Brands are ‘pinning’ it on Pinterest with increasing savvy, and although the site doesn’t carry advertising or sponsored content, publishers and brands are quickly getting hip to how to leverage the social thirst for sharing images to drive awareness and traffic to their own digital touchpoints.
With estimates of 18.7 million unique visitors in March, (according to comScore), “Pinterest has a message for the media: a picture is worth a thousand words," notes today's New York Times, or given Twitter's 140-character message limit, "about seven Twitter posts.”
Whole Foods, West Elm, Better Homes and Gardens, Real Simple, Gilt Home, L.L.Bean, and even the National Pork Board are all early Pinterest adopters in what comScore VP Andrew Lipsman calls “the rise of the visual Web.” As he comments to the Times, “Pinterest is creating sort of a meritocracy of what’s visually appealing. Brands are scrambling and trying to figure it out. They know it’s going to be big, but they don’t necessarily know the best way to use it.” Well, they're starting to figure it out.
Given the penchant for pinning wedding inspiration images and this week being Bridal Fashion Week, Brides magazine has 58 pin boards boasting a slew of photos from this week's fashion shows uploaded via Twitter, Tumblr and Instagram. Brides editor Anne Fulenwider told USA Today that ‘pinners’ had “really changed the conversation” of her magazine because so many would-be brides use the site: “Meet the Pinterest bride. For her, planning a fairy-tale wedding without the tool is, well, inconceivable…With its heavily female demographic and emphasis on DIY derring-do, Pinterest and brides go together like love and marriage.”
Creating buzz on Twitter, Facebook and across Pinterest this week, Oscar de la Renta "live-pinned" its 2013 bridal show on Monday. The brand's PR team posted photos snapped before, during, and after the runway show in real-time on a dedicated board from pre-show preparations Sunday evening through to hair and make-up and the live runway show.
The social event proved a hit because Pinterest is the social equivalent of yesteryear’s scrapbook, leading the Guardian to comment that a bride can now forget “torn-out magazine pages and photos of flower arrangements," making Oscar de le Renta's Pinterest experiment "a holy union indeed.” As for the brand's perspective, Oscar de la Renta CEO Alex Bolen told Mashable, “Pinterest has got a lot of momentum right now, and we want to be involved with people [and platforms] who have momentum.”
Bolen added that his brand is always interested in visualization on social media, so even if he is “unable to draw a direct correlation between our activity on Pinterest and e-commerce activity,” the more important goal is engagement: “as with all of the experiments we try here, we want people to spend time paying attention to us, not our competitors.”
Another Pinterest winner in the making: Honda. The automaker is expanding on the launch of the all-new 2012 CR-V, given the Super Bowl buzz return of Matthew Broderick in a "Ferris Bueller's Day Off" spoofing commercial as part of its Leaplist campaign. So for its Pinterest debut this week, Honda is encouraging people to get out and live life to the fullest with its debut board and an invitation to users to go cold turkey from the social network site for 24 hours and take a "Pintermission" from pinning to go out and enjoy themselves.
The pitch: "The all-new CR-V is about getting out and living. So we offered some of the most active pinners $500 to take a 24-hour Pinterest break, to get out and do some of the stuff they’re pinning about. #Pintermission" Each pinner receives a personalized, hand-written invitation via a Twitter @mention and $500 — if they accept — but return to re-pin pictures from their 24-hour break on their personal #Pintermission board hosted on Honda’s page. So far, five Pinterest users have accepted the Pintermission challenge.
Underpinning brands’ use of Pinterest to drive traffic to ecommerce sites, the one-year-old social network is already driving more revenue per click than Facebook and Twitter according to a Convertro report. Pinterest is generating up to four times the revenue per click as Twitter and 27% more than Facebook and is the fastest growing social media traffic source for ecommerce websites in terms of revenue.