Watch out Facebook and Twitter, there is a new player on the scene. Over the past year a new social media platform called Pinterest has gone from strength to strength. It is estimated that in just 10 months Pinterest has managed to attract over 13 million users and is still growing. This post aims to explain what Pinterest does and how brands are utilising it.
What is Pinterest?
Pinterest is an image based social media platform in which users create boards and then ‘pin’ relevant images to them, it’s sort of like an online scrap book. As it is a social media platform, users can also share their boards, follow other users and comment on or ‘repin’ images they find on the site. In terms of appearance the site is like a visually based Twitter in the sense that you will get real time updates of what the people you are following have been pinning.
How are people using Pinterest??
The really interesting thing for retailers and brands is how people are interacting with the site. As well as adding pictures of their own interests and hobbies, users tend to go on the site when they are in need of inspiration. For example, if somebody is throwing a dinner party they may search for party ideas, likewise lots of ideas for interior decorating, recipes or fashion can be found on the site. If a user sees something they like on Pinterest, they are likely to click through to the site and investigate further. Put simply, Pinterest is affecting people’s buying habits by taking a potential customer through the first stage of the buying process, recognition and awareness.
Four ways brands should use Pinterest
1. Promote a Lifestyle – When customers identify with a brand, a lot of the time it is because they connect that brand with a positive life style choice. A great example of this is Coca Cola’s creation of ‘moodboards’ which promote Coca Cola as a product that is vibrant, youthful and fun.
2. Showcase Products – Although retailers should be careful not to spam users, Pinterest is undoubtedly a great place to show off products. On Facebook a brand’s presence can sometimes feel invasive, however, people are openly using Pinterest as a shopping tool. Looking for a pair of jeans? Search for them in Pinterest and see a range of the latest trends. If brands are going to show case their products, make sure that they are displayed in a fun and colourful way. Adidas do a pretty good job on their product boards.
3. Run Competitions – Nothing attracts interest like a competition. There is great potential for brands to use Pinterest to get their products out there and talked about. Contests should be related to the brand and designed to get people ‘repinning’ and sharing to ensure the competition goes viral. A good example of this is fashion company Lands’ End competition. They asked users to pin items from the company’ site onto their competition board for a chance to win the item. The result, a lot of people within the competitions users’ network becoming familiar with not only Land’s End but also their products.
4. Interact with Customers – Certain brands have had great success in using Pinterest as an online focus group. Using the platform you can find out from users what products are popular and how people identify with your brand. Used correctly Pinterest can provide truly valuable insight by means more natural than a survey.
If you would like to promote your brand using Pinterest or any other social media platform but need a helping hand, give us a call at Yoma, we are happy to help.