Social curation has been a major buzzword since the exponential growth of image sharing site Pinterest. As a marketer, I have spent a reasonable amount of time trying to understand how I could “leverage” Pinterest for my clients. By doing so, I have been faced with a few epiphanies and outlined some best practices in regards to what makes for a brand’s success with pinning.
Who is pinning?
Pinterest’s strong dependence on aesthetics has made it popular in the U.S. among women and different design communities. However, the opposite can be said for British users. According to VentureBeat, 83% of U.S. Pinterest users are female, while 56% of users in the United Kingdom are men. Additionally, interests of the U.K. audiences are more reflective of the marketing industry while luxury, crafts and design are more common among U.S. users.
Figure 1: Source-VentureBeat
Mashable identified the overall demographics of Pinterest users to be wealthy, with 28.1% of pinners reporting upwards of $100,000+ annual household income. Globally, Pinterest users are 68.2% female and 31.8% male.
Nielsen identified that the most popular age range on Pinterest fell between 25 and 34 years old. It is important, as a marketer, to understand the audience of targeted social networks to ensure that this is the appropriate outlet for your client’s needs.
Pinterest Marketing: Do It Right or Don’t Do It At All
Social curation sites can be integral to any marketing campaign—so long as you are using them in the proper fashion. This is no difference when it comes to social sharing on Pinterest, and there are a few best practices that should be implemented in order to get the most from marketing efforts.
Speak to Your Audience Where They Are
If you wouldn’t market to tweens on G+, why would you market to octogenarians on Pinterest? As with any social network, it is imperative to understand how a website’s demographics compare with that of your targeted audience. Pinterest is not the channel to market heart medication to 60-year-old men, so don’t alienate its users by attempting to do so.
Copyright & Pinterest: Give Credit Where Credit is Due
If you are uploading anything other than your own image manually to Pinterest, be sure to always give credit. First and foremost, this is common courtesy. Secondly, there are a flurry of Pinterest copyright concerns being raised right now, and the legal repercussions of uncredited social sharing have not been fully explored yet. Third of all, it is always better to be safe than sorry when it comes to questionable Internet laws.
Social Sharing: Love Thy Neighbor & Repin
Best practices aside, my biggest piece of advice for any social network is to (drum roll, please!) keep it social! When on a date, one can usually measure how well things went based on the amount of conversation between the two parties. A date in which only one person talks the whole time is usually a last date. That being said—be sure to like and repin posts from other users that you love. Also, follow back the users that you feel are deserving of it. All you need is (social network) love!
Stellar Brand Examples
Some brands on Pinterest are really making a splash and setting great marketing examples. One of my favorites is Ann Taylor, who recently launched a contest on Pinterest urging users to build their dream wedding for a chance to win a bridal wardrobe. The contest is set up to incentivize the pinning of Ann Taylor products, creating a greater viral reach of the brand on Pinterest.
Epicurious, an online food community, has also seen success on Pinterest. Epicurious’ Pinterest boards consist of holiday and seasonal recipes, shop items and overall scrumptious images from content on their website.
Etsy’s Pinterest profile is another great example of how members of their website can benefit from social sharing. By promoting individual artisans in their pins, Etsy gives users a reason to continue to engage with their brand. Not only that, they share some delicious recipes as well as cool finds from across the globe.
What are your personal best practices for Pinterest? Have you ever experienced an unsavory situation on the popular social curation site?
Deidre Drewes is the Interactive Culture Cultivator at DragonSearch, an online marketing agency based in New York City. A journalist by degree and a marketer by mindset, Deidre spends her days following the latest trends in social media. You can find her on Twitter as @DeidreDoom.