Are You Taking Pinterest With A Pinch Of Salt?
Pinterest continues to spark all manner of glittering social media attention! It’s as if the 11.7 million users now ‘pinning’ their content onto the interest-sharing bullet-board is a sign that Facebook is about to be blown out of the water any day now! Duh – don’t think so!
But rather than taking Pinterest with a pinch of salt, perhaps the site should be seen as a sign of social things to come …
Looking very much to be next-level social book marking for 2012, Pinterest as a shiny, new site may be showing the direction that search and social is heading , i.e. into a more personalised community of likes, lifestyle, and interests on open display. No doubt, some site owners will simply view Pinterest as the latest idle distraction, but they should actually latch onto the valuable info and insight into user behaviours and interests being flagged up.
By using Pinterest, consumers are telling brands directly more about themselves and their world of ‘likes and wants’. In other words, eCommerce owners might discover a great opportunity to listen and learn, and as a result, supply more meaningful and compelling online marketing content.
Having said that, a business who thinks they might just jump in and push their products onto the site should really think again! As with all social media content sharing, an empathetic approach, which aims to genuinely create awareness and answer specific consumer needs within the social context is crucial. The process starts with consumer profile building. i.e. knowing who user actually are, what they are really interested in, and how they feel about specific products and services in their lives.
What is important to emphasis is that Pinterest is unlikely to provide eCommerce owners with direct sales or hard business opportunities. Social sites are, by their nature, about two way engagement and interaction. Savvy brands who are most effective in integrating their social marketing strategies intuitively understand that the intrinsic value of social media networking is to listen carefully to the consumer who will tell you what they want.
As with all social media channels, every business needs to decide the most appropriate channels of engagement for their specific niche audience segments. Each has their own benefits and Pinterest, with its current female users predominating, might be of value to say, fashion, home furnishing, or food related sites.
Interestingly enough, Pinterest has already begun to monetise it’s platform by offering an affiliate type programme. The potential to draw social traffic and raise ranking is always a vital factor in retaining credible web presence with a brand’s community audience.