April 26, 2012

Pinterest has been the talk of the social world for the last few weeks. But how are UK brands are embracing the platform?

Using strategies similar to those employed in the early days of Facebook, Twitter and Foursquare, most brands are running promotional campaigns on Pinterest. BMIHarrods and ASOS are all good examples. This strategy offers freebies and prizes in exchange for likes, followers and, in the case of Pinterest, pins and re-pins.

This is not a strategy to necessarily frown upon. Admittedly its long-term value is questionable but in the short-term it can build a loyal user base.

However ideally, brands should focus on defining their personality and voice on the platform. This will create a community of active users who regularly interact with them, becoming social advocates of the brand.

Advertising through social networks is not new. But on Facebook it feels forced. People can feel conned when liking a Facebook brand page, which actively makes them a brand advocate throughsponsored stories.

On Pinterest however, people are pinning and re-pinning the products and items they genuinely lust after and are happy to let people know from where they can source them.

For ASOS, one of our clients, this is beginning to happen of its own accord (just type ASOS into Pinterest search to see how many items have been pinned). However, ASOS doesn’t just rely on it loyal customers, it has put some thought and effort into their own brand page. ASOS really showcases the essence of its brand of ‘discovering fashion online’ through Pinterest.

Through their boards and pins it is reinforcing how it can help customers who are fanatical about fashion discover the new season trends with those of likeminded people. The ASOS Pinterest page not only connects you instantly to thousands of products, but also inspires you on how you can use these to shape your wardrobe and add to your own personal fashion style.

Mattell has opted for a  different strategy with iconic doll Barbie, attempting to showcase Barbie’s personality by showing what the doll herself would pin. The page is still fairly sparse at this stage and doesn’t link back to the brand.

In summary, there aren’t many UK brands taking the leap onto the platform, and most that have stepped on to Pinterest are playing it safe and testing the water. Hopefully more brands will embrace the challenge soon.


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