Social media strategists predict that the next “big thing” in social media for brands is maximising their presence on Linked In and connecting to influencers, but everyone is having a grand time right now playing on Pinterest, the hottest social media property of 2012.
Pinterest is one of the fastest growing social media sites, with more than 328 000 South Africans utilising the site monthly in the few months since it shot to popularity, records Simon Leps, CEO of Fontera Digital Works.
Latest research by Statcounter reveals that Pinterest has overtaken Twitter in terms of popularity and is now the world’s fourth largest social media site, behind Facebook, YouTube and Stumbleupon. Pinterest attracts 20-37 million unique users per month, globally.
Pinterest is a virtual pinboard website and brands can use Pinterest to benefit from its large user base.
“Based on Alexa traffic data, Pinterest is the 19th most popular website in South Africa. South Africa has the 12th most Pinterest users globally and is responsible for 1.6% of all Pinterest page views worldwide. In January alone 328 000 South Africans visited the social media site.”
This rapid growth of Pinterest in South Africa, combined with its ability to drive users to websites, makes the site an extremely powerful tool for local businesses and brands, explains Leps.
Leps outlines how brands can capitalise on this latest social media meme and use it as a powerful marketing tool:
1. Is your brand suited to Pinterest? If you can visually represent your brand and use images to communicate your marketing messages, then Pinterest will work to amplify your brand. There are many perfectly suited industries in South Africa, such as the hospitality and restaurant sectors, that have not fully utilised this ideal opportunity.
2. Reach the right target market. Currently 80% of Pinterest users are female, ages 25-34 and predominantly fall into the middle- to upper-income bracket. If your brand speaks to this audience, Pinterest could potentially be an ideal marketing tool in your arsenal. However, there are other similar smaller social media websites available that reach different market segments, such as Gentlemint, designed for male users.
3. Find your audience and build relationships. Find your core target market by identifying users that have already pinned about your brand, thereby progressively widening your reach. Pinterest users engage through mutual interests rather than mutual relationships. It is therefore important that you engage with users who share your brand’s common interests.
4. Be social. Marketers should be very wary of excessive self-promotion, which can compromise a brand’s credibility. By creating a profile with a unique brand personality, your messages should support your desired image. Sharing images that are relative to your followers’ interests and your own, will help drive brand trust.
5. Let your followers help you. One of the best ways to engage consumers is by designating certain users as ‘contributors’ on specific boards. Allowing followers to contribute their own material will not only stimulate deeper engagement but will further personalise your brand image. This is an effective way to demonstrate your product or service by allowing users to pin images of themselves engaging with the brand.
6. Integrate Pinterest with your brand’s existing online presence. One of the biggest advantages of Pinterest is its ability to convert user engagements into sales via direct links to the site where consumers can directly purchase the items online, or find out more information on the product/service. Data recently released, from Shareaholic, found that users visited more pages by clicking on weblinks (also known as referral traffic) within Pinterest, than sites such as Twitter, Bing, LinkedIn, YouTube and Stumbleupon. By attaching a ‘pin it’ button to images on your site you will be increasing your referral traffic.
*For more on social media, read our 2012 TREND. Dissect report: ‘Socialising Enterprise’ at http://trendafrica.co.za/2012/10/30/socialising-enterprise/
Source: Fontera Digital Works