Now the third most popular social network site behind Facebook and Twitter, the interest in Pinterest continues to skyrocket. The visual social networking site yields 2.3 billion page impressions per month and receives 4 million unique visitors per day. But what benefits does it offer to brands?
What is Pinterest?
In case we are getting ahead of ourselves lets back track and look at how Pinterest differs from other social networks.
How it works
Pinterest is a visual social discovery network. Users create online pinboards (like virtual corkboards) for various themes or categories and “pin” items to the board by;
- Uploading the image straight to Pinterest from their computer, phone or tablet
- Using the “pin it” bookmarker button located on websites to pin the item to your pin board.
- Using the “pin it” button that can be added free to your bookmark tab at the top of your search engine
- Re-pinning other user’s pins to your boards
On your Pinterest page you can create as many boards as you like and people can choose to follow all, some, or none of them.
Each pin posted from a website will automatically be pinned linking back to the website URL it was pinned from making it easy to locate the original location of the image. It is possible to link all your pins back to a particular URL. For instance, your pins could all link back to your website.
Users use Pinterest to explore and discover new products to buy, to search for inspiration and tips, follow VIPs and celebrities they admire and to create virtual representations of their own interests and lives.
5 Tops Tips – Pinterest for Brand Growth
Unlike other social networks Pinterest is not a platform for obvious self-promotion. Brands, be they a product, service, organisation or VIP, who fill their boards with images of just products or services they are selling, are not offering customers anything special that couldn’t already be found on the company’s website.
The true benefit of Pinterest to brands is enabling brands to convey a sense of the brand’s personality, values and shape the brand image, all of which, through increased engagement, can drive loyalty and sales growth.
1. Promote Brand Culture
For most consumer brands it is the idea behind the brand that makes sense on Pinterest. Brands should pin images that capture the essence of the brand. It can be more effective or engaging than traditional advertising because it allows consumers to understand how the brand fits into their lives.
Use the boards to show off your brand culture. Pin only what you really love congruent with your core brand values. Show the people and spaces that inspire your brand and not just the end product.
2. Pinterest: The Consumer Focus Group
Pinterest users create boards filled with items that give you an insight into their lives. By looking at their follower’s boards, brands can learn a huge amount about their customers; their hobbies, the food they enjoy, their inspirations, what matters to them etc. Users are effectively volunteering a lot of information about what they like. This enables brand custodians to get a clearer idea about who their customers are which in turn empowers them to be much more specific in their brand targeting, armed with the insights and information learned.
3. Extend Brand Value
Pinterest offers brands scope to enhance their relevancy with their customers. Because Pinterest is not about self- promotion, brands who successfully engage with their customers do so by changing the dynamic that may exist on other social media applications.
Brands such as yoghurt brand Chobani use Pinterest to solve customer’s problems and deepen their relationship with them. They use their posts to inform and educate about their products and ingredients. They offer recipes and, without over-selling and have become a valuable source of information for their customers which in turn generates lots of customer engagement.
4. Increase Brand Loyalty
Coupled with adding brand value, posting images from around the web and repining images from other users helps to personalize your brand and allows customers to identify with your organization or company more strongly. This leads to stronger engagement and increase brand loyalty. Repining content from other users helps to grow awareness of your brand’s account and attract new followers.
5. Drive Sales
While the boards themselves are about inspiring customers and shaping brand identity, each of the pins can be linked back to your website or e-commerce site where you can up sell or target the conversation.
While it is not always advisable to include prices or logos on your pins, including key words in the pin description will help customers find your pins.
The tone of the pin description should be authentic to your brand voice and consistent with other marketing communications and brand collateral. Including “pin it” buttons on your website will enable your customers to help drive traffic to your website. Jewelers Boticca found that Pinterest drove more sales and customers to their website than Facebook, and accounted for 10% of overall sales.
Doing it Right
Like any new marketing tool Pinterest takes some forward planning to be successful. Create a profile of your ideal target customer and keep that in mind when your start pinning. Ask yourself if your ideal customer would find that pin useful? Interesting? Inspiring? Entertaining?
Get feedback and evaluate brand ROI. Once you start using Pinterset use Google analytics or other analytic tools to identify how much web traffic is driven by Pinterest. You can use http://pinterest.com/source/ADD_YOUR_OWN_URL_HERE to see what has been shared from your website or blog to other users boards.
In a nutshell Pinterest is about currating different kinds of ideas from across the web into one space. For brands it is an effective tool for enabling social shopping, crowdsourcing and generating engagement.
Most importantly there is plenty of referral traffic to be had for the early movers who wake up to Pinterest’s potential and extend their online community.
• How does Pinterest fit with your online brand strategy?
• Are you using social media to effectively drive sales?
• Do you know how to enhance customer engagement using social media?