marketing pinsanity

February 23, 2012 ·

in case it wasn't glaringly apparent, Pinterest is the social network du jour. many have held that mantle, this is just the latest. it's a great story for an interesting niche product. rampant growth, fanatical usage, massive time sucking and heavy dashes of inspiration.

as invariably as every other social network, the questions of whether brands should use the service or not have sprung up. the social media navel gazers have been ebullient about it, naturally. content producers (namely media companies) have taken a liking to it. some natural fit industries (ie. fashion, design, food) are downright zealous about it. but the broader brandsphere still has a question mark around it.

i've already heard it tossed out in a few meetings with little regard. "that'd be great to do on Pinterest." i shudder on the inside. remember, it is just a channel that is still very embryonic when it comes to sophistication for brands to be involved. and frankly, there is a certain aesthetic required, an expectation of illiciting emotional responses, and a required caliber of effort just to fit in there.

here's my solutions to how brands should approach Pinterest:
create things that are worthy of pinning
or
inspire people to include or re-imagine your brand (in a good way)

that's it. that's all any of the current users are doing, brands are no different. leave the conversation about "marketing on Pinterest" at the door. don't force it. if either of those is an action they want to take, great, leave it to them.

you might need some kind of awareness behind whatever it is so people know it's there to pin. it can be discovered through your other communities or PR or elsewhere. nothing splashy. don't make a big deal about the fact your on Pinterest or try to game it somehow. don't beg for pins like you did for Likes.

after you've done that and the space matures a bit, then decide whether you need a profile or you need to invest resources here. see if warranted because it just creates yet another space to maintain that has heavy demands. are the people you want to talk to even there? don't forget to ask that question.

can we can start the conversation about the value of a pin?

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