Many marketers are reluctant to focus their energy on any platform other than Facebook due to the sheer number of users available as their target audience on the network. However, new research released by bizrate insights suggests that we should possisibly start shifting our focus towards the image sharing site if we want to inspire purchases.
Since leaving their beta testing phase in the middle of 2012, Pinterest has continued to grow a steady number of visitors after they hit the 104 million mark in April. Despite some key brands calling for the end of all the fuss over Pinterest, the story from the consumers seems to be that it’s their platform of choice for making purchasing decisions.
How members are using Pinterest… And how to reach them!
Entertainment – The vast majority of members (73%) surveyed by bizrate insights use the network to pass the time. Pinterest offers an endless catalogue of user curated ideas and inspiration which appeals to the visual and creative social networker.
To reach these people you have to engage with their style and interests. By following your fans you’ll notice trends and styles emerging that can help you to share the right content. Sharing original content is the key, as bringing something fresh to the table will make you more popular than someone who only re-shares what is already there.
Inspiration – Users are using the platform to discover new items, makes lists of what they want, and then to make purchasing decisions Think of Pinterest as giant aspirational shopping lists. They show you the kind of lifestyle your audience already has, and the kind of lifestyle they aspire to.
To interact with these users you need to make sure you’re displaying your products and services in the best possible light. Hire a designer if you need to! Think of interesting ways to highlight the best features in a way that makes the images very “pinnable”. And don’t forget to add price tags so they’ll show up in the gift section.
Follow & Connect with Brands - While Facebook still reigns in the coupon and offer arena, there are still a lot of offers circulating on Pinterest. Make sure your offer is displayed in a image that is: in keeping with your branding, clearly highlights what is available, and optimised for the Pinterest layout. Consider making a few variations of the offer graphic so that you can continue to share the image without spamming.
When social media was first introduced to the workplace, it was generally assigned to one person in the marketing department who would tentatively tweet about industry news and company announcements. In short, it was a back burner role, as most companies wanted to “wait and see” if this new-fangled craze would ever take off.
Over time the titles “social media manager”, “content marketing strategist” and “community manager” have become roles in their own right. We commonly think of one person sitting behind a desk, jumping between Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, as they drive engagement and take point with the social media strategy.
However, a new report published by social business software provider Spredfast, has revealed that social media is becoming an increasingly team-oriented task. The Texas-based software provider collected data from 154 of their companies, and this data was analysed by market research firm Mindwave Research. The report revealed interesting insight into the ways companies are structuring and orchestrating social media strategy within their organisations.
One of the most interesting statistics shows that social media is no longer a single player game, as more and more employees within the company are becoming a part of the overarching social media efforts. On average, 29 people are involved in social media posting for a company across 11 business groups and 51 social network accounts.
This statistic alone highlights the importance of inter-linked and multi-channel strategy when establishing a social media presence. Companies are no longer restricting social media engagement to marketing and customer support; by allowing more employees to tweet on behalf of the company it increases the level of expertise and drives engagement.
How can this work for you?
Social media messages will gain more traction if there is an authoritative voice and high level of expertise behind it. Hiring a social media manager to tweet about SEO is one thing, but having your SEO team tweet about what they do on a daily basis is a more valuable use of social media.
Involving your whole team in social media can be as simple as encouraging them to identify your company with a mention in their Twitter profile. Although before this can happen, there have to be clear ground rules for what is and isn’t acceptable in social media. A “tweets are my own” disclaimer will do little to no good in a PR crisis.
You could also encourage users to set up their own individual company Twitter account, and likewise, encourage everyone to contribute to blog posts. This doesn’t mean that you can fire your social media manager, however, as you’ll still need someone to direct and manage the use of social media channels.
Reports released last week seem to show that although Facebook user numbers are at an all time high user engagement is slipping. Facebook’s aquisition of Instagram could be seen as an attempt to grab a chuck of a thriving community in fear of Facebook losing active memebers and photo uploads. Regardless of speculation over the condition of Facebook, there’s bad news for marketers on the horizon, as social media trends are leaning towards the anti-social.
Marketers have long been rubbing their hands together and thinking up ways to spend their unspent budget, as social media was supposed to offer them free and easy access to their audience. However, it seems that more and more people are opting to lock down their profiles, or turn towards the less social of the social networks.
This year’s biggest star, Pinterest, is a prime example of how anti-social social networking has become. While it is possible to follow your friends and build a social network, the website is used primarily as a personal tool to curate and establish individual tastes rather than interact with others. While a retailer may get lucky and see increased traffic to their site following a pin, they aren’t likely to be starting a dialogue with their users via the site.
Along a similar note, Path is another rising star which leans towards the genuine friendships over masses of acquintances trend, as they only allow users to befriend 150 people. As TechCrunch explains, the appeal of path is found in it’s intimacy and connections with real friends.
When Instgram was opened up to ‘Droid users and then bought by Facebook, many users abandoned ship as their closed community was suddenly very exposed.
Privacy issues are looming heavily in the air, as social network users have suddenly been made aware of the adverse affects of sharing too much via the Internet. From creepy stalker apps popping up, to potential employers asking for Facebook passwords, we’ve suddenly been made aware that our social skills could potentially land us in hot water. Only time will tell what this will mean for marketing in the social media sphere.