January 10, 2013

Using Pinterest for your brands? No? Should You?

The original Article was written by me on SocioFi: Apps Made Easy
Heard of Pinterest? (Obviously, stupid question.)
Let me rephrase, Using Pinterest for your brands? (Ohh come on, now…)
Let me really ask you this then… Why are you using Pinterest for your brands? How are you really benefiting from Pinterest?
By all means Pinterest has certainly been the product of the year 2012 when it comes to the evolution of the Social era of business so to speak. I can randomly state some stats off the web. I’m sure that’s something you’d already know.
So I won’t even need to elaborate on that. By now if you have figured the platform out, you might have read and heard a lot about why and how brands are successfully using this platform and if you have already started using it, great! If you haven’t then I guess you will start using it or maybe not.
This blog post is not the regular run of the mill one where I would like to list down why Pinterest is a huge benefit for your brands or why you should be using it. No, I won’t tell you that because I for one don’t know what your brand is or even understand what their target audience is, generally speaking.
So let’s take a step back and try to realize some fundamental aspects of why and how Pinterest became this big and probably introspect on whether this could be a useful fit for your brands or why you should say to yourself that I don’t need it, or your brand doesn’t need it especially if you are an agency getting a push from your brand or if you are a brand manager and are getting a push from your competitor per se or someone at the CMO/CXO level who heard about Pinterest in a strategic conference and thought to himself:
“Hmmm, We should be on Pinterest.”
And by saying that I’m not undermining anyone’s thought/intellect, I’m just saying, that’s the way of the ‘social media’ world nowadays. I’m sure you would agree.
I’d like to give an analogy to justify what I’m saying by quoting Tom Webster who I heard on TwistImage’s podcast:
So much of what we see passing as studies, ‘research’ or anything in Mashable that says ‘study’ in brackets, is produced primarily for content marketing. Data that’s produced for the purposes of content marketing is inherently incurious. It is not designed to increase your insight, it is not designed to help your specific business to do better. It is designed to get you to click on a link, to watch a video, to become a lead somehow. So that doesn’t mean it’s wrong, that just means it’s heart is not the same place as your heart is.”
So very true in a general sense… Not just when it comes to data from ‘research’ but also in the context of platforms and it’s applications for particular brands.
I mean come to think of it, yes Social Web is all about trial and error and of course the sooner the better. We all have heard multiple people talking about the referral traffic rates via Pinterest being extremely huge and how brands can benefit from them.
So that’s not what I shall talk about here. Instead this post should be a little introspective about how Pinterest came about and what it’s evolution looks like, most importantly providing an insight on whether as a brand manager or as a Social Media Manager for your organization how would you go about making that crucial decision especially when you want to do something that will fit the taste and the need for your brand.
For now, I’d like to highlight a few things and would love your inputs to take it forward from there… So the first thing is:
1. ‘Pinterest is not about ‘sharing’ per se.’ Pinterest is about collecting!
That is the fundamental that drives users and consumers on Pinterest and if that aspect really fits your brand then yes, by all means you are one step ahead of the game on your ‘Pinterest strategy’ so to speak. Collecting is a human trait that has been an age old fascination. That is exactly what the start up exploited and that is what you can think of especially if your brand dwells in that domain. Not just women, but men also can be your prime focus or target if you know this aspect and leverage it from your brands perspective. And this phenomenon is something that a lot of people like to do. Some of them doing so quite obsessively. People can be quite crazy about collecting and collections.
2. Visual Appeal is what Consumers care for!
This post has no visual and a lot of content, and it is meant for a different set of users, users who would want such insight. Similarly, Pinterest is for the nature of people and generally consumers of content who are delighted with Visuals! Visual engagement addiction has never been more obvious than what has been revealed by Pinterest. If that is what your brand delves in, then yes, this is something that you will get excited about.
3. Do your brands fundamentals go with the insights of users on Pinterest?
Now this is where I can state some of those stats that I was talking about at the beginning of the post, making a contextual reference of how and why actually those stats would matter to you or your brand. On an overarching theme to understand whether your brand is really meant to be really on Pinterest.
For example: “If you create and sell products, Pinterest is the ideal platform to showcase what you have to offer. You can create boards that pertain to individual product lines and “pin” images (that essentially link back to your site). With the pins, you can also include product descriptions, etc. Be careful though as like most social networks, Pinterest is about sharing, not selling. For companies that do not have products to show off, Pinterest offers a way to flaunt brand personality and really engage with your customers/audience.” I’m sure this is something you’ve already heard of…
But what is more important is that you ask yourself these questions, and have you really asked them yet, as a brand manager, as a community manager or for that matter as a business yourself.
  1. Does your brand have enough Visual Content?
  2. Is your content creative or interesting enough?
  3. Does your website or brand really has that much of visual content or support it to begin with?
  4. Most importantly does the conversion strategy work for you?
What is your thought process if you are a brand manager/brand that wants to or is already using Pinterest?

Srinivas has been a communications professional for over 10 years, and has been blogging since 2005. He has worked with the likes of Social Wavelength, now Mirum India, (A JWT Group Company) for four years and now Heads Learning and Development & Analytics at Social Kinnect: A Digital Marketing Agency in Mumbai. His passion for Advertising, Creativity, Social & Digital Marketing helps make a difference for the brands they work with. 

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