At the end of 2011 a new social media network was grabbing headlines. In a very short space of time Pinterest had over 11 million members and had broken into Hitwise’s top ten social media sites.
The proposition Pinterest offers is simple and addictive. Find images you like (either from the web or via upload) and post them to “boards” you create in your profile. You can also repin and/or like other images (pins) that other users have posted. Whether you are pinning inspirational interior design ideas or coveted classic cars, Pinterest has many like-minded members also pinning and repinning images to their boards. You can also choose to follow a person, or just their individual boards.
Any Pinterest for Brands?
So it’s good fun, but does it have anything to offer for brands?
Well, there’s a great article from Mashable last week, showing how brands are already using the new platform. Many brands as diverse as Boden and Trinity House have started pinning. So should your brand follow these Pinterest pioneers?
Here are some fundamental questions and initial thoughts on Pinterest:
- Why would we get involved in another social media platform, especially such a newbie?
The tremendous speed in which Pinterest has grown, the Hitwise usage stats and the fact that some social media jobs are already asking for Pinterest skills and expertise, suggest that it’s not going to disappear overnight. Also don’t forget the adage that you don’t own your brand any more, especially in social media, this is also true with Pinterest. Pinners are no doubt posting photos of your products and commenting on Pinterest, even if you don’t yet have a presence on the network.
- What content do we have that’s visual and worth sharing?
Every organisation usually has visual content worth sharing, sometimes its a matter of thinking outside of the box. Mashable is a great example, with its boards ranging from their amazing infographics to photos of new technology. They also repin cool gadgets they find pinned by other users and elsewhere and from the web.
- Will the content lead to greater awareness, brand advocacy, sales etc?
Brand awareness and advocacy “yes” as its already happening. Increased sales, well that’s still the big question, but the signs are good with users already linking to products in their boards for wish and wedding lists and Pinterest already providing a “gift” tab with price-range search functionality.
While Pinterest is still in its early days, it’s interesting to see the potential that brands could have in having a presence on this network. Try a search for many brands and you’ll no doubt find that the pinning of its products has already started, it’s now time for the brand to start pinning themselves.