Pinterest is a relatively new social networking phenomenon in the UK – whilst it attracts over 12 million users in the US there are currently only 200,000 here, though this number is growing daily.

So what is the premise of Pinterest? Basically it allows you to organise and share all the things that inspire you in everyday life through the use of images and videos posted on a pinboard– from the home, arts and crafts, fashion, technology, photography and design.

You can not only create your own pinboards but also browse pinboards created by other people that have the same interests. Share images from your own computer or the web through Pin It buttons, Pinterest bookmarklets or URLs, ‘like’ other people’s pins, ‘repin’ images that inspire and leave feedback.

A simple and fun idea in theory but also an excellent and unique visual platform for commerce, it is no surprise that eight out of the top 10 UK retailers have already jumped on the Pinterest band wagon. As the social networking arena becomes more saturated with copy heavy content, users are soaking up the visual aspect and immediacy of Pinterest.

 

HOW IT CAN DRIVE SALES

Pinterest users are more likely to be in the mood for shopping and are worth more to businesses than visitors from Facebook or Twitter. The reason for this is that they are in discovery mode, actively seeking out new and exciting products, which in turn can drive more sales and new customers to a brand than any other social networking site.

Knowing your brand identity is crucial if you want to actively engage with your target audience and successfully use social networking as a marketing tool.

A cautionary note though – Pinterest is a social arena and users are more likely to invest their time in searching for images that tap into their interests, therefore it is not simply enough to pin pictures of your products. You need to create a lifestyle that visitors will want to be part of and ultimately buy into in order to achieve brand loyalty and engaged followers.

Think about your products and work them into a mood board that will connect with your target audience. What inspired your designs in the first place? Weave these images around photographs of your products and you can start to tell a story and establish your brand identity.

Boards can be designed around an abstract idea or lifestyle choice rather than something as tangible as dresses, for example. Organise by season and trends; special events such as Christmas and New Year; everyday events such as weekends; something as simple as a motif or image worked into one of your designs or as conceptual as a mood.

 

BRAND IDENTITY

Pinterest1-300x210Knowing your brand identity is crucial if you want to actively engage with your target audience and successfully use social networking as a marketing tool.  By clever use of pinboards your company can build a brand identity and connect with its existing and potential customers.

By pinning more than just your products to a board you can begin the all-important interaction with your audience and encourage followers. Users of Pinterest can ‘like’ your board, leave feedback and ultimately ‘repin’ your board and share your concept with their own followers.

Boards provide a framework for companies to create a vision or statement about their products. You are the story teller. The visual association used on boards gives you free reign to effectively portray your brand in a way that you want others to perceive you, influence the way you want your customers to think and encourage popularity and demand for specific products.

 

 

INTERCONNECTIVITY

One of the main advantages of Pinterest is its social nature which conveniently lends itself to lead generation. Think about it as a window display: make your boards visually appealing and creative to attract new customers, show off your products, but don’t forget to dress your window:  include pins originating elsewhere and the chances are others will repin your content too.

The art of following on Pinterest is, however, slightly different when compared with Twitter and Facebook. The users have two options: they can either follow a specific board, or all the boards. Each time you pin a new piece of content, all your followers are instantly notified. If you want your content to be shared as much as possible, make all your boards engaging and colourful.

Pinterest also easily connects with Facebook and Twitter, which means that your pins not only get reposted within the site, but they can be shared much more widely, potentially reaching millions of people. Update your content regularly to give your followers a reason to keep coming back.