For brands, the end of the year is not a cue to slow down. Rather, you rev your engines to push yourselves harder in the New Year. Though gaining more customers and selling more products is ostensibly the goal, this is often driven by how creative and compelling a brand is. How interesting is your product and how creative is your messaging about it? How are your brand messages coming through in advertising, Tweets, blog posts and everything else? How can you be more than just clever, but actually relatable?
What if I told you that Pinterest is not just a social network, but also an enterprise tool for innovation? If you move past the surface metrics around the number of likes and followers and observe the simple actions of pinning and re-pinning, brands can unleash the true power of Pinterest and build deep connections with their customers.
Here are the three ways to push past your creative limit and revamp your brand image in 2014 using Pinterest:
Discover Social Subnetworks
Unlike Facebook and Twitter, Pinterest is not an instrument for making company announcements, but for showcasing personality. Imagine your ideal consumers and get a sense of who they are. Are they middle-aged businessmen? A company? A millennial or a whole family? What do they like to do in their time when they’re not shopping for or using your products? What do they care about on a daily basis?
Let’s take AMD, a semiconductor company that makes processor chips, for example. Social media users - or most people for that matter – aren’t necessarily flocking online to look at processor chips. Yet, AMD has an excellent strategy that taps into geek culture and resonates with a niche social network of Pinterest users. AMD’s Pinterest boards range from DIY projects that involve recycling old computer parts, turning motherboards into cool wall clocks, to third party gadgets and products perfect for anybody who uses laptops and smartphones.
Once you start seeing traction and can identify the people and brands that pin and re-pin your content, observe who they are, what they do, who their connections are and how you as a brand can use these connections to delve further into a blossoming subnetwork and pin the best content for them.
Personify Your Brand
As marketers in the social era, you’re told again and again that you need to show a brand’s personality on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Tumblr, LinkedIn, and so on. But let’s face it. Brands are always talking about themselves, which boils down to their products and services. They can raise awareness about contests, campaigns and events on Facebook and can convey their wit on Twitter, but this is not the type of personification Pinterest should be used for. Pinterest is about making a company more than just a consumer’s brand, but a people’s brand.
Take Intel for instance, one look at its Pinterest page and the brand becomes a relatable, inspiring entity. Pins of favorite articles, infographics, how to be geeky chic, quotes, and beautiful pictures of science, technology, and art shows that make an impression on Intel. Through Pinterest, the company is no longer a faceless multinational corporation, but instead, more like the brilliant and friendly engineer that sits across from you in the office.
Inspire Company-Wide Innovation by Fueling Employee Creativity
Pinterest encourages the fundamental human need to archive and share the stuff we love. Apart from a dedicated team or person that manages the brand’s public Pinterest page, companies should give all employees the opportunity to pin what interests them on private boards. This time, using the platform as an internal forum for opinions not only opens your eyes to ideas and solutions you may not have thought of before but helps you get a good sense of who makes up your company.
In the same way Sony’s board of “Sony Art” show how Pinterest users can repurpose and glam up their Sony gadgets, brands can encourage employees to discover and share things, ideas, and techniques that may help move the company as a whole forward.
Private boards are great for planning company holiday parties, decorating a new office space, choosing restaurants for business development, ideas for future products or services, or new and better ways to perform certain tasks. The possibilities for engaging and inspiring your employees through Pinterest are endless.
With the arrival of its API, harnessing data from Pinterest just became even easier. There is a catch though: there’s more to quantifying marketing efforts than just the data. Brands have to also examine the intangibles—the underground social communities, the brand personality and the company innovation they foster from their social media real estate. The result? Brands pin down their competition and grow not only in value but also in the minds of consumers.