I’ve always felt bad for those folks whose offices block the use of Facebook and other social networks! I’m a manager myself, so I get it — you don’t want your employees wasting their time scanning Facebook for the latest from their not-so-closest-friends or shopping for nail polish on Pinterest.
But I’ve always thought that blocking the use of social media ultimately just makes your employees want to use it even more, thus distracting them and having a negative impact on productivity.
Of course, as a digital marketer, access to social media is absolutely necessary to my job, so I’ll never have to worry about that.
The trends in digital marketing today (branding is back and content marketing is king) dictate that marketers must be abreast of the latest trends and seek out new ways to position their products and brands.
Social media is essentially a vehicle for content. Even personal users are there to share and interact with pieces of content from their friends, family, influencers, brands, businesses and industry experts. Trends and news sometimes break on social media before anywhere else!
This means we as marketers can use social media platforms as research tools in addition to content vehicles of our own. To each user, social media feeds have become a personalized 24-hour feed of news and information. For marketers, these feeds can help drive your social and content marketing strategy as a whole.
Read on to learn how you can use social media tools like Pinterest to become a better marketer!
Pinterest & The Growth Of Social Scrapbooking
ShareThis conducted a Consumer Sharing Trends report in Q4 of 2013, which reported that Pinterest’s growth rate surpassed that of Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter as a content sharing vehicle. Email sharing of content experienced a significant decline (-11%). Pinterest’s growth rate is driven primarily by women.
Its growth over the last four years has turned the online scrapbooking site into potential for a viable business. CEO Ben Silbermann plans to expand revenue generated by the site in 2014 by charging advertisers to promote their businesses to the Pinterest audience (which is comprised of approximately one-fifth of US adults online).
I recently heard Jennifer Cario, author of Pinterest Marketing: An Hour a Day, speak at PubCon in New Orleans about visual social media marketing, which naturally meant a lot of talk about Pinterest. Some of the stats she presented were pretty astonishing:
- The average pin is 100 times more viral than a tweet
- The average pin receives 10 repins and generates 2 site visits and 6 pageviews
- 47% (yes, almost half) of online shoppers have made a purchase based on Pinterest recommendations
- The average sale from Pinterest is $179 and tends to include larger ticket items like couches, cars, vacations, etc.
The value of marketing on Pinterest is pretty obvious, but how can you as a small business marketer use Pinterest to help you do a better job?
1. Use Pinterest To Look For What’s Trending
Look for what’s trending and then identify creative ways your product may be put to use by consumers.
Staying on the forefront of these trends can guide your inventory decisions and inform how you market and position your products or services.
If you keep an eye on your site’s images or products that are trending on Pinterest, you can also capitalize on Pinterest’s virality inside your store.
Once you’ve identified the latest trends, create displays in-store to highlight the inventory you carry that matches up to what’s trending. Even if your own products are not going viral on Pinterest (it takes time to build up a following; don’t worry!) staying up-to-date with the “Popular” feed can make your life a little easier as a marketer!
For example, let’s say you run an arts and crafts or party supply store. Pinterest can provide many clues about what kids (and moms) want for birthday parties these days — a quick search for “birthday party ideas for boys” delivered the results below. I can tell pretty quickly that construction themes are big right now!
In addition to searches, follow key influencers that fit your target demographic to watch the trends in their pins, too! This is a great way to identify exactly what you should be talking about in your overall online strategy, from blogging to Facebook posts. Tools like Curalate can help you identify influencers to follow.
Brands like Target, Nordstrom and Michael’s craft stores are capitalizing on Pinterest’s popularity among their consumers by creating in-store displays to highlight their top pinned products. Target has even created an “awesome shop” to highlight the products performing best on Pinterest and others that are highly reviewed.
2. Use Pinterest To Collaborate & Brainstorm!
Whether you’re planning a grand opening event for your new location or working on a content marketing piece like an infographic with your design team, collaborative Pinterest boards are a great way to create the vision and draw inspiration.
Boards on Pinterest can be kept “Secret,” meaning they are not visible to your followers. You can also invite collaborators to contribute to a shared board.
We’ve found this to be a great way for our strategy, content, and graphics teams to brainstorm and gather tidbits of information or design inspiration onto one “mood board.” These ideas may or may not make it into the final piece, but sometimes they spark new and different ideas that we can take in another direction.
If you work at an agency, like I do, you may even want to share this board with your client so they can visualize the direction you’re taking on the project.
3. Use Collaborative Boards To Save Evergreen Material For Your Content Marketing Strategy
Collaborative boards can also be used by in-house marketing teams to bookmark quality, evergreen content found around the web that you may be able to incorporate into your company’s social media or blogging content calendar. Just because you found it on Pinterest doesn’t mean it has to stay on Pinterest!
Pinterest is a great place to look for fun and engaging visual content which can be integrated and shared on other networks. As Facebook and Twitter begin to feature images more predominantly, it’s important to ensure you have enough eye-catching imagery within your content calendar to ensure some impressions.
If you have a content calendar and plan your content themes for social posts in advance, consider creating a shared board for each of those themes and pinning to it whenever you happen across a piece of content that might fit! Whether you write your own content or utilize a writer, the more resources the better!
The potential uses for Pinterest as a research and trend watching tool are endless. What creative ways have you used Pinterest to be a better marketer? Share in the comments!
Opinions expressed in the article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Marketing Land.