It was only launched in March 2010 but already Pinterest is being used by top brands as a way of getting the word out to potential customers.
Pinterest is a social network that relies on user curated content rather than user generated content. Users create “mood boards” of images that they’ve found elsewhere on the internet and share those boads with their followers. For example, a user might have a “kitchen renovation,” “holiday destinations,” or “wedding planning,” board. Savvy suppliers are realising that creating their own pinboards is a great way of making sure that their products feature in these people’s plans.
Pinterest is on the desktop and is mobile. It integrates with other social networks like Facebook and Twitter and is fast becoming the way to share visual references. According to Read Write Web, “User experience, a clean retro visual design, content curation, social collaboration and subscription: those are the things that Pinterest is leveraging to gain a lot of traction and buzz.
While IKEA doesn’t have an official international Pinterest yet, several localised versions exist, such as the UK and Turkish IKEA Pinterest accounts. Here, people share the inspired ways that they’ve used IKEA products as wedding accessories, children’s furniture and so on.
Clothing brand The Gap also features their products heavily, arranged into boards by collection, model and designer:
The aim of this Pinterest account is to promote specific products – essentially it acts like an online catalogue.
Volkswagen has taken a less direct tack, with a Pinterest that reflects the brand image rather than the product range:
The content doesn’t consist of direct sales pitches for Volkswagen vehicles. Rather it reminds people of the fun, free spirited ethos of the types of customer it hopes to encounter on Pinterest. It’s very well tailored to what is, at present, the Pinterest niche user.
Perhaps the archetypal Pinterest user is someone who also has an Etsy account: individuals who like one-off design and visual culture. The Etsy Pinterest particularly highlights products that are specific to the time of year (such as Easter and Wedding themed boards in spring, and Halloween and Thanksgiving boards in the fall).
Their boards contain a mix of products available from Etsy sellers, and inspiration for DIY craft projects, which means that it holds the interest of people who enjoy craft without making them feel that the Pinterest is simply a mirror of Etsy’s online store.
Publisher Scholastic reaches out to teachers, librarians and parents with their Pinterest. It also targets their core market of young readers.
The “All Things Baby-sitters Club” board is aimed that the young teens who read the Babysitters’ club series whereas the Classroom Magazines resources are aimed at adults. Having different boards allows Scholastic to cleverly target different niches.
Pinterest offers a number of ways in which brands can reach out to customers, from promoting a lifestyle to showcasing new products, to acting as a focus group. Tracking the number of “repins” is a great way of assessing a product’s popularity.
According to Mashable: “Expressing passion for a hobby is just as easy as browsing for your next purchase. But what’s even more addictive about the site — a collection of collections — is that it’s just as much about the users as it is what they’ve posted.”