I’ll be straight up honest and say, I never ‘get’ social media platforms when I first come across them. I mean, I live and breathe Twitter these days, but for the first year of my time on Twitter – I was not convinced. I floated around, loosely tweeting something Facebook Staus-esque; not really understanding what I was doing there. It was a lonely experience. That is of course, because a social network is the sum of it’s parts – no community? No ‘social’ and no ‘network’. As soon as Twitter rocketed – so did my interest. My 1 tweet every 6 months, swiftly turned into a rate of roughly 1TPH (Tweets Per Hour). Pinterest is no exception to this experience. I’m a member of the social network, but I’m not an active member. That should change. With an estimated 70 million users – Pinterest is the fastest growing social platform. Pinterest is also one of the biggest traffic drivers worldwide, being beaten only by Facebook & Google – that’s some tool! Perhaps too large a tool for social media marketeers to be ignoring and certainly a platform brands should be and are embracing.
Not sure where to get started? Here’s three brands pulling out all the stops as far as pinning is concerned:
I first stumbled across Honda’s Pintermission campaign whilst reading Distilled’s Brandoplois report on the increasingly blurred lines between the world of publishers and brands. In the report, the author, @lydialaurenson details how Honda were early adopters when it came to using Pinterest’s marketing potential. Drawing on the ” world’s collective Internet exhaustion: they offered five top pinners $500 each to take a break”. The campaign was clever in that it encouraged consumers to stop blogging/content sharing, and start doing – whilst simultaneously capitlising on the Pinner’s high popularity on the site. In place of the selected Pinner’s usual content was an image stating why they needed a #pintermission. One example, from a popular cooking related pinner read: “I can’t cook any of the recipes on my boards because I spend all my time pinning about them. I need a pintermission.” The graphics pinned, came with Honda’s logo attached and pinners were more than happy to promote the brand, creating a social buzz around the campaign, successfully targeting niche audiences and drawing their attention to the Honda brand. It was, after-all, a pretty ‘cool’ thing to do.
What I love about this particular case study is that Honda have used the network and the publishers of other established contributors, rather than organically promoting from their own Pinterest board alone . Honda are among the first brands to use Pinterest as an outreach tool. Whilst other brands have Pinterest boards full of engaging content , Honda – without a huge audience of it’s own – sought out an already established audience. Not only did they increase awareness of the brand, but they used other communities to build and increase their own communities. As a result, Honda now have nearly 8000 followers on Pinterest. Impressive in an environment that is 70% female (more stats on gendered social media usage over at Social Media London) , i.e, 70% not their obvious target market.
Chobani is a yogurt brand. They sell yogurt. That does not sound like a brand that would present itself as an organic hub of exciting and engaging content. However -with almost 100,000 Pinterest followers – yogurt is clearly selling. Emily Schildt, Chobani’s Digital Communications Officer puts their success on Pinterest down to the platform’s ability to show off the multi-facets for the brand’s personality and story. She says “Pinterest gives a more visual look into Chobani’s personality and the core values behind our brand“. Perhaps the most instrumental technique behind Chobani’s Pinterest success is down to the fact that Chobani doesn’t concentrate on only yogurt. After-all, yogurt is not the most aesthetically pleasing of foods. Chobani understand their customer base; they pin recipes using Chobani yogurt and other ways to use the product on their boards – encouraging participation and creating more visually engaging posts altogether. Everyone loves food pics, just spend five minutes on Intsagram if you don’t believe me. Not content at stopping here, Chobani also have a featured board entitled ‘Nothing but Good’, the company’s tagline, which only showcases fun and interesting content, such as the image above, that matches it’s brand image. No yogurt in sight.
Chobani has zoomed in on and embraced the concept of Pinterest to a degree that other brands are still struggling to get to grips with. Pinetrest is about the consumers lifestyle – not about their undying passion for flavoured fermented milk. In that sense, Chobani is using it’s Pinterest account to excite it’s community around the brand and the story it’s telling. In turn, they are able to enlist an army of Pinners who serve as company advocates. It’s about moving beyond the signature product and showcasing the narrative of Chobani – this is what creates loyal and engaged customers.
It is perhaps not surprising that ASOS are doing Pinterest well ; their eCommerce site looked Pinterest-y before Pinterest existed, their audience is primarily female and generally – pictures of clothes are visually engaging. However – what ASOS have done with their Pinterest account is really getting their customers involved. They’ve created 23 boards including product ideas, lifestyle orientated content (Asos ❤ Travel), celebrity content and interactive competitions. They recently ran a campaign asking people to pin their favourite items from their current sale, the incentive being to win £200 to spend online at Asos. Anything and everything to get their consumer bases’s pulse racing and titillate their audience.
What’s most interesting, is that unlike other retailers using Pinterest – Asos have really embraced the social aspect of Pinterest – making sure they share the content across their other social networks and repinning blogs and articles that link to other sites. They’re using Pinterest to build their following, excite the community and of course, to generate sales – all of which, they’re doing simultaneously. As a result, Asos have amassed a 50,000 strong following on Pinterest – pretty impressive huh?
With these examples in mind therefore – perhaps it’s time your brand / blog / self began to embrace Pinterest for all it’s worth (I’m taking my own advice and will be creating a board to inspire me for SociallyImpressed content). Visual is powerful. We know that a tweet with an image attached receives 55% more engagement than a text-only tweet, so Pinterest feels an almost natural progression from here. The biggest thing to remember when using Pinterest is to keep your content relative to your audience. As with all content marketing, Pinterest works best when you’re initiating conversation with your audience – not preaching. Pinterest is a new and powerful platform, your brand can still be an early adopter here and there is scope to experiment until your heart is content. Try including guest Pinners, try mixing it up with video content, but always, always, always keep your audience in mind. Like Facebook and Twitter, you do not want everything to be about your brand, stick to 20-30% to be safe. But most of all, get involved, after-all, to quote my friend Rosie’s apparently unoriginal pun (damn you Ikea), you’ve got to be Pin It To Win It.