As I ease my back into the marketing world after a few months of moving back to the US from Australia and catching up with friends and family I’ve been having fun playing with some cool new social media tools. In today’s spotlight - the picture-perfect world of Pinterest. The site has been around for just over a year, quietly using an “invitation only” strategy to build up buzz. A year ago the site had 50,000+ visitors, now the site just crossed over the 7 million user mark - it definitely is time to take a closer look.
If you haven’t heard about it, Pinterest at its core is a virtual inspiration board where people use images instead of words to entertain and inspire others. As you are roaming around the world wide web when something catches your eye now you simply “pin it” (through a cool button you add to any browser here) and the image is saved on a Pinterest board you’ve created. Before you may have bookmarked it or printed it out - now it is all saved online. Of course on the site you can also browse other people’s boards or check out the live feed and “repin” things to your boards too. It’s like creating a visual smorgasboard of inspiration - something I used to do when I would tear out images from magazines and create a big collage wall in my office.
There are some specific categories and companies that are going to find it very natural to pop on over to Pinterest. Anyone with a visual element to their work - fashion brands, architechts, stylists, designers, photographers - can easily join in on the fun. An architect working wtih a client by pinning visuals of other looks to discuss; a stylist sharing potential “looks” for clients to review before they go out shopping; a wedding planner sharing table decor ideas and thems to a bride - it all makes easy sense. Already brands like Nordstrons, Real Simple magazine and LuxeFinds are already having fun on Pinterest, with more to come.
From a fun and overall marketing perspective, Pinterest could definitely help drive creative thinking and overall inspiration in a number of ways. Here’s just a few to get you started:
- "Pin" your brand name. Remember a few years ago when you’d head over to Wordle and create a fun word cloud about your brand or a competitor, now you can do the same but through images that people connect to your brand. Just searching for “nike” delivers an amazing assortment of official brand imagery as well as average consumer imagery - bringing to life the emotional connection the brand has with consumers through visuals and comments.
- Visualize your team/company vibe. Create a new board and ask people on your team or company to add images that best illustrate your company’s current positioning or the one you want to have in the future. Use the images to debate the essence of each visual and to see if everyone is heading in the right direction.
- Tease clients about an upcoming idea you are presenting. Imagine creating a mood board of visuals that your team has used to develop an idea for a client - get them excited by providing a visual sneak peek of what you’ve used for inspiration.
- Bring your focus group into the social media world. Have a new product in the works and want some feedback on design, packaging, colors, etc.? Invite people on Pinterest to share their initial thoughts and perhaps even save you from making a terrible mistake? Or get people so excited that they can’t wait for your product to come.
Pinterest is a great way for people to engage and entertain other people through the power of visuals. It’s fun, easy to use and heavily addictive and something I highly recommend checking out to see if it makes sense to work into your marketing mix. The notion that a “picture tells a thousand words” is alive and well with Pinterest - so head on over and get pinning.