Pinterest isn’t just the word ‘Interest’ with a P in front it. Nor is Pinterest just a word that combines PIN and INTEREST. However, ‘Pinterest’ is as simple as word play…
Just as you hung that cork board in high school and pinned up your ‘Dissect This!’ biology award, Teen Bop clips of Freddy Prince Jr. and Andrew Keegan, your ‘Mathlete’ Varsity letter (it’s a sport! It almost has the word athlete in it) and Johnny’s phone number (got those digits!), you can now digitally ‘pin’ all these things (or NONE of these things) and more in a nice visual space.
This group of things to pin can vary from a board where you pin things you like, to using it as a digital ‘to do’ list, to promoting your business. In fact, businesses, artists and entities of all sorts are using Pinterest as a platform to promote themselves. However, Pinterest encourages no shameless self promotion – they don’t want business’ boards to look like gaudy advertisements. They want businesses to post what the company or entity embodies, rather than what they sell.
With your rad bulletin board chock full of coupons and fortune cookie fortunes, you may ask – do folks even care about Pinterest? What is this DIGITAL cork board? Well, they care and they use it A LOT. It already has a massive user base – according to Open Forum and Mashable, Pinterest has accumulated over 3.3 million active pinners, over 421 million page views and has increased traffic to the site by over 400% from September 2011 to December 2011 (bringing in 7.5 million unique visitors in December alone). Whew! You would think that by now these cork boards should be falling to pieces!
What is coolest about this company is the way Pinterest has been recently proven most useful. Again, the Pinterest folks suggest using the site as a way to share who a company is rather than a self promoted advertisement. Below are some ways folks have been using it the most:
- Promote a lifestyle: Think of this space as a more holistic visual approach to marketing – it’s more engaging because fans of a musician or band often want to know who that band is, they want to feel like they ‘know’ them without ever having met them. This is a space to express what your band is all about. They could post photos of the new accordion they just bought or how they get exercise on the road, a picture of their practice space, a photo of their band’s dog or new clothes from a rad vintage shop they like to support in their neighborhood. This imagery can help to humanize the artists.
- Use it as a focus group: Look at pinners who follow your band or artist. They are offering a ton of information about their interests in a more natural way than with a survey. You can use this information as a way to gain insights about your fans and what they like.
- Crowdsource: You can ask fans to post pictures of them buying your new record or digital album and to tag you. You can then repin those photos to give a shout out to your top fans AND show potential fans how they can get something exclusive from the artist for pinning. Perhaps you could entice these fans to participate by giving them an exclusive track, video, or playlist when they tag your band in their photo.
- Run contests: Ask fans to post links of their remixes of an artist’s song along with an image that describes that remix and to tag the band as a way to enter a remix contest. You can easily repin the links and images to a contest board where the winner is the person with the most repins. Perhaps the winners get to meet the artist or their remix gets released on the artist’s next EP.
- Inspire a team: Applies to work, family, sports, you name it! Post inspiring designs if you’re at an ad company, pin up possible work outings if you meet your goals, etc.
The possibilities are endless – so step on out of the Stone Age or really, the Cork Age and start digitally pinning today.