There’s been lots of buzz lately around Pinterest, the social bookmarking site that allows you to visually share your interests with others. Like an old-school bookmark, Pinterest lets you save favorite links to refer to later. But it’s better: each URL is represented by an image (or “pin”) coupled with a descriptive blurb. Pinners categorize their pins into themed Boards (Food, Fashion, Kids, etc.) Social sharing via Facebook and Twitter is baked right in, and similar to Facebook, there’s the ability to “Like” or comment on a pin, and to follow users and Boards. Unlike Facebook, Pinterest is an open network, so there are no pesky friend requests to accept (or ignore.) Browsing pinboards leads to endless discoveries – new products, quirky ideas and interesting people to follow. It’s quick, intuitive and oddly addictive.
The really compelling feature of Pinterest is the innate voyeurism of the experience; each collection of images represents a peek into someone’s dream closet. Boards are more than visual filing cabinets – they are wish lists, to-do-somedays, and catalogues of all the things we love. A digital window into your soul.
Pinterest, which has cracked the top 10 social networks, can revolutionize the way we plan weddings, celebrate milestones (new babies, birthdays and holidays), keep track of all of our “stuff” and even help to do some digging on new hires. While Googling a potential candidate is common practice, HR can now also check Pinterest to learn more about an individual. (Tip: think twice about curating a “My Firearms” board.)
Some brands are already getting in on the game. Brands that will win followers on Pinterest will engage people by taking them behind the curtain, showcasing the individuals that make up the brand and posting content that is irresistibly sharable. There is huge opportunity for recipe-centric brands (all that pretty food porn), fashion and home décor. Although, anything that can be photographed is fair game. Attention, Nutella brand managers: there are scores of pinners who really, really like your product.
How else can brands take advantage of Pinterest?
- Marketers can use Pinterest to discover and harness their brand advocates. People are already out there, pinning and sharing products. Brands can follow the people who pin their products, and then feed these people more of the content they want to share.
- Pinterest is a natural venue for giving fans a sneak peek at new products (and the things that inspire them). Brands can also let other pinners contribute to their Boards, allowing fans to collaborate on future products. Comments create a virtual focus group that provides real-time feedback.
- Show them how it’s done. Beyond recipes, Pinterest provides a visual tutorial on your product – whether it’s how to change a tire on your bike, a surprising way to wear a new accessory or making pulled pork using your brand of soda. Brands can create simple infographics or collages that walk people through the steps of a recipe, process, etc.
- Showcase the individuals behind the brand. Brands can drive traffic to their employees’ Boards to give fans a glimpse of the individuals who make the company tick. Or create a collaborative Board on company culture, office space or local flavor. The ideas are endless.
Pinterest is growing quickly and represents a tremendous opportunity to connect with consumers. Brands can get in on the action by focusing on big, beautiful images that beg to be shared and by taking the time to curate quality boards, and connect and converse with their followers. Go forth and pin!
Follow me on Pinterest @walterama