Expect to see loads of Pinterest pins popping up across the Internet, as more brands try to leverage the white-hot social network. Pinterest – which allows people to “pin” pictures, recipes and quotations they like to virtual bulletin boards — has been around for several years but has only recently gotten big.
Pinterest got about 11 million visits per week in December, almost 40 times what it posted six months earlier, according to Experian Hitwise.
I recently signed up for Pinterest, started following all my Facebook friends as well as some heavy users Pinterest suggested. I almost immediately began thinking whether Pinterest makes sense for brands. I can’t help it, I own a PR firm, so it’s not gonna take long for my brain to go to: How can this beautiful platform add value for my clients?
So, first, from a user standpoint, what’s the attraction when many people are experiencing social media fatigue (and blowing off Google Plus because they already are over-committed)?My friends tell me Pinterest is different, quieter, doesn’t require too much of a socializing commitment (i.e. the introvert’s social media platform) and offers a nice break during the day. It’s particularly addictive for visual people — fashionistas, designers, artists, crafters, cooks, etc.
People like to browse and quietly pin pretty things. My mother used to rip pages from magazines and put them in folders — one folder was for interior decorating inspiration, one was for recipes, one was “ideas for the kids.” Pinterest is the digital equivalent, with a sharing component.
Not a lot of companies/brands are playing on Pinterest yet. With the growth numbers, it’s only a matter of time. I predict the successful Pinterest brands will play in at least one of two ways. They will set up their own Pinterest boards — and the key here is to set up something different than what’s already on your website — or they’ll add Pinterest pins to their websites to remind people to pin stuff. Both strategies, if properly executed, will result in consumers advocating for the brand via Pinterest.
I checked out what some early-adopter brands are trying and considered what’s working and what’s not. I commend Nordstrom for being an early adopter, but its boards are not that compelling. “Dresses I Love,” which I started following because I love dresses, feels like Nordstrom.com. There is nothing new on Pinterest.
Bergdorf Goodman has great names for its boards including “Shoes (that make us swoon).” Many of the boards cut across traditional retail categories and, unlike Nordstrom, also include pictures that don’t highlight products. For instance, there’s one dedicated to the color red that has Bergdorf dresses and shoes and also a pretty red front door and a cool shot of London phone booths. Similarly, Whole Foods has boards dedicated to recipes and products and also one for awesome kitchens. Again, I appreciate it is not so blatantly pushing its products the whole time.
I like what High Point Market in North Carolina is trying. The team there recruited style setters to capture images of their favorite finds at the interiors market and post them on their own High Point boards.
The Seattle Seahawks is on Pinterest, hardly a brand you’d expect to find there. So far, it has just 49 followers. I like the “Great Seahawks pics” board but the one dedicated to jerseys and other Seahawks merchandise is cheesy.
I’d love to hear what you think is working, what’s terrible, what’s somewhere in between. Also, does anyone see a meaningful play for B2B?