When I wrote my Guy’s Guide To Pinterest last week I mentioned that – at least to me – it seemed as if marketers hadn’t done too much with the site just yet, making it feel like it was free of marketing and advertising.
I was, of course, quickly corrected. According to Ad Age, Real Simple magazine is already getting more traffic from Pinterest than from Facebook, and small and big businesses alike are exploring ways to use the site to connect with consumers. It makes sense: Pinterest has a clearly defined demographic, with 59 percent of the site’s visitors in a recent 12-week period being women between the ages of 25 and 44.
“I believe that it varies from other social sites because of the amount of visibility you receive,” said Lauren Van Grouw of Confections by Shara’s Paperie, which has been using Pinterest to promote products since November. “Most platforms require a friendship or acceptance to be in place before your content can be viewed. However, with Pinterest, you are able to reach a larger audience than ever imaginable.”
The site is still in invite-only mode, and there are rules against blatant corporate promotion, but several companies are finding ways to connect with customers and would-be customers on Pinterest in ways they can’t on other social networks.
Sharing Ideas On How To Use A Company’s Products: Whole Foods is getting around the blatant self-promotion ban by creating food-porn Pinboards that clearly encourage people to use their products. Pinboards with titles like “Super HOT Kitchens” and “Who Wants Dinner?” are aimed at getting people into the kitchen (via an implied trip to their local Whole Foods).
Contests: Several companies are holding Pinterest contests. Most notably, Land’s End wrapped up a giveaway last month where 10 Pintrest users received $250 gift cards for creating pinboards of their favorite Land’s End products. Pinterest “is a simple way for new customers to be inspired by Lands’ End Canvas and click through to find those products,” Land’s End spokesperson Michelle Casper told Jennifer James of Mom Blog Magazine.
Make Products Accessible: A lot of users have been using Pinterest to share photos of dreamed-for decadence: the perfect last meal, an extravagant, over-the-top wedding or the dream vacation. Picking up on that trend, vacation rental service HomeAway has started posting photos of its properties in an attempt to show viewers dream vacations may be within reach, according to HomeAway spokesperson Jordan Hoefar.
“The content our social media team puts on Pinterest differs from other networks because there’s a greater emphasis on the uniqueness of images in order to capture the user’s eye and help them realize their vacation fantasy can both be a reality and also affordable, which leads to them going to our website, browsing more than 625,000 vacation homes and sharing possible homes for future stays,” he said in an email.