Making the Most of Pinterest | Consumer Promotions & Competitions

    Thinktank Social

    As Pinterest usage increases in Australia, so too does interest from the small to medium business sector on it’s potential use in driving brand-awareness and emotional engagement with customers.  In this blog, we’re having a look at the current state of Pinterest in Australia and providing some advice (and encouragement!) on using this emerging social platform for easy-yet-engaging ‘PIN to WIN’ consumer promotions and competitions.
    Let’s start with a quick re-cap of the social-media darling that is Pinterest. As Wikipedia defines it, “Pinterest is a pinboard-style photo-sharing  website that allows users to create and manage theme-based image collections such as events, interests, hobbies, and more. Users can browse other pinboards for inspiration, ‘re-pin’ images to their own pinboards, or ‘like’ photos.” Aside from image-pinning and sharing, the key benefit of the platform is the ability to click on images to be directed back to the source destination (i.e. taken to the website where the image came from, as in where it was originally found by the ‘pinner’). It’s this click-through function that makes Pinterest so exciting for business; given the opportunity this brings for website traffic referrals (Shareaholic suggests that Pinterest refers more retail traffic than Google +, YouTube and LinkedIn combined). In simple terms… Katie pins a picture of a dress she likes, the people who follow Katie & see this ‘pin’ (image of dress) have the ability to click on the image and be taken straight to the image-source, in this case being the garment’s retail website conveniently featuring a ‘buy it now’ e-commerce function. That’s two-little-clicks between inspiration & conversion.
    Since the launch of Pinterest in 2010, there has been significant growth in usage numbers; with total Australian Unique Visitors (AUVs) now approaching 700,000 per month. As you might expect, content is particularly skewed toward inspirational, visually appealing categories, with top categories including Food & Drink, DIY Crafts, Home Décor, Hair & Beauty, Women’s Fashion & Weddings. So how can brands make a meaningful connection with pinners & followers in this seemingly hypnotic space?
    After setting up a Pinterest Business Page, brands can ‘announce’ their arrival into the Pinterest scene and get their community-ball rolling with this simple and engaging Pinterest promotion. This concept can also be a fantastic promotional mechanic for brands who already have an existing PInterest account, and are just looking to increase interaction and connection with people on Pinterest. Sweepstakes Lovers has created a board on Pinterest with ‘Pin to Win’ promotions housed in one place, which provides a great snapshot of global brands and how they are using the social-platform to drive promotional involvement and engagement.
    –        Just like the platform, simplicity is key – if you can’t explain your entry mechanic in one infographic, it’s probably too difficult.
    –        Keep it engaging, make the entry mechanic more about inspirational and aspirational pinning rather than product pinning.
    –        Choose a prize that links seamlessly to the theme of the promotion as well as the brand and target audience
    –        Don’t encourage ‘spammy’ behaviour (most likes will win), make content & creativity the hero instead (best board, determined by judges against a set criteria, will win).
    –        Use your other social media channels to generate awareness of the promotion, be clever and tailored in your approach accordingly for Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and beyond.
    –        Engage engage engage, it’s not enough to just start a promotion, drive the conversation throughout to ensure abundant dialogue.
    Remember, the key to Pinterest promotions for brands is to encourage creativity, which will result in engagement and emotional connection, not pushing brand messages or images, which will have limited scope to achieve any meaningful connection. If your brand ‘facilitates’ the fun as opposed to forcing it – you’ll make the most of this exciting space.

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