Over the past few months, activity on the social network Pinterest has exploded.
Pinterest is focused on the lifestyles of its members and encourages them to create different virtual pinboards onto which they can ‘pin’ things they like.
From September to December 2011, unique visitors to pinterest.com increased by a staggering 429% and over 3.3.million people have signed up to the website so far. In fact, it’s recently been announced that Pinterest has more than 11 million monthly visitors, making it the fastest website to surpass the 10 million mark.
The value of Pinterest to brands?
The demographics of Pinterest are particularly interesting for brands – an impressive 80% of users are women, and 55% of these are aged between 25 to 44.
So what does this suggest? Well, if you’re a brand targeting this demographic, you might want to start thinking about whether you should be on Pinterest.
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Interestingly, Pinterest states in its terms and conditions that it is not a platform for self-promotion, but an online space for members to share their lifestyle, tastes and interests.
This means that (as with any social media platform) if you’re considering creating a Pinterest account for your brand, it’s worth putting a lot of thought into it beforehand, as part of an overall social media strategy. Whilst it might be okay to have a board dedicated to your current collection, the idea is that you will curate a wider selection of images and videos which tell the story behind your brand. You shouldn’t just be pushing product, but showing the lifestyle which is associated with that product.
How brands can use Pinterest
So for example, if you are a stationery company, you could have boards dedicated to doodles, great calligraphy or fun origami as well as those showcasing your best products. These do not have to come from you, but are just a curated collection of images which are already out there on the web.
The fact that Pinterest doesn’t have to be so focused on your brand may be intimidating for some – especially if you don’t have a concrete idea about who your target demographic is or what you’re trying to communicate to your customers. However, it also provides a lot of scope for some really fun social media marketing. Indeed, Pinterest even allows you to have other people contributing to your boards, which means that members can create user-generated fan content for your account if you wish.
With the freedom to use fresh content which isn’t necessarily generated from your design team, you can really investigate the different personalities of your brand. That could be anything from a pinboard dedicated to your employees favourite things, to one exploring where your products are made. Let your imagination go wild and dig deep into which niches your brand could become a Pinterest expert on.
Finally, don’t forget what your brand Pinterest account is ultimately there for. Whether you’re wanting to encourage online sales of your product or just looking to experiment, make sure you drive users back to your website and track the results. After all, if you cannot measure it, you cannot improve it.