Like many of you I’m enamored with Pinterest, but I can’t help but ask, “Can Pinterest benefit B2B Marketers?”
Pinterest is a social media site that allows members to create boards for images that they like. You can name the boards whatever you like, and assign them to a category from a list of pre-determined by Pinterest. Over time as you find images that you like, you pin the images to the appropriate board. Popular board categories are used for recipes, fashion, books, wedding planning and home decor.
I’m excited about the possibilities of Pinterest on a personal level. I have folders at home that I organize my ideas into, including books to read, places to go, recipes to try (that’s a large recipe box), home improvements, gardening, and things to buy (including fashions I like). The folders happened because I would tear out images of things and places I liked. Over time these accumulated and I wanted a place to put them.
The popular uses for Pinterest mentioned above are all consumer categories. So what uses might those of us who work in B2B Marketing have for Pinterest?
1. Use Pinterest for Collaborative Branding Exercises
When we work with clients at New Incite, we sometimes go through a branding exercise to identify what images and concepts work for their industry, their customers, their employees. The client clips relevant images and pastes them on a board. Colors, concepts and styles bubble up from these boards – why not do them on Pinterest? When you create a board you have the option to invite other individuals to contribute to it; this is a great way to get virtual teams involved.
2. Market Research on Pinterest
Crowdsourcing is on the minds of marketing research experts. Pinterest would seem to lend itself to market research, especially since the adoption rate of Pinterest has been pretty fast. Pinterest was founded in December 2010 and was named as a top ten social media site by October 2011 with over ten million visits per week.
3. Pin Favorite Designs or Campaigns
Marketing experts could use Pinterest to display favorite campaigns and designs. These could illustrate your or your firm’s style, which could help a prospective client choose the right marketing partner. But, to comply with Pinterest’s etiquette criteria of not being self-promotional, you should not create boards that only display your designs. That might be tough for marketers, who are by nature self-promotional.
4. Event Image Collages on Pinterest
I like what Karlie Justus suggests in the Social Media B2B blog post 4 Reasons For B2B Marketers To Explore Pinterest – that you could use Pinterest for trade shows. Karlie recommended a board for best tips for trade shows. But what about taking it a step further and creating a board for each show or conference you’re involved in and making that collaborative? You could invite people to pin photos and “best images” to represent their memories of the show. This could be a great way to engage people you meet at a conference or trade show after the event and at the same time “crowdsource” the look and feel of the event for future marketing.
These are just a few ideas about how B2B Marketers can use and benefit from Pinterest. Feel free to comment below with more ideas!