Brands as Publishers: Why You Should Care About Pinterest by @Koozai_Tara
California based Pinterest was founded in December 2009 and was open to users by invitation from March 2010.
Not only is it performing fantastically in its own right, it’s also one of the social media top-dogs in terms of driving referral traffic to other sites. Shareaholic recently reported that it generated more referral traffic than YouTube, LinkedIn, and Google Plus combined in January 2012.
It stands out above other image sharing platforms due to its simplicity and integration with other social media. With the ‘Pin It’ browser add-on, pinning an image takes a few seconds and the user doesn’t even need to leave the web page on which they found the image. Pinterest also gives users the option to share their pins on Facebook as and when they pin them. It’s this kind of seamless integration and simple functionality that has made the platform so successful.
Although it is currently still in an open Beta status, it is clear that Pinterest is here to stay.
Many innovative brands have now started using the platform after recognizing its potential.
Apparel brands in particular seem to be engaging well on Pinterest. GAP use it to reinforce the lifestyle aspect of their brand. They have ‘pinboards’ around lifestyle themes such as Motivation to Get Fit. Amongst other themes with which users will identify, Gap uses these pinboards as a way of weaving in the promotion of their own products.
GAP also do a great job of engaging with influencers on Pinterest with their Everybody in GAP pinboard, which features images of fashion bloggers wearing GAP clothes. Not only is this a way of engaging with consumers, but it’s a way of targeting the most important consumers who have most influence on other potential consumers.
Similarly, ASOS use Pinterest for the Market Place sector of their business. This works really well as it engages with the users who are selling their old items on ASOS on their ‘Meet Our Sellers’ board.
Although there are a large number of lifestyle and ‘female’ orientated brands on Pinterest, this shouldn’t put off other brands with a typically male audience from using it. Mashableare a tech brand that leverage the platform to pin their infographics and other great content they create on their site.
Pinterest is also a fantastic place for service brands and brands with non-tangible products to market themselves. One example is Smith & Bailey’s How-To-Home blog, which has done a great job of integrating the platform with their other online activity.
They have a custom ‘Pin Us’ button that is prominently featured on their site, and have created pinboards for many of the different themes that they also cover on their blog. This is a great tactic as if the user likes the blog content, in all likeliness, they’ll be interested in their Pinterest content too. How-to Home also do a great job of pinning content from a variety of other websites (not just their own) which is a great way of adding variety to their pinboards.
We use Pinterest for Koozai as well to share Infographics, visual blog post content, employee photos and marketing comics. It’s a great way for us to visually share things that would get lost on other social sites (such as the photo area on Facebook). If we want to highlight 10 great marketing books, we can do this in 10 minutes on Pinterest without the need to do 10 separate tweets or write a detailed blog post.
If you want to get the most out of Pinterest for your brand, here are some things you should consider:
- Make sure you’ve got the Pinterest button on your website so users can easily share your content and follow you
- Create good quality images on your site that people will want to share
- Don’t just pin your own products or images, pin from other people’s websites and re-pin content that your followers have already pinned
- Pin lifestyle related images rather than products
- If you do pin product images, be sure to include the price of that product (this may see it being featured in the Gifts section of the site)
- Engage with users by setting competitions – ask them to create pinboards related to your brand and then re-pin the content
- Use Pinterest for market research and consumer insights – this way you can gauge the reaction to new products or advertising images
- Integrate Pinterest with the rest of your social media activity – once you pin something also post the pin to Facebook and/or Twitter
- Don’t spam Pinterest with boring images from your own website just for the SEO benefit
- Create unique and engaging content to share on Pinterest – if you create it on your own site, you may even find your website users pin it naturally!
If you’re interested in finding out more about Tara and Koozai’s take on Pinterest here’s a video she’s done around the topic.