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Jim Buchan

Notes on the cloud/web2.0 and why every business should be in.

  • April 26, 2012 7:22 am

    Push Pin Economics

    While still considered the baby of the social bunch, it’s clear that the pinning ruckus of Pinterest is gaining steam. This also applies to businesses who are also getting traction from the use of Pinterest, particularly in Retail. However, businesses from many other sectors can also take advantage of this platform through the use of imaging to tell their story and create awareness of the brand.

    The ‘Interest' Graph

    Where sites like Twitter and Facebook cater to the social space, Pinterest fills the imaging void in collaborating with others who share a common interest. This is done by identifying boards which represent the subject matter. So if your business is technology, you may create boards such as Mobile Phones, Netbooks, Accessories or Cameras. Within each of the boards, individual elements (pins) are added to fill-up the board’s ‘folder’. Taking Camera for example, some of the pins could include Pentax, Nikon, Canon, lenses, adapters, cleaning kits… anything which falls under the heading of your board. This is done in 2 ways. Either upload an image located on your computer, or select an existing image on a webpage.

    Still not convinced that this has any business-teeth? This can be answered by looking at the recent history of Twitter. When this microblogging site started out, it was popularized by the social aspect of sharing information quickly to other users of the network which in 2007 was primarily used by the public over firms. Over the years, Twitter grew quickly with the media industry and then with businesses as they realized that their message could quickly be transmitted in real-time. In this manner, status updates, product information and other data could be shared with a wide audience and the rest was history. As such, Pinterest is seen by many in the same light that Twitter was back in the early days, but this stigma is changing rapidly.

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    The light that burns twice as bright, burns half as long

    With any social network, content moves quickly. The life-cycle of content on Pinterest can be passed-on in a fast rate of speed if the content related to your business is boring or bland (or worse, hard-selling). This means that you want to keep your Pinterest account interesting, fresh, active and consultative by introducing new content regularly. This doesn’t mean you must spend all of your time putting as many photos as possible for the sake of filling up your board, but at the same time, you shouldn’t have an item or two which stays for weeks on end. A suggested compromise would be a few pins a week at minimum (or 1-2 per day). Along with your pins, taking the extra time to provide context around your image will provide your users a story to go with your pin. This also bodes well when users are searching your content as the verbiage within your description can be fetched within the Pinterest engine.

    How are industries using Pinterest?

    Pinterest can work for many businesses and organizations so long as the content (in this case, photos) is interesting. Below are some examples of a few industry segments you may not have considered which are using Pinterest. In examining each of these sites, take a close look at the individual boards, which will provide ideas as to how it ties into the brand / segment.

    The next step in creating the boards for your market / brand is to narrow a listing of criteria which describes what it is your business does. You need not attempt to create too many boards when starting, as 5 or 10 is sufficient, so long as they are separate in subject-matter. Once your boards have been created, you can now start pinning the individual images, allowing other users to find and comment on it. Again, to get an idea as to how users interact with brands, look at the sites above to start, and then focus on your particular segment by searching your related industry online. While many other facts and ideas can be discussed at length to describe the power of Pinterest, the benefits will only become clear by creating an account and becoming an active user. Like other social media networks, the more you investigate, pay forward and keep current your content, the better the outcome.

    1. Title image by BP Squadron  |  Infographic by Internetmarketinginc.com