Pinterest is one of the several social media platforms today. Even though more companies are actively on Facebook, Twitter and even occasionally on Instagram, Pinterest today is a huge competitor. Some might even say that Pinterest is the next big thing, or that it is sneaking up on Facebook and Twitter. The in 2010 launched a social media platform has gained over 70 million users worldwide in four years. Still, it is not taken as serious as a marketing tool than it should have been.
Pinterest users are mainly feminine (80% of users), a company that wants to reach out to the opposite sex might at first not be so interested in using Pinterest. But why should companies even care to use Pinterest as a marketing tool? Today there are more than 30 billion pins on the platform, and research has shown that it therefore has even more traffic than Twitter and Reddit combined. Even though as stated earlier, most of the users are women, they are exactly the ones you want to target. Women make up 85% of all consumer purchase decisions and purchase over 50% of the ‘traditional men product’ purchases. Hence, 91% of all female purchasers say that advertisements today do not understand them and their way of living. Women are more online active than men are. Though it must be said that Pinterest has more influence on the American market today than it has on the European market. Hence, during 2014 it has been going through a huge growth.
Just like any other platform, you get out of it what you’re putting into it. There will not be much advantage when you are only looking to promote your products. Pinterest users want to have something beneficial that adds something to their lives, homes or lifestyle. Content is easily shared, quickly and frequently. Hence, when starting to use Pinterest as a marketing tool, one must keep in mind that it needs to be creative.
What is the difference with other social media platforms?
The main difference is that Pinterest consists of moodboards/ Pinboards on which one can place his ‘pins’. Pins are the visuals one wants to keep or store for later usage. While other social media platforms focus on what is happening right now, Pinterest focuses on the future. When one sees, for example a great crafting idea, it will be pinned on a moodboard inspired on crafting. Whenever one feels like crafting it goes back to its moodboard and use the inspiration.It has so much more to offer than other regularly used platforms. Just as other social media platforms, Pinterest can be installed as an application on several mobile devices but as a website as well. This way, one can ‘pin’ whenever one feels like. The top three most actively visited and ‘pinned’ topics of Pinterest are: Food and Drink, Do it Yourself and Crafts followed by home decor. When a company relates to these products, success is more likely.
Tips for using Pinterest as a company
1. Pinterest has special accounts for businesses that want to use the social media platform. These accounts are slightly different than the personal accounts. It is tooled with a Pinterest Analystic tool that will monitor the activity of both the website as the most popular pins of the company. It recently added a new feature: Promotional Pins. This feature gives one the opportunity to promote its pins among its target audience.
2. Define and set up initial boards
Make clear what your boards are about and under what they can be categorized. Choose topics and boards that reflect the company’s image, values, visions and mission. Stay close to the company in order to get the most advantage.
3. Be creative
As said earlier, make sure your pins are presented in a creative way. Hence, it is important that it fits the company and its target audience.
4. Link your Pinterest account with other social media platforms If your company is active on Facebook and Twitter as well, it might be a valuable idea to link them to your Pinterest account. This way, ‘pins’ can easily be shared via several media platforms. It creates more exposé.
5. Target audience Pinterest is not only a great medium to reach out to your (potential) customers, it is also a great opportunity to research your (potential) customers. By looking what your customers pin, you get to know them and their personal interest, which are of great value.
Companies and brands that are nailing Pinterest
1. Ben & Jerry Who is not familiar with this great sustainable ice-cream brand. Ben and Jerry seem to be everywhere and Pinterest is not an exception. With 23 boards, 809 pins, 2.143 likes and 5.864 followers, Ben and Jerry are a true hit on Pinterest. They are not only pinning ice-cream pictures, not at all even, but as well pictures of their happy customers, and all the values related to the company. They try to really link with their customers via this platform. http://www.pinterest.com/benjerry/
2. Sony Electronics Sony, a well known electronic and gadget company from Japan, is doing a great job on Pinterest. With 34 boards, 2.693 pins, 6.104 likes, 43.806 followers they are one of the largest companies represented on the social media platform. All boards are clearly categorized and show their products and their values. However, Sony does have some boards that represent the humour of the company clearly. Boards such as: I can haz gadgets? and Geeky Techfun are two of them. Hence, they clearly understood the advantage of Pinterest and the needs of its users. By their board: Gadget DIY, they give their followers ideas on do it yourself crafts, a category which scores high on Pinterest. http://www.pinterest.com/sonyelectronics/
Pinterest is more attractive for companies and businesses than it has ever been. With the rapidly evolving business accounts, it offers a lot of insight into a company (potential) customers, but can as well bond with them by providing them special information or even crafts related to the company. Hence, companies need to stay true and loyal to itself to really turn this into a great opportunity. It can really present a companies value and vision if done well. Though, Pinterest asks for a different approach than social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter. It needs their visuals to capture everything and at the same time bond with the customers. The difference between Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest is that is focuses mainly on the future whilst other media’s focus on what is relevant right now. But it is also a great media to represent your company with a sense of humour, something one would not do as fast on Twitter and Facebook. Companies really need to dive in Pinterest, not only because of its promising potential, but as well because it is one of the fastest growing media nowadays. Whilst using Pinterest as a company, it might definitely improve sales since most of its users are women. Women these days make 85% of all purchase decisions, which reflects the importance of this target audience. Companies such as Ben & Jerry and Sony Electronics are great examples of how a company should behave Pinterest.