1) Similar Concept, Fresh Take
With so many Social Networking Sites (SNS) developing all the time, it’s sometimes hard to keep ahead or even on track of the game. For example, I’ve signed up and tried out countless pages over the past few years of SNS proliferation – some pages I am an avid (or addicted) user of – namely Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and to an extend Google Plus, however, there are many others I tried for a while, then either abandoned or forgot about completely – namely Quora *shudders*.
What I like about Pinterest is the fresh concept it brings to the multitudes of similar SNS sites. For example, the concept of “re-pinning” is more or less exactly the same as the concept of “re-tweeting”, except with a big pretty picture of something you want to share with your followers.
But why use it…..well that leads me to my next point…..
2) Visual Imagery Rather Than Text
Emphasis is put on the visual quality and interest of the images posted rather than actual text. Of course there is room for description and image categorisation underneath, but it’s really the image that draws users in and makes them either want to re-pin, click through to the link, read or comment upon the image.
Visual imagery can be a powerful PR tool as it can send messages to audiences in a straightforward but interesting and timely manner. PR professionals are consistently seeking ways to best relate messages to the varying public’s of the organisation or clients they represent (hence the name “Public Relations”). The use of visual communication over written or verbal communication is therefore an interesting concept in today’s digital era when we consider that not all publics are wired to pick up and read a newspaper / news website every day, can be bothered to access the multitude of professional and personal Blogs out there, or even spend time scrolling the thousands of Tweets competing in their newsfeed on an hourly basis.
This, then, leads me onto my next point……
3) New Communication Channel
Pinterest has the possibility therefore to tap into a whole new audience, whom before for whatever reason may not have been as easily reachable. Now, I am by no means saying that people who don’t read newspapers or blogs, or check their Tweets every hour will automatically be a user of Pinterest, but I am saying that Pinterest has the possibility as a new SNS platform to appeal to a new range of people.
For example, according to recent demographic figures:
68.2% of users are female
Over 50% of users have children
28.1% of users are middle-class
The average age demographic is 25 – 34.
As a PR, knowing your target audience is one thing, but knowing how to successfully reach them with key messages of interest can be a whole other.
4) Builds Communities of Common Interest
Given the above demographics then, it is not surprising that some of the most popular categories that users follow include: [Click to link]
This of course can be tailored to the user’s choice and preference i.e. Pinner’s I follow include categories of interest such as Art, Architecture, Cars, Photography, Print and Posters, Travel & Places. This then allows me to connect and re-pin the pins (images) that specifically interest me.
This specific use of categorisation in effect allows users to build communities of common interest which can be commented and shared with their followers – a kind of ripple effect so to speak commonly found in PR practices.
5) Brand Building
This quite naturally then leads me to my fifth and final point regarding how this use of community can be successfully leveraged to build and maintain brand awareness through the creation of brand pages.
The opportunities for successful outreach are vast given the Pinterest demographics and common categories of interest (i.e. as a PR you could represent an interior design company, a travel and tourism organisation, a kids toy manufacturer, a restaurant, an artist etc) – the list is endless. How brands utilise this new platform as a form of two-way communications activity will be interesting to see – but specifically, I am intrigued to see how big brand names such as Apple, Red Bull, McDonalds, Coca-Cola etc, might intend to utilise Pinterest in relation to consumer outreach and brand reputation, i.e. new product launches, events, employees, good Corporate Social Responsibility?
Like many other SNS platforms only time will tell whether Pinterest is a keeper which can be successfully implemented in PR strategies.
For the moment however, I’m totally hooked!!
Connect with me…..
I am always happy to connect with people of similar interests – please come say Hi on Pinterest: abbeymichellepr