Rave: Pinterest

True story: one of our moms recently asked, “have you heard of this Pinterest thing everyone is talking about?” An official sign that the social sharing website has exploded from a core of early adopters to the mainstream. Pinterest is the hottest new tool we’re all raving about on the fourth floor (accompanied, of course, by a tiny bit of ranting). 

Pinterest is an amazing visual medium you can use to promote your brand, products or services. Users benefit from browsing and re-pinning images to share with their network: new sources of inspiration, cool products, funny images, and generally wonderful things. It’s a form of passive window shopping that helps build buzz and reach new consumers. Here’s our PR perspective on how to best use it.

Ah, the randomness of the Pinterest homepage.

Add something interesting to the conversation

Give users a reason to follow your boards and like your pins by offering interesting images and well-curated boards. No one wants to see a re-posting of all the products offered on your website: boring!

We recommend pinning images that feature your products in interesting ways and speak to your target audience’s interests. Furniture brand? Pin images of beautiful interiors showcasing your products. Cosmetics? Try pinning different looks and using the description box to outline the products used. Food products? Pin photos of dishes using your ingredients, with links to your website where recipes are posted.

Evaluate if it’s the best way to engage with your audience

When devising a social media strategy, only take on as much as you can actively manage. Whether deciding to start a blog, Facebook page, Tumblr, Twitter account or Pinterest board, only do it if you are willing to dedicate time to monitoring and updating your account. If you invite your customers to interact via social media, but fail to engage with them or actively participate, then there’s no reason to be there and your customers will see that.

Inspiration: Nina Garcia. Project Runway judge, Marie Claire fashion director, author and overall superwoman, Nina Garcia’s Pinterest boards are an inspiration for all. Updated daily, not only do her boards consistently post interesting images to her 280,000+ followers, but the account moderator constantly replies to user comments and adds her perspective on the images. Smart lady.

What Fall 2012 look is Nina discussing with followers? Click here to find out.

Give credit where credit is due

Here’s where the rant comes in – there’s a LOT of debate on whether Pinterest violates copyrights, and we definitely get it. Imagine being a graphic artist, fashion designer, photographer or creative talent and seeing your work re-pinned all over the Internet without a nod to you, the original creator. Even worse, many blogs pull images from Pinterest and then credit the “pinner”, rather than the original poster. It can take a lot of clicks to actually find the original source of the material, if at all. It’s vital that everyone, but especially people pinning on behalf of a brand, remember Pinterest etiquette and always properly credit sources.

A pin with proper credit.

Overall, we love it and can’t wait to see the site grow. There’s a lot of potential to promote your brand/work, reach new audiences, and actively engage with new people. 

Favourite Boards

Here are some of our favourite “pinners” we think you should follow:

fieldguided – Anabela’s boards are just like her incredible blog: dreamy, pretty and full of cats!

eastsidebride – She may not do cupcakes, but this blogger’s boards are full of food, clothing and wedding inspiration.

allied – This Toronto-based publicist (and former rock-iteer) is a prolific pinner. From DIY to great gift ideas to inspirational quotes, she’s got everything you need on her boards.