by scanning, which is very different than most social media platforms. It’s also a great place to take what I like to call a visual vacation. Who doesn’t like to take time out of their day to escape?

Which sites are you currently loving for Pinterest inspiration?
I’m a big fan of bloggers so I generally scan my go-to blogs for some pinspiration. For home decor and lifestyle, I love sfgirlbybay.com, ohjoy.com, shopsweetthings.com, apartment34.com, and designlovefest.com. When I’m looking for great fashion, I go to atlantic-pacific.blogspot.com, refinery29.com, ruemag.com, and the theglitterguide.com. Last but not least, my favorite site for word inspiration is cubiclerefugee.tumblr.com.

When you’re not pinning and getting inspired, what are you doing?
I live to create cool spaces on the internet! I spend most of my time helping to create a new way of shopping and capturing the recommendations we make everyday through luvocracy.com . It’s definitely a passion-project for me. Otherwise, I love living a simple life with my husband and our dog Miles. We enjoy dinners with our friends, long hikes on the weekends, and listening to music in the evenings.

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