Is it possible to surprise users with a new social network?
Yes, meet Pinterest!
We present you with a review of Pinterest – one of the new players in the social networking market, which is gaining popularity at an incredible speed. Having appeared in March 2010, by June of the following year, the number of visitors to the social network was 275 thousand per month. However, by the end of 2011, the attendance rate increased by 40 times. And in the first months of 2012, the daily western audience of the social network grew by 145%. In the first quarter of 2019, Pinterest reported 291 million monthly active users worldwide. In 2018, about 80% of new sign-ups came from outside of the US.
What is Pinterest?
Social network Pinterest = Pin (pin with a button) + Interest (interest). Pinterest’s social network interface is a virtual thematic board, which each user can create and fill with graphic and video content. Users can download content from their hard drive, repost from other thematic boards or from third-party sites. When a new image or video is “pinned” on a board, subscribers can “like” it, comment on it and “kick” it onto their own board.
All content on Pinterest is divided into categories, there are 30 in total. Having selected a category, you will see all the changes that users make to it (adding new pictures and videos, comments, etc.).
In order to add pictures from third-party sites themselves, users need to add the “Pin it” button to the bookmarks bar of their browser. After that, on any site, you can select the picture of interest, click this button and the image will automatically “poke” on your Pinterest board. There can be any number of thematic boards per account.
Who is the target audience?
Most of the social network audiences are women (68%) aged 25 to 34 years (over 27%). It is noteworthy that many western housewives use of Pinterest for shopping. Some of them make purchases by accidentally going to one or another thing through this site. Over the past few months, Pinterest has spawned large companies, small and medium-sized businesses. So, little by little, commerce begins to develop in the service. In the future, Pinterest could profit from purchases made on its platform.
Mark Zuckerberg has become interested in other social networks. Having registered on Pinterest, the founder of Facebook immediately began to be active there. Today, he has14146 followers,and he follows 124 people, “likes” and even uploads some pictures.
Pinterest value for business
Since Pinterest provides a means of access to a wide consumer market, it is logical to ask questions: how the service makes money and what opportunities it opens up for business.
There are no ads on the site yet. The management notes that monetization is now not a priority, but money comes from investors. However, one of the ways to make money is through affiliate programs. The social network is actively attracting referral traffic. Currently, over 1000 brands are using Pinterest for their promotion: the most popular categories are Food, Media, Beauty and Style, Traveling, Social Organizations, Clothing.
The service has a lot of monetization options – from cooperation with online stores to create your own platform with which you can make purchases. In addition, the service can take advantage of existing monetization models of competitors (Facebook, Tumblr, Twitter, etc.): paid impressions and messages, ads targeted by interests, etc.
Site policy now prohibits brands from using Pinterest for direct advertising. However, Pinterest has enormous potential for brands to interact with the audience. Mashable is already making its assumptions about what may beways to promotebrands on Pinterest. For instance:
creating discussions among your audience by conducting various contests and promotions;
Demonstration of any new products that do not yet exist on the market. This will allow the company to find out the initial reaction of the audience, to analyze the mood and desires of the audience. And it will even help to make a decision on whether it is worth releasing the goods on the market;
increasing loyalty to your product by creating “pin-collections” with various product design options for the client, and then demonstrate them to the entire audience.
Pinterest social service is a symbiosis of a social network and a blog, which is based on the exchange of photos and videos, rather than text content. Judging by the high pace of development, a visual content service in a few years will probably compete with the most popular social networks today.
As for the commercial side, due to its specificity, while maintaining its current popularity, Pinterest can be an excellent field for commercial activities.
On Pinterest, we can build the image of our ideal “I”, tell friends of interest about who we dream to be, what kind of art we are going to learn, where we plan to go. The source of inspiration on Pinterest is all the surrounding content: shop windows with the latest collections of fashion jewelry, pages from travel magazines, excerpts from beautiful films.
Of course, the fantasies, dreams, and aspirations of people generated by Pinterest can profitably use brands. As it turned out, the key to the success of Pinterest is that they, not only interest other people, but they are also interested in them. The most successful members of the social network are equally good listeners and interlocutors.
Given this fact, combined with the fact that Pinterest is used by people to awaken their imagination, Cole & Weber United has formulated 6 basic techniques for effectively promoting a brand in an “idyllic” social network.
Pinterest Marketing Ideas
1. Inspire people
Brands should not use Pinterest only as a product catalog. However, the usual placement of images in it that are relevant to the interests of the audience is also not enough. When considering content for publishing on Pinterest, it’s worth asking yourself these questions: Can this give people a good idea? Will they desire to share?
Remember that Pinterest users are looking for inspiration. They are not interested in just looking at the pictures – they want to reflect on what can be done with the things that interest them in the photo. Learn from Whole Foods and West Elm.
Pinterest’s brand posters inspire people to experiment with food, proving that food can be not only healthy but also fun and fun.
2. Share your culture, not just products
People tend to interact with other people. And they also want to buy from people, and not from faceless companies. This trend is especially clearly observed in small cities and towns, where products are not sent to any store, but to a familiar saleswoman.
On Pinterest, brands have the opportunity to show their face, lifestyle and company values. Consumers, having familiarized themselves with the culture of their favorite brand and the creators of products, will surely become more loyal and more trustful of the brand itself.
3. Flatter your audience
Show your followers your interest in it. Avoid the erroneous practice of creating the appearance of interacting with the audience, which many brands use on Facebook. On Pinterest, when asking a question to potential customers, please focus on their answers. Only by listening to others will you gain their trust and favor.
The easiest way to show your followers on Pinterest their interest is to kick (synonymous with “like”, “share” for Pinterest) their content with a written explanation of the reason. In the commentary on the revised material, you can write that the picture gave you an idea, inspired to create a new product. And you can write something from the bottom of your heart. The attention of a favorite brand to subscribers will be flattered that it will certainly provoke positive feedback.
You can go beyond reposting. Get your followers on Pinterest to promote your brand. Let them share valuable thoughts with you and give advice, publish their pictures with the products of your brand. If people believe that you are listening to them, they will feel that you value them and will answer in the same way.
4. Influencing Opinion Leaders
This advice follows from the previous one. Do not stop flattering your users. Rub yourself in the trust of those whose flattery will not hinder your brand – opinion leaders. Find out which bloggers in your area are the most influential bloggers on Pinterest.
Do not wait until authoritative people find you yourself – start communication first. Show your interest in their opinions on certain issues, their attitude to certain things. Prove that you are listening to them – then the authorities from the sphere of your brand will join you and become key followers.
5. Think of Pinterest as a living, breathing ethnography
Sometimes our things and the way we use them can tell us more about us than the frankest confessions. Cole & Weber United has already tested the methodology for studying the nature of the audience in relation to things in many research projects.
Pinterest allows you to constantly in real-time measure the behavior and mood of brand subscribers, track the main trends in their environment. All you need to learn about your target audience is to follow those who follow your brand. See what subscribers are doing, what brands, besides yours, they are interested in, what they generally like and whatnot, what they want from themselves and from others on Pinterest.
The brand’s participation in this social network is partly a research project. Pinterest gives you the opportunity to find out about your customers what you always wanted to know. Their lifestyle will become more accessible to you, and not just shopping preferences. You will understand consumers as people and as a result of this, you will realize how the brand should actually interact with them.
6. Interview your followers
Pinterest is actually a community united around everything that is interesting to people. Users are constantly kicking what interests them – what they want to buy. Brands can benefit from these dreams.
Take some dubious product ideas and find out what your subscribers think about them. Or ask your Pinterest audience for the products you should be creating. This is what Yala design company does, inviting its followers to upload pictures of structures and objects that they would like to see embodied in reality.
Even the smallest details can serve as an idea for a new product. Perhaps your audience is really in the subject of the main trends – do not miss the opportunity to find out.
7. Pinterest is not for everyone
Pinterest really has a chance to become a collection of visualizations on the theme of an idealized world. The gallery of beautiful images of non-standard things is really addictive. And not only housewives. As you know, even the “luminary” of the social network world Mark Zuckerberg is looking for inspiration on Pinterest.
However, Pinterest will remain the focus of harmony, creativity, and beauty only if it is strictly moderated. Otherwise, this powerful source of inspiration will very quickly turn into typical trash. By the way, the massive advent of brands can contribute to this.
It is unlikely that all brands should be promoted on Pinterest. Of course, this is an ideal environment for designers, artists, fashion designers, stylists, designers and all those who create amazing things. Suppose you can even put plastic window manufacturers on Pinterest if they upload pictures of samples for some medieval castles.
With great care, you can open access to the social network even to manufacturers of such mundane and inspiration-killing products as household appliances. Indeed, in the picture, the washing machine can be camouflaged by placing it in an exclusive interior or surrounded by a happy family. But companies that produce auto parts, medicines, and other things that you can’t refine at all, certainly have no place on Pinterest.