Putting Visual Storytelling to Work for Your Brand

Does it seem that as soon as you’ve mastered one social networking tool, another appears?

PinterestOne promising site for brands whose business or product has a strong visual component is Pinterest. A virtual bulletin board, it describes itself as a place where you can “organize and share all the beautiful things you find on the web.” The process is called pinning and the site has a button you can add to your browser. When you pin, the site links the pin to the source of the material.

Catching on
Pinterest offers categories such as weddings and events, food and drink, home decor, and travel. For example, if you’re searching for ideas for kitchen pendant lights, you can browse pins to find products that match your taste and fit your overall decor. Or, you can save potential purchases you’ve spotted on other sites to your own inspiration board.

Growing exponentially in the past year, Pinterest received 11 million total visits during the week ending Dec. 17, 2011, say researchers at Experian Hitwise. That’s almost 40 times the total visits just six months ago.

Who pins?
Web information company Alexa now ranks Pinterest 32nd among top U.S. sites. As to demographics, it shows about 70 percent of visitors come from the United States.

Hitwise found that Pinterest and the Social Networking category as a whole get high share from Californians and Texans. However, when it comes to Pinterest alone, visitors from states in the Northwest and Southeast dominate.

Visits Share by State

Source: Experian Hitwise

Alexa notes that relative to the general Internet population, Pinterest audience members:

  • Are from ages 18 to 34.
  • Are female.
  • Have a college degree or have attended college.
  • Have children.
  • Browse at home.

Pinterest users are highly engaged. “Visitors spend more than 11 minutes on the site daily, crushing Twitter on this metric by more than 50%,” writes Forbes contributor Tero Kuittinen.

Taking notice
Brands whose target demographic fits the Pinterest user profile have started to use the site to build a brand story.

Recently, Fast Company highlighted the way Greek yogurt fan-favorite Chobani took notice of Pinterest and made it part of its marketing strategy. Noting that consumers were sharing recipes on Pinterest, digital communications manager Emily Schmidt tells writer Lydia Dishman, “we decided to host that conversation ourselves.”

Schmidt says it’s a great place for Chobani to showcase core values. “Pinterest gives a more visual look into Chobani’s personality and the core values behind our brand.”

She adds that Pinterest offers opportunities to get greater insight into customer likes. If research shows that a travel location is getting repinned, Schmidt says, “we may eventually offer a promotional trip there.”

Other brands finding opportunities to deepen customer relationships on the site include Whole Foods, West Elm, Better Homes and Gardens, and Real Simple. The Today Show also offers boards, including favorite things from hosts Kathy Lee Gifford and Hoda Kotb, which had 4,537 followers when I checked.

Pinterest operates via invitation but the wait appears reasonable. I received an invitation several days after sending an email request.

Does Pinterest have a place in your social media strategy? Will it help you achieve your business goals? I’d love to hear your thoughts on the site.

Thanks to Chris_Short for the Pinterest button above via Flickr.

You might also enjoy: Should Your Business Avoid Social Media?

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About creativeconsiderations

Christine Sullivan is a communications strategist with expertise in communications planning, writing and content development, and executive communications. She can be reached at mycreativeconsiderations@gmail.com.
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2 Responses to Putting Visual Storytelling to Work for Your Brand

  1. Mike says:

    We have been using Pinterest for the last few months and we are finding increasing success as it is right in our target demographic. We have been putting together specific wedding inspiration boards with images from our member photographers like “Beach Weddings,” “Vintage,” “Country Chic” and more. We see a lot of potential with this popular new social tool!

  2. Your business definitely is in the sweet spot for the Pinterest user. I can see that it would offer a lot of potential for you. Thanks for the visit.

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