Understanding Pinterest and Your Audience









February 2012

With 2012 in full swing there is no shortage of social media trends vying for attention. While many might be interested in Facebook’s recent IPO, it’s Pinterest that’s proving to be the social media sweetheart of the first quarter.

According to its about page, “Pinterest lets you organize and share all the beautiful things you find on the web […] Browsing pin boards is a fun way to discover new things and get inspiration from people who share your interests.” Though the site grows steadily, with around 12 million monthly unique visitors, it continues to remain true to its mission – at least for the moment – providing a unique outlet for people to share the things they love.

While the appeal for the individual is obvious, businesses and communications professionals can also gain from interacting on Pinterest. Whether you’re looking to create a new brand identity, craft virtual scrapbooks, entertain your community, or simply stay aware of the latest trends, this highly engaging and interactive site has a little something for everyone.

5 Tips for Using Pinterest

1. Leverage creative communications. Showcase a customer you caught wearing your product or encourage clients to review your services. Maybe even hold a contest like Lands End’s Pin It to Win It … Whichever way you decide to interact, Pinterest can help you use striking imagery to entice and include customers in your communities. “Using the power of the image, companies can create buzz around products, display more in-depth aspects of their businesses, and ultimately create more personal and visually pleasing social experiences for their audiences,” writes Constance Aguilar in 5 Ways Brands Can Use Pinterest to Boost Consumer Engagement.

2. Don’t self promote. As the site explains in its Pin Etiquette, “Pinterest is designed to curate and share things you love. If there is a photo or project your proud of, pin away! However, try not to use Pinterest purely as a tool for self-promotion.” Instead, look to discover new things that you can share with your communities and be open to receive new inspiration in return.

3. Encourage link backs. Nordstrom, Whole Foods, and Etsy are just a few of the 100+ brands using Pinterest, with nearly 9,600, 13,000, and 50,000 followers respectively (as of this post). And many other businesses also are seeing substantial referral traffic from Pinterest back to their site. “One of the ways Pinterest is different than other social networks is in the way that users can follow individual boards that interest them instead of being forced to follow a user and everything they share. That allows folks who prefer to follow interests instead of a particular person an opportunity to do so,” comments Adam Helweh in 3 Ways to Use Pinterest for Marketing Research. However, what makes Pinterest unique can also be a challenge. You have to have content worth pinning before users will want to add it to their boards.

4. Connect with the media. TIME magazine is just one example of a media outlet using Pinterest to display bios and photographs, share breaking news and trends, and curate content into a mini-online magazine of sorts. Communications professionals can get in on the action by creating virtual scrapbooks or pin boards to subsidize or replace their existing online news center.

5. Pin carefully. While Pinterest soft launched less than two years ago and has grown steadily since, it is still by invitation-only. Once your request for invite has been approved, you can start sharing your collections with the community. But remember “As one of the first members of Pinterest, your pins will help set the tone for the whole community,” advises Ben and the Pinterest team in a “Welcome to Pinterest” email. So be sure to put some thought and effort into the content you post and repin.

BottomLine: With a little bit of brand personality and community interaction – your organization or client could well be on their way to creating fun and interactive pin boards. Just like with other social media channels, Pinterest should be incorporated into your overall communications strategy. Go where your audience is and create interesting stories. Whether the conversation takes place in print, online, social media, or broadcast – BurrellesLuce WorkFlow has all the tools you need to effectively plan, monitor and report on your key initiatives.

About BurrellesLuce

BurrellesLuce is the U.S. leader in media monitoring. Professionals in a wide range of industries rely on our comprehensive curated content from local and national print, online, broadcast, and social media sources. BurrellesLuce has a turnkey copyright compliance program that allows us to provide copyright-compliant, behind-the-paywall content not available to other services. BurrellesLuce combines grade-A content with easy-to-use software, allowing users to evaluate and analyze their media coverage and PR efforts. It's all integrated into our user-friendly interface, BurrellesLuce WorkFlow™.

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