The buzz is big—recent estimates have Pinterest at 12 million users plus. Pinterest is a virtual, online pin board—a place for users to collect images from around the web and pin them to their own board based on their interests, thus creating a custom web page of their favorite images.
Here’s a webinar I gave on the subject of the hot, new social-sharing app for brand marketing, promotion, and sales.
As an example of the origin of its use, a typical Pinterest member might be redesigning her living room. As she searches through a myriad of sites for furniture and accessories, she can pin her favorites to her Pinterest board. This enables her to quickly compare images and see how pieces match in color and style.
Like websites, anyone can view your content. Like other social media platforms, you can build your list of other people to follow, have control over who contributes to your boards, and the cost is free—aside from your time investment. Experts suggest setting a daily time limit as you would for any social media platform.
Once an image is pinned a board it can be liked or repinned by people who have visited the board, and thus, it becomes an item of social sharing. To get people to your board, you can tweet pins on Twitter or share pins on Facebook to expand your network across all three platforms.
Consumer products companies, the primary clientele of CL&D Digital and one of the heaviest B2B (business to consumer) Pinterest users, can benefit greatly by creating their own Pinterest boards. Pinterest offers unique, visual opportunities for promotion, marketing, and feedback (via clicks and sharing) to and among a group or crowd. This is called crowdsourcing.
As a social network, companies need to be careful of hard-sell tactics on Pinterest. It’s more effective to promote a lifestyle through imagery. Seeing the images will showcase your brand, making pinners more familiar with and more likely to trust your brand, visit your website, and ultimately make a purchase decision. This approach welcomes users and assures them that you’re not just on Pinterest to bombard them with your products.
The best way to show what a brand can do is with a real example. Chobani yogurt is a CPG with a great presence on Pinterest. Different boards allow Chobani to show different parts of the brand’s personality. They have 19 boards, including one with photos of foods with recipes made with yogurt and recipes like coleslaw where mayo is swapped out for yogurt.
Chobani is smart because they are promoting yogurt in general and leveraging all of their social media platforms, including Pinterest, as opportunities to connect with and strengthen the brand’s relationship with customers.
Through images and boards, the idea is for brands to reinforce that they are interested in the lifestyles of their consumers and that they want to bring them products that are sensitive to their sense of design or preferences.
It’s critical that brands include images that are fun, vibrant, and full of color. The more engaging the image, the more likely it will be pinned and shared.
In our Chobani yogurt example, one board is full of images of spoons, other utensils, and containers and is called “We Would Like to Eat With You.” Another board called “Chobani Fit” has fitness-inspiring images like a necklace with a running shoe charm.
Videos can also be pinned, including helpful “how to” ones. Pinterest results can be tracked by using targeted landing pages so that you can collect data about what is being shared most often and clicked. Google Analytics or other tracking software can be used to monitor inbound clicks from Pinterest.
To get started, create your Pinterest pin board. Once you’re approved into the community, some experts say it’s best to start with a personal account to understand the Pinterest experience and discover your own ideas for marketing uses, since the possibilities are endless!
Pinterest is just one component of the social network. It is not a replacement for other well-established networks such as Facebook and Twitter, but unlike these platforms, the focus is on the visual appeal—exactly the focus of consumer-products labels and packaging as well.
Here’s CL&D Digital’s Pinterest pin board, showcasing the beautiful labels and packaging that we have produced for our clients.