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(P)interesting: using Pinterest to market your brand

20 Mar 2012
By Parker

In a world full of Facebooks, Twitters, YouTubes and MySpaces, it is surely impossible for us to squeeze anything else into our jam packed, internet-led lives. Or is it?

Pinterest hasn’t yet celebrated its second birthday, but it is already driving more traffic than Google+, YouTube and LinkedIn combined. Most users are in the US, but the craze is now starting to move across the Atlantic.

Pinterest is here and on course to shake up the online social space; if you and your brand aren’t pinning yet, perhaps you should be.

So…what is Pinterest?

A quaint and quirky digital pin board, Pinterest allows you to organise your thoughts, dreams or ideas and share all that you discover.

You can browse other people’s pin boards (including your friends on Pinterest) and be inspired by the pins of others. Upload your own photos or pinch from other places on the web; if it inspires you, it will inspire others, so pin it.

But Pinterest isn’t just a personal space. A cyber scrapbook designed to drive relentless word-of-mouth referrals, online retailers and businesses are also hopping on board to promote their products, ideas and latest ventures.

Pinterest: Different from the rest

We’re fast becoming a world that lives through social media; tweeting our own running commentary for “Take Me Out”, sharing our every shameful party photo and showcasing our pouty poses to the world and his cat. So, what need could we possibly have for yet another social media platform? Well…we need a place to pin our pictures…apparently.

A social space, Pinterest is a place to post all your pictures: be it holiday snaps, places you’d like to go, or ideas for your new home, Pinterest is a digital pin board that lets you pin everything and anything. Sounding a bit like Facebook? Well, it’s not. It’s Facebook without the life dramas and stroppy statuses. Organised mess in a digital form.

Not just any Tom, Dick or Sally can join Pinterest, either. Still in an “invite only” stage, Pinterest exudes an almost exclusive feel throughout the site.

How could your brand use Pinterest?

Pinterest is staking out its position in the world of online marketing and businesses are booming. Established and emerging brands are positioning themselves on Pinterest by engaging with their consumers and appealing to their needs.

So, be it for business or pleasure, Pinterest has the potential to change everything. From the way you work to the way you share, this virtual pin board allows you to advertise and organise your brand.

Whether you’re selling cars, offering fashion advice, planning holidays or simply have your hopes pinned on a few things, pin them on Pinterest. Often providing high quality links back to your site, the impact Pinterest could have on your brand is not one to be sniffed at, and any brand that is visually compelling is perfect for this new social media space.

But what if your product isn’t visually compelling? What if you’re a restaurant review site? A maintenance company? A health service provider?  No matter what your brand, Pinterest provides a perfect space to show the world what you’re all about.  Post pictures that will appeal to people.

Renowned food supermarket chain “Whole Foods Market” uses Pinterest and has seen some great results, gaining over 11,000 followers. The secret – frequently re-pinning other users’ pins; reflecting the interests of their followers and embracing this social-sharing space.

“A picture paints a thousand words” so imagine how many messages you could get across with a few pins….

“Pin It”

Post pictures of your products and the people behind them or purchasers using them. Showcase your latest achievements, awards, promotions and staff activities; give your company a personality. Pinterest provides you and your brand with a new space to reach new people.

And, what’s more, your customers have the potential to promote for you. To make it easier for customers/viewers of your pinboards to share your products and ideas, add a “Pin It” button to your images.

Things to bear in mind

For your brand, Pinterest provides a place to showcase and promote their products; crowd source, educate, provide exclusive insight and share ideas. If they’re your pins and products, you need not worry, but if you’re pinching pins from others, be warned.

The “Pin It” tool makes it easy for you to post images you like from all over the web, but using the material of others without their consent can amount to infringement of copyright. There is also a “nopin” tag to help those that want to keep their content off of Pinterest and, in most cases, people won’t mind as you’ll be driving them traffic, but it’s worth bearing in mind.

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