By Artwell Nwaila
By January this year, the social network was referring more traffic than Google+ LinkedIn
, and YouTube
combined according to Shareaholic
. The company's annual growth from February 2011 to January 2012 grew by 180%. But like all new social networks that pop up, one has to wonder how this will work for brands.
Initially the website was designed as a place to collect pictures of friends, family or places either from your camera or via the internet. Today the platform is used to showcase things that we love and inspire us. Users post images from crafts recipes, fashion, interior design, design, photography and even cute animals.
At first glance the website does seem to be more suited to the fashionistas and those who want to share recipes. This perception is not far off as 54% to 70% of the platforms users are female. Let this not deter you as other products have started making head way on Pinterest. One such brand is Mashable
. The publication categorises its boards the same way that articles are set up on its website, making readers feel very much at home even on Pinterest
showcases the gadgets, social media news and infographics that it’s well known for reporting on. It has managed to take its tech-savvy data and information and made it more visual and shareable.
Another good example is the unexpected use for the network for recruitment. London-based digital agency, Work Club, recently created a Pinterest
board to uniquely advertise a creative director job posting. They used screen shots from Steven Spielberg movies to tell the Work Club
story in an epic way while showing the role of the advertised position.Pinterest
requires a smarter approach especially when you are not in the visual industry. As for any other social networking platform, relevance will always get attention. In an interview on Mashable
, Lizzie Roscoe, who manages the McDonald’s Pinterest
account, says that businesses should not pin sales pitches but useful content. McDonalds would not get very far posting hamburgers every day. Roscoe goes on to say; “The most popular pin on the McDonald’s Corp. board right now is a photo of a hand puppet of a four-armed Grimace. The image is fun, nostalgic, [and] very unique to McDonald’s. It’s part of our company’s marketing history. Grimace originated as a four-armed, milkshake thief. This image, and images like it, are ideal pins for our company, as they are fun representations of our brand.”
Finding the balance between interesting content and subtle brand promotion is particularly difficult but if done well, will lead to a successful account. Hairdresser, Lauren Schaefer, comments on www.businessesgrow.com
: “I think there is a fine line between self-promotion and obnoxious self-promotion. I decided to only pin hair photos to my own boards [from her blog], and a maximum of two per week. The rest of the week, if any blog readers want to pin things from my blog, it’s up to them.”Pinterest
is probably the only social media platform where bad images are frowned upon and will not do your brand any favours. The network is particularly challenging as not all industries have a visual angle. Business like plumbers, lawyers and government organisations will have to really dig deep to make the platform work for them. It may not even be viable but it would be advised that businesses register on the platform to secure their brand names at least. Social media platforms evolve regularly and one day it may suite your brands needs. For those of you who see an opening for you business get involved and start growing your community now.
What do you think about Pinterest
? Do you use it?