I’m always overly eager to try out new social networking sites and services, which is probably the result of my short attention span. So when my girlfriends confessed their addiction to Pinterest, I was immediately curious, enough; so that I made an account and started ‘pinning’ right away. If you haven’t heard of Pinterest, as I imagine many men have not since 70% of users are female, you will pretty soon. Unlike Twitter and Facebook, it is solely a visual social network–thus its appeal to me, a lover of photography. You can browse through thousands of photos and videos, create virtual boards, and pin things to them you find interesting. You are able to follow other people’s boards, comment and like them just as you would on other social network sites.
But is this a path companies should venture towards in an effort to brand themselves and reach consumers? I say it’s definitely something worth looking into. Pinterest already has an audience of 3.3 million users and still growing. With the ability to choose and upload photos, group them by theme, link to a website, and connect with followers, this is a great way for a company to brand itself, increase transparency, and create a cohesive image in the mind of consumers. Brands also have the benefit of keeping track of what followers are interested in and what they’re saying about their products, serving as a research tool.
Pinterest is all about promoting a lifestyle and stimulating followers visually. Brands like WholeFoods have used Pinterest to promote and enforce their brand values. They pride themselves on selling organic, quality foods that contribute to a healthy lifestyle, so they feature boards pertaining to recycling, gorgeous gardens, beautifully baked goods, kitchens, and art projects. Businesses can definitely use this site as a way to advertise their products, but it has to be approached differently. GAP is another brand that has embraced this new breed of social networking and created boards like ‘Holiday Gift Guides’ featuring their holiday ads, lookbooks for the upcoming season apparel, and GAP models in different outfits. These brands are utilizing Pinterest features to promote their brand as well as advertise their products.
Pinterest is already showing positive results according to Mashable reports that state, “Pinterest Drives more Traffic than Google+, YouTube, and LinkedIn Combined.” I think it’s a great way for brands to reach their markets in a more exciting and visually appealing way. But will Pinterest give sites like Facebook and Twitter serious competition? Hm…what do you think?