Monday, April 30, 2012



You may have noticed a new Internet buzzword lately as some of your friends on facebook are “liking” a new social medium: “Pinterest.”

So what is “Pinterest?”

Pinterest is a VISUAL social medium that acts like a bulletin board (called a “pinboard”) and allows users to “pin” their favorite photos, videos, and other virtual items. Each individual pinboard is thematic and categorized such as home decor, DIY, clothing, food, etc. This allows the user to organize their interests easily. 

The beauty of this medium is that it is inspiring and creatively driven. In fact, Pinterest's mission is to "connect everyone in the world through the 'things' they find interesting." User’s can share their pinterests on Facebook and Twitter, helping this social medium earn its place as one of the fastest growing social networks in the world, becoming one of the top 10 largest  with 11 million total visits per week.* 

So, how does it work?

Pinterest, like other social media, is membership-based and operates as an invitation-only site.  Those invitations can come from an existing user or directly from the Pinterest website by request. Also, a user can create an account by linking Pinterest to their Facebook or Twitter profile. Users add images to their pinboards through “pin it” or “follow me.” These images are usually from various blogs and e-commerce sites  with links back to the blog or site.

Who uses Pinterest?

68% of the users of Pinterest are women, 50% with children. The average annual household income is more than $100,000. Pinterest has 1.36 million visitors per day.**

What can it do for my business?

Good question! According to Wayfare, an ecommerce company, Pinterest shoppers spend 70% more than other customers and according to a PriceGrabber study, 21% of users have purchased items they saw first on Pinterest. This is a viable economic opportunity that's here to stay. 

An example of a successful pinterest marketing campaign is Ann Taylor Weddings. With an extensive offering of wedding ideas, brides-to-be can scroll through Ann Taylor’s pinboarded products and pin their favorite images and ideas for their own weddings. If the user wants a continuous feed, they can select “follow me,” which updates their pinboard as Ann Taylor adds more products. The engagement and reach multiplies with every “pin.” 

How do I integrate Pinterest with my company’s brand?

  1. Create an account: Like Facebook or Twitter, you can easily create an account for your brand that others can follow. Then through a quick search, start to follow Pinterest users that could be your brand advocates, and definitely follow those who have pinned items from your pinboard.
  2. Create boards: After you create your account you should start creating boards that can represent categories for you to pin items to. Remember that this is a VISUAL social medium so how your pins look is even more important than what you pin. It's not the recipe, but the photos of that delectable chocolate cake that makes people want to share with their followers and try them at home. It's not the clothing description, but how the clothing was photographed and styled that makes someone want to buy it.
  3. Incorporate it into other marketing efforts: Increase your engagement, reach, and ulitimately revenue through integration of a “pin it” button on your website, blog, and your other social media involvements. 

The ultimate conclusion is that "Pinning" can drive purchases. As expert digital brand builders, Modea, states:
“As marketers are scrambling to discover how to best leverage the new channel, one thing has become clear: The power of Pinterest lies in the fact that it transforms every one of its users into a personal curator of content at the click of a button. The visual nature and simple experience is a great fit for brands that want to be an organic part of their customer's social lives. Pinterest provokes a resurgence of web site referrals, which have been trending downward since the advent of other social sites like Facebook and Twitter. Pinterest is the new digital doorway to your brand and you're no longer the gatekeeper.”

What's the Bottom Line?  

If your target audience is the digitally involved (who isn't now-a-days?) and your brands are "pin-worthy" you should integrate Pinterest into your digital marketing strategy. But beware. It better LOOK great AND be useful! The "Pinterest effect" reminds us all of how important it is for marketers to focus on creativity, strong photography, and relevant content. Pinterest truly illustrates: "A picture is worth a thousand words.

*Sloan, Paul. "Pinterest: Crazy growth lands it as top 10 social site."
CNET News. 22 Dec 2011. Website.

** Modea Social Media Gurus. "Pinning = Winning | The Infographic."
Modea. 25 Feb 2012. Website.

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