5 Ways Brands Can Use Pinterest

Though the site has been around for a year, Pinterest, the latest social networking site to take the world by storm, seemed to blow up overnight at the end of last year. The site, a combination of a virtual bulletin board and a blog-sharing platform, has been consistently growing and marketing and PR strategists are likely scrambling to find ways to incorporate the latest craze into their clients’ campaign plans, but it seems that many big brands aren’t quite hitting the mark yet, which is surprising. Sure, there are a handful of companies that are doing it right but the majority of usual suspects are absent from the site.

Mediabistro.com recently published an article about the five ways journalists can Pinterest. These insightful yet simple tips can be easily repurposed for brands or personalities looking to take advantage of the site’s contagious, social nature. So look no further – here are five turnkey ways that brands can easily integrate Pinterest into their social media strategies.

Share News

With millions of users and growing, Pinterest is quickly becoming a top social networking destination. What better place to share news than where your fans are already spending time?  Think of a Pinterest dashboard as a wider, more visual Facebook news feed, with vast opportunities for brand storytelling.

Reward Fans with Sneak Peeks

Have an upcoming product launch that you want to tease? Pin it! Early adopters love being rewarded with special access to things that mainstream audiences don’t get. The Today Show teased Jennifer Hudson’s appearance to promote her new book on the show’s Pinterest page.

Showcase Photo Galleries of Products, Campaigns, Etc.

The whole point of Pinterest is to share images and ideas and aggregate them into neat categorized boxes. The more active users that Pinterest has, the bigger the pool of content that’s available for sharing. Real Simple is excellent at doing this, with lists ranging from “Super Bowl Party Snacks” to “Organization Inspiration.”

Show Off Your Staff (or your Customers)

Pinterest is a great platform to supplement a thought leadership campaign. It can also help to brand executives or spokespeople and adds another dimension to corporate personalities, making them much more relatable to end users. Brands should be using Pinterest as an opportunity to share something that might not otherwise come up in your day-to-day job description. For example, Katie Couric has a board called “My Style” and another called “Places I Want to Go.”

On the other hand, Pinterest could be a great way for brands to highlight super-fans by featuring a weekly or monthly customer spotlight. Harness the power of word-of-mouth. People love human interest stories, right?

Spark Fan Engagement

Sure, your brand probably already has a strategy in place to get more “likes” on that other big social networking site but why not inspire fans to be creative on a site dedicated to sharing visuals?

Lands’ End did this in a big way with their “Pin It to Win It” contest this past holiday season. Fans were encouraged to create virtual outfits using Pinterest pin boards for the chance to win a $250 Lands’ End gift card. The contest was a hit and got write-ups all over the place.

What are some of your favorite Pinterest tips? What other brands are making an impact on the site?

*Image courtesy of Pinterest.com

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Are we addicted to social media?

So many of us claim to be “addicted” to things like Pop Chips, texting, yoga, or playing games like Angry Birds or Words with Friends, but is addiction to social media becoming a real problem?

A new study in the journal Psychological Science indicates that social media may be even more addictive than alcohol or tobacco. The reasoning behind this conclusion is that alcohol and tobacco have measurable, detrimental effects on health, which deters some people because they can mentally weigh the risks. On the contrary, we are only just beginning to study the effects of Twitter and Facebook on our psyche. When asked to abstain from social media for a day, study subjects showed feelings of stress and fatigue, which are some of the same symptoms that those addicted to drugs and alcohol experience when they are going through withdrawal.

I’m sure we all know someone who has to “quit” Facebook or Twitter cold turkey after spending a little too much time stalking old high school rivals. Or perhaps you’re one of the many who contribute to YouTube’s 4 billion views per day and you’ve had to cut yourself off.

Regardless, this surely isn’t the first time that we’ve seen media coverage about the psychological effects of social media and it won’t be the last. Who knows, maybe one day we’ll see warning signs listing the possible side effects of too much social media the same way we do on cigarette packs and alcohol bottles.

What about you? Are you a self-confessed social media addict? Have you ever tried to “quit” a social network?

Image courtesy of NewMediaCreative.com 

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