Pinterest, the online social network, has become a new phenomenon giving users the opportunity to curate their own galleries based on subject matter. Step aside Facebook and Twitter; Pinterest is gaining momentum with more than 23 million unique visitors per month. Current users are comprised of individuals, bloggers, designers, startups, as well as established consumer and B2B brands.
So why the surge in popularity?
Today’s audience seeks content that is easily accessible. Blame it on busy multi-tasking lifestyles or the mobile online revolution. There has been a growing trend towards offering content that is more succinct, or in soundbytes, for instant gratification. Consequently, this has also created a culture of content discovery and content sharing. More than ever, people are active as curators, broadcasting content, sharing experiences, reviewing products and brands online. And Pinterest provides a portal for this exact activity. Upon logging onto the site, one is bound to find something inspiring to spur the imagination from DIY holiday decorating ideas to photographs of natural vistas to infographics about energy conservation. The underlying rule of Pinterest is to try and “pin” items that are authentic.
One must wonder how this all relates to branding. For brands, this means there is an opportunity to not only tap into details about their target market, but promote unique elements of the brand or organization. This is a good way to build brand ambassadors who will post about an idea, product or service, thus generating a continuous conversation and most importantly, getting the word out about your brand.
Contrary to data that Pinterest caters more to design, fashion and DIYers, many non-retail and non-crafty brands, including a handful B2B brands, are carving out their own space on Pinterest. Unexpected industries such as healthcare, education, manufacturing and technology are finding ways to creatively promote their business via Pinterest. Brands like GE, IBM, Oracle, Adobe among others are using Pinterest as a destination to generate their own news and micro-stories to build trust and loyalty.
A big player like GE that serves both consumers and businesses has an assembly of Pinterest boards that embody various facets of the organization, packaged in a user-friendly format. One board called “The Archives” displays various vintage photographs and diagrams showing GE products throughout the years. Another board called “#GEInspiredMe” features various inspirational photographs submitted by individuals as part of the brand’s search for the next GE Instagrapher. Other GE boards focus on green living, appliances in designed environments or even images and videos of complex machines in action. There is something to serve every bit of GE’s wide audience range.
Similarly, IBM reveals a 360-degree view of the company by featuring boards that expose facets of the organization that are less prevalent on the corporate site. One board on features IBM “Innovations that helped shape the last century” while another board called “Big data” shows how IBM uses data analytics to generate critical insights. Interestingly enough, IBM’s Pinterest page is also an extension of the brand’s Smarter Planet campaign. Several of IBM’s boards play an important role in storytelling, specifically as it relates to the brand positioning. This is an excellent example of how to connect the dots between a brand’s main website and Pinterest.
While Pinterest hasn’t entirely taken off for B2B brands just yet, this social network is something to consider as part of a brand’s social media strategy. Having more and more relevant content is critical to help build a brand omnipresence that helps convey an air of leadership and attract new customer targets. For brands, Pinterest can serve as an online library of everything brand and industry related. It provides a framework for creating content that matters and distributing this content to an infinite audience.
So, is your brand on Pinterest? If so, please share so our readers can follow your boards.