6 Social Marketing Lessons I learned from Pinterest

Favorites Jan 24, 2012 No Comments

6 Social Marketing Lessons I Learned on Pinterest

By Ruth Michel

Collections are an obsession. I had one for just about everything growing up: coins, feathers, rocks, postage stamps, seashells, Beanie Babies, snow globes, even bird nests for a while. Most of these have been boxed up, donated or trashed, but the hobby still remains, only now in virtual form.

Today we collect followers, likes and check-ins instead of baseball cards. We can take our collections with us to work, to the bleachers of our child’s basketball game, to the mechanic’s waiting room. We can share them with the entire world (if they’re interesting enough).

And then came along Pinterest.com. Someone had the genius idea to take the tangible things we love – shoes, photographs of puppies, dessert – and create one place for us to collect them online. It’s taking off like wildfire. Every day more and more friends are following my boards, joining about 40 million other monthly users on the social network.

Why am I sharing about my new, I’ll admit, addiction? It speaks volumes of the social world that’s evolving:

  1. Visual Rules
    Twitter brought our messages down to 40 characters. Maybe images are a logical next step. They’re powerful. Which are you more likely to click on? A photograph of melted spinach artichoke dip or a Tweet about it? It’s more important than ever to post images of your products available online if you want them to be considered or shared. The same goes for videos, which are also “pinable” on Pinterest.
  2. Personalization is Key
    Pinterest gives its users control over their experience. They can name their boards whatever they want, have as many as they want, pin what they want, follow who they want, search for whatever they want, well, you get the picture. Give your customers options.
  3. Create a Record
    You can look at your Facebook Timeline and see the highlights of 2010. You can check into Foursquare and see how many times you visited Dairy Queen last year. You can look up your “Gardening” board on Pinterest to find all the new vegetable-growing tips you collected. How can customers document their relationship with your business?
  4. Content Trumps the Old Ad
    The nature of viral means you could do practically nothing besides make a post and hundreds or thousands of people could see or share it. If your content is remarkable, is in the right medium and is picked up by the right person, you’re golden. People trust recommendations on social media, so what are you creating to encourage sharing?
  5. Channels Crisscross
    I’ve already started looking on Pinterest before making purchases. They even have this area called “gifts” where you can search for products according to price. It’s easier than ever before for customers to crosscheck your products with product reviews and the advice of others. The better value and transparency your business wields, the better chances of success you have in the long run!
  6. By Invitation Only
    Anyone can view the main newsfeed, but to join and start pinning yourself, you have to request an invite. Most people wait a few days before they receive their invite by email. This makes people feel special. They ask to join, their time comes and they rejoice about it on their other social network accounts. What is your business doing to make people feel included in something special?
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