Pinning the Brand . . . Is it worth the risk?
The newest member of the Social Media family to emerge as a serious contender to the title of “The next big thing” has to be Pinterest. This startup, launched in 2009, has taken traction in recent months, showing a 155% user increase from December 2011 to January 2012. The site reports 3.3 million total users, having logged more than 421 million page views between them. This creates opportunities for brands to fill out ‘boards’ and leverage this new website to develop their image in the minds of a new and active audience.
So how does Pinterest work? Pinterest brings out the inner scrapbooker in each of us by offering users the opportunity to create and to organise images on a virtual pinboard based on categories. Users can then repin images to their own boards if they choose and link the viewer back to the original source of the image.
This process has proven simple and fun for the end users. However, the way brands use it is different and they have to beware of the following pitfalls of using Pinterest:
- Pinterest etiquette clearly states that it should not be used as a tool for self-promotion. Brands need to approach things a little different than they would on Facebook or Twitter.
- When it comes to Pinning images, brands must be wary of copyright issues. The golden rule for brands is to only pin and to re-pin images that they own or have licensed.
- Pinterest allows users to connect their Facebook & Twitter pages to their accounts in order to expand the reach of the audience. However at this moment we would advise brands to connect their Twitter Pages when setting up their accounts instead of Facebook as Pinterest does not currently allow connections between it and Facebook business pages ( i.e. if you choose to connect with Facebook it can only do so with your personal profile and not your business one). However, the new Facebook timeline which is now mandatory for all users incorporates Pinterest by creating an app for it.
- All Pinterest boards are public and are viewable on creation…needless to say be careful what you put on your boards!
So how can your company engage with Pinterest to help develop a brand image to a new audience? Here are some tips we have put together on how your brand can make the most out of Pinterest:
- Pinterest is visual by design. Use your pinboard as a canvas to develop associations between the viewer and the essence of your brand. Promote the life that is possible for the viewer who uses your brand and make them see how your brand can fit into their lives.
- Promote your company’s culture with their very own pinboard. Show pictures of the office, the people behind the company, and the inspirations of the team. This is a great opportunity to show the faces behind the brand and it will help humanize its image.
- Show people using your product. Get customers to pin their events and tag your brand in it. That way, you will be able to repin them onto a ‘Priority’ board that will give them and your brand more exposure to new potential customers.
- Run contests- this is a follow on from the previous point but if you recently hosted an event get users to pin their best photos of the events and to tag your brand as well in order to win a prize. This will result in a lot of extra content featuring your brand being created for little or no extra cost.
- Business-to-Business companies can create pinboards featuring their executive management boards along with a little bio of each (currently there is a 500 character limit on Pinterest posts), or if they regularly feature at trade shows you can use your pinboard to pin videos of these events.
- Use your pinboards to display infographics and Data Charts that show trends related to your brand and how using your brand will make you more efficient and cutting edge.
These are just a few of the ways that Pinterest can benefit your brand by sparking interest, engaging creatively with new customers and highlighting successful associations of your brand. The value of a business profile on Pinterset is clear – every company should be seriously considering the benefits of joining this new network! Click here to see evetos on Pinterest