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Hello, my name is Shaylan, and I'm a PIN-A-HOLIC.

I remember it like it was yesterday'?¦ It was a rainy Sunday in August when my Pinterest invite finally came. Coffee in hand, I began emptying the countless links I had saved in my browser favorites, organizing them onto my cleverly named virtual pinboards. I won't tell you how many hours it took before I forced myself to tear my glazed over eyes away from my MacBook. Seriously, it was worse than when I read the entire Hunger Games series in two days. Let's keep that between us, ok? Anyway, if you haven't heard of Pinterest, or like my fiancé you refuse to comprehend what it is and why I and others spend so much time 'pinning'? ' simply put ' it's a virtual bulletin board. According to Pinterest, the site 'lets you organize and share all the beautiful things you find on the web.'? The reason Pinterest is likely so popular? It combines the traditional social network concept of sharing, with compelling visual content. In other words not only is the site easy to use, it's really pretty! While I haven't built my walk-in closet yet, I've virtually filled it on Pinterest. I've also decorated my entire house, planned my wedding and armed myself with several projects in the event that I decide to become crafty. And, lately, that red notification that someone 'liked'? something I posted on Facebook just doesn't give me the twinge of satisfaction I feel when someone 'repins'? something from one of my boards. Pinterest is not new news, and I'm not the only one wondering & blogging about why brands aren't utilizing this channel, or speculating on how they should be. Just last week Mashable touted the network's referral traffic (more than Google+, YouTube and LinkedIn combined in January). When I registered for Pinterest, the first thing I did after following my friends who were using the network was search for my favorite media outlets and brands, but most of them were nowhere to be found. Pinterest isn't right for every brand, and it needs to be approached creatively & with strategy'?¦but if an opportunity exists to provide content and boost consumer engagement it seems like a no brainer. The biggest reason I see an opportunity for marketers? Since I became a member, Pinterest has driven (several) of my purchase decisions. How do you think brands should take advantage of this platform?

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