Pinterest’s latest move is great news for marketers.
About a month ago, I wrote a blog post on how conversations were the key to social marketing success. In short, two-way conversations, not one-way marketing messages, are how people naturally share and communicate with each other. And it’s no different for brand-to-consumer communication. A social strategy that focuses on creating dialogue, either between consumer-to-consumer or brand-to consumer, will be more successful.
Just last week Pinterest introduced a new feature that makes natural sharing easier than ever. According to the social network, over 2 million pins and growing are sent from user to user every day. The feature makes it easier for pinners to send and respond to pins with either a pin or a message. These conversations can take place one-to-one or one-to-many.
The move comes at just the right time for social marketers. A recent study published in the Journal of Consumer Psychology found that social media is struggling to match the influence of non-digital word of mouth. One of the key barriers blocking social media from becoming as powerful is the high “social risk” people associate with posting on social media. For example, when a user posts a status on Facebook, all their friends can see it; whereas in non-digital word of mouth, only the other person (or people) in the conversation can hear it–a much lower social risk–which may be why ephemeral apps like snapchat, or anonymous apps like Secret have seen such adoption.
Pinterest’s messaging feature allows pinners to easily control who they’re sharing with, greatly lowering the perceived social risk. This makes Pinterest and pinning behavior more similar to non-digital word of mouth, the highest converting marketing channel in history.
Additionally, Pinterest is naturally different from the other social networks, in that it naturally revolves around products. Users don’t just pin random thoughts about how their day is going like they do on Facebook and Twitter; instead, it’s used to brainstorm and collect ideas, such as how you want your living room to look in your new apartment.
Pinterest co-founder, Evan Sharp, says it isn’t just another messaging platform, either. “This isn’t about chatting with friends. It’s more about planning projects in your life.” Conversations is about exploring and sharing ideas.
Conversations on Pinterest lends itself perfectly to encouraging more word of mouth recommendations, the ultimate in social marketing.
On behalf of social marketers, thanks Pinterest.
What do you think? Are you more likely to share pins with specific people rather than on a public board?