Social marketing on Pinterest is easy. All you have to do is post photos and they'll be repinned and liked by others who have similar interests. Right? Wrong. While the ideology behind the content sharing site is pretty straightforward, if Pinterest is being used as a marketing tool, a business' strategy has to be a bit more precise.
When developing a Pinterest-based marketing platform, a business first has to take note of an example set forth by Facebook in that a fan page should be like a community, but adapt this idea to fit the Pinterest style. Unlike what was mentioned in the recent Facebook Case Study where a company was a community leader, with Pinterest the business in question has to be more integrated in that it is a member of the community itself.
One company that successfully uses Pinterest as a marketing tool is retail and building supply chain: Lowes with over three million followers.
Moving Away from Tradition
Almost 70 years old, Lowes is no stranger to marketing as it has gone through almost every kind of campaign, from magazine and newspaper to radio, television and now online with social media and website ads. Most of the time its ads would focus on products, in-store sales and promotions or the efficiency of its sales associates, such as one campaign used in 2010. Although effective, when using Pinterest Lowes had to move away from this promotional tactic to show followers how its products could help them and what at projects these items might be useful with.
As was mentioned, Pinterest is all about pinning, or sharing content from others sites, which is something that Lowes has done with its 47 boards and 1,695 pins. Instead of merely pinning photos of its inventory, such as a toolset or furniture saying that they have that item in stock and what its price is, Lowes has taken photos from its website and made suggestions on how people can use this product in their own home. An example of this is the posting of its Patio Gatewood furniture set, which features a couch, chairs and tables with the caption “Bring comfort and style to your patio.”
This simple statement not only encourages engagement as it has 111 likes, 16 comments and 1447 pins, but also promotes curiosity in that a visitor might want to know more about the product and thus will click on the photo to be redirected to the Lowes website. In doing so, they may become interested in buying the featured item and other products, which will equal more revenue and ROI for Lowes.
Repin, Repin, Repin
It’s not enough for a company to post content from it own website or product catalogue, a business has to integrate itself into the wider Pinterest community by posting content from websites and other Pinterest pages that aren't part of the Lowes brand. This shows users that the company is just as interested in what its followers and others are doing on the site.