Finding new and exciting ways to engage with your customers online can help to revitalize a stale social media marketing campaign. Pinterest, a new image sharing social site, has built quite an online buzz and some brands are using the platform to engage with customers. Check out these great branded accounts:
- Whole Foods
- Martha Stewart
- Better Homes & Gardens
- Real Simple
- West Elm
- Bergdorf Goodman
- The Today Show
- Travel Channel
- Lands’ End
One of the biggest advantages to Pinterest is the demographic that has made the site popular. The site caters to a female audience (reportedly nearing 70 percent), most of whom are under the age of 45. This much sought after demographic can play a key part in the purchasing decisions of the average American household and your bottom line.
Now you might ask yourself, how on earth can my brand use an image sharing website? When you sell a seemingly uninteresting product or offer a unique service it might be hard to see how you can use a site like this to your advantage. But, with a bit of creativity and research, you’re bound to find a way to use the new platform.
Here are seven creative ways some brands can use Pinterest.
Hold a Contest
One creative way to utilize Pinterest is to hold a contest. Lands’ End recently held a contest it coined: “Pin It to Win It.” Participants were encouraged to browse the Lands’ End site, create pins of items they liked, and the most creative and stylish entries won prizes. This kind of contest can engage your audience and also gets them to your site, browsing your products, and linking to them!
It’s important to review any site’s Terms of Service if you’re looking to run a contest on their platform. As you can see, Lands’ End successfully launched the contest, it’s just up to you to come up with the concept. I could see successful photo hunts/treasure hunts, define your style contests, wedding wish-list contests, and many more!
Conduct Market Research
Have plans to revamp services or products in 2012? Why not test out new products or even your upcoming ad campaign on Pinterest?
Other brands have started using Pinterest as a platform to conduct market research or test product launches. In a recent Mashable post, one creative suggestion was to use Pinterest as sort of a social online focus group to see first-hand reactions, on a platform not as inundated as Facebook.
One way to appeal to this demographic is to play to their vanity. Feature customers on your Pins, especially if you have a clothing boutique or store. “Customer A paired these shoes, belt and top to create this stylish winter cocktail party look!” Showcase customer purchases that exemplify their style or pin photos of products that go well together and that customer X recommends.
Have a wedding venue? Create pins for each of the events or weddings you hold at your venue. Feature each bride and groom and wedding party and take it that next step by creating a style board of the bride’s wedding style. Pin photos of decorations and elements that made the wedding unique. This will help other prospective brides to see that your venue can be transformed to fit their unique needs.
Present Concepts in a New Way
Did you know Pinterest allows you to add contributors to your boards? Have a few team members put together a storyboard on Pinterest to present to a customer. Or co-Pin with a customer to create a board full of ideas for their next event or shopping spree.
I could see this working especially well for an event planner, photographer, bakery, travel agent, art dealer, or even a jewelry designer. Each of these professions requires both parties to be in agreement on what the final product style or idea is. If the product or idea is presented in a clean, simple, and creative way, using Pinterest it can stand a chance of being better received. Not only that, it allows you to creatively engage with customers, and prospects can see too!
Put a Face to Your Brand
Personalizing your brand’s style or what your brand stands for can be a hard thing to do with plain ol’ web copy. Use Pinterest to showcase your style, what makes you different, what your brand stands for, and use it as an opportunity to highlight your employees too. Putting a face to your brand is easily done with Pinterest.
Promote Your Image Content
I recently started a board of all my favorite infographics and a brand can do something similar. Feature all of your image content in one place for easy access.
Infographics, product photos, and your own photography can be featured. Do your research and see how other brands are using Pinterest to share their image content by browsing a few of the brand pages listed above.
Stylists, fashion editors, and personal shoppers can feature their image content to help them sell their services. Their style and ability to put together an outfit can be easily translated through a board on Pinterest.
I could see travel agents using Pinterest to help a customer see the full picture of their luxury vacation. Pin photos of activities in the area, landscape photos, and photos of the hotel lodging and other accommodations. The possibilities really can be endless.
Sell More Products
Add a “$” or “£” to your Pin description and Pinterest will automatically create a price banner for your photo. In the gifts section of Pinterest users are able to see your products, and if you do your job right you just might sell some products – by putting a link to the site where a user can buy your product (duh!). Don’t forget to take down the Pin once you sell the product, if applicable.
Using Pinterest in this way is great for artists, designers, arts and crafts peeps, jewelry designers, and even real estate agents.
Imagine creating a board of a property you’re trying to sell. Take photos of the property and surrounding areas. One idea might be to add photos of possible improvements that can be made to the home or those improvements the seller might be willing to pitch in on. By creating a board of all these items a viewer can quickly and easily see just how amazing the house is (or can be).
These are just a few of the creative ways brands can use Pinterest to spark interest and engage with customers. And to whet your palate for Pinterest even more, check out the announcement from Facebook last night – 60 new and exciting apps were unveiled including a Pinterest app! If you aren’t convinced Pinterest is here to stay, you certainly should be now.
How is your brand using Pinterest? Do you see additional benefits to using this popular site?
This article was originally published Jan. 19, 2012 on SearchEngineWatch.com.
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