As anyone on this site is probably aware, Pinterest has become a power when it comes to driving traffic to retail sites. In the wake of this explosion, there’s already been a fair amount of wriitng on Pinterest as a marketing tool. We haven’t seen much (a little, not much) regarding Pinterest as a branding tool.
Pinterest has some pretty sweet demographics. Everyone knows the ladies love it. It turns out, those ladies tend to make more than $100,000 per year, while 50% of them are in the coveted 25-45 year old cohort. Half of them have kids. So – upper middle class, harried moms. A simple, attractive, social site like Pinterest is like... tailor made for these folks and some retailers (and some other often surprising brands) have taken notice.
Using Pinterest for Branding
- Make sure Pinterest fits into your brand and social media strategy. No brainer here, but obviously not every social media outlet is appropriate for every brand. Although some entities and organizations that I wouldn’t have expected (looking at you, US Army)have turned up on Pinterest, and are apparently successful there.
- Focus on lifestyle, not products. Brands like Whole Foods have been successful on Pinterest, not by posting links to their own products (although they do this), but by promoting a lifestyle that supports their brand. Their pins are shots of beautiful people in beautiful kitchens making beautiful food (hey! That’s available at Whole Foods!) Links to their own products are in the mix, but don’t dominate.
- Make sure your own photos rock. Look at the other photos in your stream if you’re not a photographer and emulate your favorites. Or hire a professional photographer to shoot your merchandise.
- Build an online catalog – if you’re a fashion designer, for example, create separate pinboards for your collections. Pretend this doesn’t contradict what I wrote before.
- Optimize your Website for pinning by making sure it includes great images. On the other hand if images are not a strong suit for your brand, or simply inappropriate for your market, Pinterest may not be the most effective space for you to market. Stay away.
- Place a “Pin It,” button on your Website, especially if you have great photos of your products. This allows users of your site to easily post images of your amazing wares to their pinboards.
Pinterest still has that “new car smell.”
Right now Pinterest is an exciting new toy. Everyone loves it and almost everyone is using it, but we still don’t know if this is a long-term success or a flash in the pan.
Regardless of its staying power, though, the most important keys to effectively using it for branding are not that different from any other branding tool. Know your market. Measure your results. Be consistent and persistent. Don’t contradict your core brand values. Finally, Pinterest’s strengths (simplicity, visual flair) lend themselves to having fun with it. So have fun!