It took two years for Pinterest to gain fame, but once it did, it spread at the speed of light. The newest social media website has quickly gained nearly 18 million avid users. With referral traffic higher than Facebook and Twitter, all brands should understand the fundamentals. The basic premise of the website has members sharing content they find inspiring by “pinning” pictures and videos on their “boards”. Here are the good, the bad, and the ugly you need to know before making the decision to put Pinterest in your social media strategy.
Members categorize their interests. Think food, arts, fashion, décor, architecture. This level of scrapbook organization allows members, and your future potential customers, to locate topics easily. Perhaps the biggest plus of the website is in its basic idea: share what you love. If a member likes your product, and pins it, it will be brought to the attention of their followers, who have the option of repining it to their followers. For those social media savvy, it is a possibility they will have their Facebook and Twitter profiles linked up, spreading your brand across multiple social media channels. With the most recent changes to their user policies, Pinterest has made it acceptable for users to self promote. In the distance you can hear brands cheer, because they’ve officially been given the green light to create accounts and begin the interaction. Is your brand ready to pin? Make sure you balance your content: a bit of self promotion with pictures of your product, and a whole lot of fun ideas, cool tricks, and tips for your customers.
Pinterest is the virtual practice of scrapbooking. As such, the members of Pinterest are primarily women. As a brand, it is important to determine if this is your market, and if your products are visual enough to become a sensation. If your product has passed the test, make its portrayal interesting, and most importantly, make it engaging. Social media involvement is (mostly) free, so companies are eager to get involved. Nursing and raising a valuable and profitable social media presence takes time and a tremendous amount of involvement. Make your content engaging and educational. And most importantly, listen and watch to see what your target audience is doing. At the same time, if you put out the wrong campaign it might seriously damage your brand reputation. In the unforgiving social web atmosphere, make sure you talk with your customers, not at them.
The most controversial aspect of Pinterest seems to be copyright violation issues attached to the pinning of pictures which do not belong to the user. As a brand, make sure you only pin original material. The ownership of your Pinterest content does not stop at copyright issues. As with all other social media websites, members do not own the content once it gets posted. The ownership goes to the third party. Make sure your company understands these implications before getting involved.
Pinterest is on fire. If I take my creative hat off for a moment and listen to those around me, the word “addictive” is always uttered within the first breath about Pinterest. Do you think engaging in Pinterest can help raise your brand awareness? Leave your comments below and let us know.