What's the latest craze in online marketing?  It's still before lunch; there's still time.  The question is jocose but tagged with realism; there are tons of ways to 'socialize' on the Web through social media sights, Pinterest (featured in the New York Times) being the latest to pass the social threshold (and the first to reach the 10-million-visitors-a-month club so quickly).

So another social site is calling our attention.  What's the contrast?  Where are the unique aspects?  The Huffington Post did pinpoint one stark contrast; at present, the logistics of a Pinterest account is less self-serving and more inviting for visitors.  This is a nice contrast to marketers and brands that don't want to 'scare' off potential consumers; Facebook and Twitter are undeniably advantageous for business, but there is an overabundance of commercialized sentiments on both platforms. As the Times post brings to attention, "Facebook and Twitter posts tend to "come with the silent subtext, 'Here's how great I am.' On Pinterest, the tone seems to be 'Wouldn't this be great?' "

The mention of de-commercialization may seem ironic after Search Engine Journal did a post about the behind-the-scenes affiliate linking taking place.  While users and marketers host opinions regarding Pinterest's ulterior interests and levels of transparency, it seems clear; the platform is useful for many brands, especially those benefitting from showcasing visual elements of offered services and products.

While advertisers and marketers 'actively' seek opportunities, addressing consumers on social sites like Twitter and Facebook, a brand could adopt a 'grass roots' approach with Pinterest, allowing consumers to come to them rather than opting (in some cases, "spamming") the reverse notion.

Consider the following ideas:

  • Pinterest users can 'pin' any picture on a Web page to their account.  Ensure your brand is producing high-quality, search-engine-optimized graphics.  This increases the likelihood of browsers finding and posting your company' pictures.  (This is especially crucial for those offering products such as clothes, electronic devices, art - since viewers can be lead to the original site).

  • While many brands will rush to form brand-related accounts, taking a personal approach may better benefit particular brands, allowing executives and employees to begin diverse accounts (containing personal as well as business-related interests), which is a more 'natural' emulation of a 'social' account.  Sentiments of 'sharing' and exposure to business-related products and services may take better root in this manner.

  • Pinterest allows for 'collaborative' boards.  Multiple people can feed one board.  This can become a great way to 'visualize' about us sentiments rather than maintain a 'static' version on another Web property.  Have multiple cohorts contribute to a company board.  Don't forget to get creative with your board titles!

February 16, 2012

Todd Bailey is Director of Search, Media and PR with Gen3 Marketing and US Brand Ambassador for Majestic SEO. Also, Founder/Editor of pushStar.com


I feel like "branding" has become such a hot word that now, places like twitter and facebook are becoming hubs for brandspam with hundreds of companies competing for your attention each second. The pinterest idea is great. Though I don't think our business would do well on pinterest (who pins pictures of bathroom partitions?) it seems that for clothing this would work well. Thanks for the tips...

Really nice writeup Todd, I looking into increasing my branding experience and making it more popular its posts like this which really do make me open my eyes.


The idea of being able to create collaborative boards around a specific brand is attractive to any marketer, along with a hot new social network suck as the one the Pinterest present it's a no brainier to try to use their service to promote a certain brand or brands.

I joined up to Pinterest this week and have created 4 boards so far. I have taken your note about being creative with board titles. I need to change mine to something more catchy. Lots to learn about Pinterest.

Todd, interesting stuff. I hadn't heard of Pinterest before. I do intend to look into it now. Not sure it will work for me, though, as I'm the same boat as commenter "michael." I'm running a gate and fence company. Not sure if this model works for something as "boring" as what my business is focused on. Worth a look, regardless.

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