Do you Pinterest?
Over the weekend my cousins had a benefit bake-off in honor of their mother. The idea of the bake-off was to have either the best tasting or most creative baked good at the event. When I walked over near the tables with all the goodies, it was clear to me that I wasn’t the only one who used Pinterest as my inspiration for my entry. Sure enough, there were at least 7 of us that had used the popular social media site to find inspiration for our baked goods. Even more amazing was that none of us made the same item.
I recently read that Pinterest is driving more referral traffic than LinkedIn, You Tube and Google+ combined causing the online bulletin board to grab the attention of marketers as the next big business tool in social media. In January 2012, the site registered over 11 million unique visitors, up from 1.6 million in September 2011.
How does Pinterest work? The concept is simple: Pinterest is a way to organize and “pin” images on to virtual cork boards that can be separated into categories – Dream Home, DIY Crafts, Food – which can then be “liked,” “commented,” or “re-pinned” onto someone else’s profile. Each pinned image is linked back to a website. For example, if you pinned an image of a delicious dessert, the link would take you to that particular recipe. And just like with Twitter, Facebook and You Tube, your pinned image can easily go viral.
Why is this important for businesses? The majority of users on Pinterest are pinning items they love for their home, future parties for their kids and even brides-to-be are planning their weddings with images of wedding dresses and pretty cakes. Small businesses in particular will start to see the benefits of using Pinterest when their products are being pinned and then re-pinned on thousands of boards. Many users even have boards titled, “Products I love.” What a great endorsement if your product was pinned to that board with a link back to the product available for purchase. Whole Foods, known for being an active brand in social media, is using Pinterest to publish content to promote and reinforce its brand promise. According to Sprout Social, Whole Foods has pin boards related to food, recycling, green living, holidays, cool kitchens and food art making their list of Top 5 Brands that are using Pinterest Brilliantly.
How could a B2B company like US Digital Partners use Pinterest? I can see our company creating boards that are related to great design, latest technology, products our employees love and even pinning companies that we would want to work with in the future. Will your company add Pinterest to your 2012 social media plan? It would seem to make sense only if you have great visuals and if you are willing to participate in the Pinterest community.
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