Pinterest is a virtual pinboard which lets users express their creativity by providing an easy way to visually bookmark items they come across online.

Tech Crunch called it the latest in a raft of ‘self expression’ engines (including Twitter, Facebook and Instagram).
Kleenex are one of the first brands in Australia to use Pinterest as part of a wider campaign to raise awareness of the environmental credentials of its Cottonelle toilet paper brand.

How could you use it for your marketing? Should you use it?

Perhaps you are the Mornington Peninsula Shire Council and you want to raise awareness of the beautiful bounties of your area: bingo!  Set up a series of boards on the themes of beaches, gourmet food and accommodation and link back to your tourist information website.  If your images are appealing and compelling, it’s a nice way of raising awareness in a subtle, organic and potentially global way (not to mention the benefits for search engine optimisation).

Perhaps you are a kitchen designer, builder or architect.  Consider using it for mood boarding or even ask prospective clients to send a link to their Pinterest boards so you can keep track of trends.

Things to think about:
AWARENESS

Pinterest should form ONE part of a broader marketing communications plan.  As its main benefit is in raising awareness, there’s little hard data (that I know of) to indicate pinning to Pinterest leads to hard sales.  On a hunch, conversions might be higher for categories with low spend/purchase risk/involvement such as fashion and beauty.

TARGET MARKET

There is research to suggest users are mostly women so it’s not as useful if your target market is men.  Here is a great infographic put together by digital media agency Modea on the lifestyle of Pinterest users (drawn from comScore stats from February 2012).  The data is US based but has some interesting take outs for Australian audiences none the less including hobbies and how people choose to spend their leisure time as well as demographics.

TIME INVESTMENT

Consider the time it takes to cultivate a  credible presence in social media (whether it’s Pinterest, Twitter OR Facebook). Social media takes time and effort.  You also need to be aware of the etiquette including linking images properly to ensure the original owner of the image receives credit.  (Besides being rude, this is sailing close to copyright infringement).

To find out more about Pinterest and whether you should be using it,