Here at GOMarketing we love to spend quality time with any and all emerging internet technology and social media outlets. Whether it be here in the office, or during our personal time at home, we love to get our hands on these properties and test them, explore the features and try to develop an understanding as to how they might work in the marketing universe. One particularly interesting one, as of late, is the new image-sharing platform, Pinterest.

While technically not “new” (the site actually launched in March of 2010), the user following for Pinterest has exploded over the last few months. But in a time where many social media services come and go, it looks like this one is here to stay. So what does it mean for marketing? And more importantly, what is it?

If you are already “pinning”, feel free to pass. Otherwise, here’s a (very) bare-bones explanation of the service.

Users create image board groups and “pin” pictures, videos and content to these boards. Different boards = different topics. e.g. A board for interior design content, a board for wedding content, a board for _____
Users can subscribe to other users boards, share content and more.
Viewing a page will show a “Pin feed” which is not unlike Facebook’s news feed.
…and that’s about it. The future will show what unique things users will do with it and what new features are to come. As for now, this should give you a slight idea as to how it works.

If you skipped ahead – Come back!
So now the question… How will Pinterest appeal to marketers? Here are some preliminary thoughts…

  • It can be used to provide a “behind-the-scenes” look at companies, thus giving users a personal “inside look” at the companies they love. This is virtually the visual equivalent to Facebook’s “talking brands.”
  • The site is generating A TON of users. Remember my rants about Google+? Pinterest is killing them already! Also, any time a company can engage with large amounts of fans is a good thing. Remember, people were skeptical about Facebook brand pages at one time too. Those days are long over.
  • Pinterest simply provides another unique means of interacting with fans. This should be a liberating experience for companies. (Yay! New ways to interact with fans!)
  • Have a new line of products in the works? Create a group for it and pin those bad boys in! While social media doesn’t have the informative power of a company website, it is perfect for letting fans know about new products at a moment’s notice and for simply keeping in touch.
  • Big companies are already setting up shop with Pinterest. It’s usually a good sign for a service when companies like Nordstrom are putting hours into their Pinterest account.

Whew… that’s enough for now. As with all Social Media Marketing, we will have to wait and see how creative brands can get with Pinterest, but for now it’s up in the air. Only time will tell…

Think I missed a pivotal Pinterest marketing opportunity? Leave it in the comments!