Pinterest puzzles me. How the heck can “pinning” pictures in albums work as a marketing technique? But then I read guest-blogger Caitlin Zucal’s post and thought about how it’s pictures, not words, that most easily go viral on Facebook. So perhaps financial marketers should think of Pinterest as “Facebook without words” or another way to share their products their products, personality, and common interests with clients and prospects. As a writer, I’m a big fan of communicating with words. But even I acknowledge that some people respond better to images.
I’ve had the pleasure of working with Caitlin on a project. It’s nice to add her guest blog to our relationship, especially because she’s helping me figure out Pinterest. By the way, you can check out Arkovi’s Pinterest page at Arkovi Social Media Archiving on Pinterest.
Make It a Worthwhile Experience–Marketing Your Brand on Pinterest
By Caitlin Zucal
No platform reaches audiences like the new social media kid on the block, Pinterest. With a mosaic of images covering every topic from recipes and dream destinations to fashion and technology, Pinterest is quickly grabbing consumers’ attentions. So, what does this mean for your business?
Showcase Your Products While Showing Your Personal Side
With its endless supply of images and followers dying to “pin” them, Pinterest can effectively drive traffic to your website by showcasing your products and your personality. Think of pins not only as ways to increase SEO, but also as new channels to reach clients and broadcast what you have offer. Post photos of your logos, your products, staff and more. Every pin you have is like an ad for your business that contains a link back to your company website. Therefore, each “re-pin” can lead to more website interaction. An excellent example of doing Pinterest correctly is Whole Foods Market. Their boards show recipes, fresh produce the store sells, and cooking gadgets. However, Whole Foods also has boards highlighting personal wellness and the Whole Planet Foundation, which tie their company mission into their profile as well.
Furthermore, by showing the fun side to your business, maybe by adding a board with quotes you love or pictures of each staff member’s favorite movie, you help users to connect with your brand on a personal level. A perfect example of this is Southwest Airlines. Their Pinterest account not only shows their staff and destinations, but also has board for plane party ideas, vintage travel photos, and fun plane crafts.
An Extra Bonus: Facebook and Twitter Integration
Another great feature is Pinterest’s integration with Facebook and Twitter. Every time a user repins an image, they have the option of sharing that pin on their Facebook or Twitter accounts. If you’re creating an engaging Pinterest atmosphere and your fans are responding by repinning your photos, your exposure is growing. Not only can customers and prospects see your products and brand personality on Pinterest, but they may share your pins with others on Facebook and Twitter as well.
Make It a Worthwhile Experience
You are not just on Pinterest to market your business and sell your products – you’re there to make a memorable experience for your customers and prospects. So think outside of the box. Companies such as Bath & Body Works have held contests where they have invited fans to create a board showing their road trip of their dreams that also ties in one of the company’s signature fragrances. Or, pin a QR code that holds a special discount for your fans on Pinterest.
The possibilities are endless. By hopping on Pinterest, you’re already thinking outside of the box. Just remember to keep those creative juices flowing.
A Note on Copyright
There has been new debate and discussion regarding issues of copyright and publishing content to Pinterest. As with all things legal – it comes down to the language of the Pinterest Terms of Service. The paragraph of concern states:
“By making available any Member Content through the Site, Application or Services, you hereby grant to Cold Brew Labs a worldwide, irrevocable, perpetual, non-exclusive, transferable, royalty-free license, with the right to sublicense, to use, copy, adapt, modify, distribute, license, sell, transfer, publicly display, publicly perform, transmit, stream, broadcast, access, view, and otherwise exploit such Member Content only on, through or by means of the Site, Application or Services.” (full terms of service are at http://pinterest.com/about/terms/)
This alone sounds threatening to your content – and the legal profession will sort this out. However – in layman’s terms it can also be attributed to the fact that Pinterest needs this sublicense to push your content around the site, allow it to go into mashups and otherwise be used and re-used across the Pinterest platform. Note the “only on, through or by means of the Site, Application or Services.”
In addition they disclaim any ownership to content you publish, as they do not hold the copyright. This is somewhat similar discussion to the one over Facebook’s terms of service in 2009-2010 around uploading of photographs.
A good rule of thumb – pinning content that is publicly published and available without restriction is likely fair use. Certainly more clarity will come on this issue.
Caitlin Zucal is the Marketing Coordinator for Arkovi Social Media Archiving. A graduate of The Ohio State University, Caitlin joined Arkovi in early 2011 and manages Arkovi’s social media presence. She is an admitted serial Facebook and Pinterest contributor and can be found on Twitter at @Caitlin_Zucal.