Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Pinteresting Changes Will Affect Your Social Marketing Strategies

As a brand manager, it is important for you to evaluate newer media platforms like Pinterest and determine their role in your social marketing strategies. As a graduate student in the Northwestern Medill IMC program, I have been studying social marketing and strategy, and found a few articles you will find interesting and informative. Recently, Pinterest launched a redesigned platform containing multiple changes to the much-loved pinsperational-sharing site. Although most Marketers are rejoicing at the ability to analyze and track their user analytics, there are some other changes that will change the way you’re socially marketing your brand. Here’s a quick rundown of what changed according to Stephanie Buck at

  • #Sorry: For all those marketers who formerly used twitter-verbiage to track and group content, you will no longer be able to search by hashtags.
  • No more homepage comments: Additionally, you won’t be able to link directly to your brands website in the comments sections on other pages.
  • Cross-Promotions: No more "liking" boards on Facebook or Tweeting at the same time that you pin.

Pinterest, the “magnet for hip urbanites searching for the hottest wedding owns and apartment décor” according to Techcrunch attracts 15% of online adults. So how do you leverage these changes on this visual marketing dream to your brand’s benefit?

Although the cross promotional possibilities will be missed, guaranteed you’re not going to miss taking that extra step to go back to hashtags all of your keywords. From my review of these Pinterest changes and my work at Northwestern, here are three action items I recommend you consider, 

  • Instead of blasting out generic content across Twitter, Instagram and Facebook, use this opportunity to segment your customers by their social networking habits, likes and wants, and then act accordingly.  Pinterest took away cross-promotion but gave you analytics. So use them!  
  • Disappointed about not being able to link directly to your brand? Quit being lazy: Hyperlinking to your brand’s content is not only tacky it also looks like spam. According to Pew Research, Pinterest users are typically well-educated digital natives and appreciate creative and compelling marketing.  
  • The hashtag searching option isn’t the worst change to cope with. Although you’ll have to make slight changes to the way you group your content. Nothing here is catastrophic. Get some organizational guidelines in place and you're good to go. 

Pinterest has given marketers the greatest gift of all in their analytics capabilities. The lesson here is that Pinterest is no longer a segway to other mediums, but a place for your brand to live and breathe. Focus on creating content that is compelling, visually appealing and what your customer is interested in seeing, and watch your brand grow. 

Lindsey Duda is a student in Medill's IMC Graduate program at Northwestern University. She is interested in Brand Management, Consumer Insight, Strategy, and all things Gourmet. She can be found on Twitter @mld1983. 

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