Issue: May/June 2012
Three Northeast Ohio companies reveal their Pinterest secrets.
Consider it an online bulletin board. Find a tasty recipe, a DIY inspiration or a time-saving new product and “pin” it to your board for all to see and share. That’s the way Pinterest, with its highly visual content, has become the latest social media phenomenon, focusing more on interests than friends.
A growing number of companies are introducing their own pin-worthy content to engage customers. “It’s about raising the awareness of the Rock Hall,” says Todd Mesek, the museum’s vice president for marketing and communications. “[Our Pinterest followers] are steadily growing as people get the bug. You’ll hear terms like ‘addicted.’ ”
Here are three companies that are feeding the Pinterest addiction.
| Jo-Ann Stores | 7,457 followers
|| Davey Tree Expert Co. | 24 followers
|| Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum
| 78 followers
|Pinterest’s predominantly female audience — some say 70 percent or more —
makes Jo-Ann’s crafty inspirations a perfect fit for the medium. It’s
home base for easy DIYs, fabric trends and cool craft tools. pinterest.com/joannstores
||Davey’s Pinterest page is a place for all varieties of tree love, from
gardening inspiration and great nature photography to tree-inspired
crafts and decor.
| It’s a curator of rock artifacts. No, it’s an architectural wonder. No,
it’s a top Cleveland tourist destination. On Pinterest, the Rock Hall
gets to be all of these.
|WHY PINTEREST: When Jo-Ann
Stores arrived on Pinterest nearly a year ago, “It was ‘Hey, this is
fun, let’s try it,’ ” says Kimberly Cornuelle, Jo-Ann’s social media
specialist. Now the company’s how-tos reinforce the Jo-Ann brand as
crafting experts, with Cornuelle pinning three to four times a day.
|WHY PINTEREST: Words aren’t enough to appeal to the visually oriented
landscaping industry. “Pinterest was a great way to create a visual
representation of our business,” says Sandra Reid, Davey Tree manager,
corporate communications and marketing. Plus: Clicking on a pin takes the user back to the content’s origin, which
means more traffic for Davey Tree’s website and better SEO rankings.
Not every music lover gets to visit. “But they’re hungry for what we
have to say,” says the Rock Hall’s Todd Mesek. “The challenge and
opportunity is to take [the Rock Hall experience] and give people a
taste of it.”
|GIVE AND TAKE: Inspiration goes both ways: Followers get craft ideas, while Jo-Ann Stores’ buyers watch re-pins to spot trends.
||HOW IT’S UNIQUE:
Pinterest doesn’t rely on friendship connections like other social
media tools. “You don’t have to be friends first,” Reid says. “You just
have to have similar interests.”
|SHARING THE LOVE:
Mesek doesn’t just push out new content; he re-pins content from boards
such as the Country Music Hall of Fame and the Travel Channel, as well
as photos posted by Rock Hall visitors.
Cornuelle cautions businesses to avoid the sales pitch and instead
offer inspiration. “Helpful hints will get you more engagement than just
“Don’t just jump in because you think everyone else is there, so you
should be too,” says Reid, whose every pin and re-pin is driven by a
social media strategy that emphasizes the company’s position as the
expert in its field.
Pinterest users want authenticity. “They know if you’re credible or
not. They can sniff out a con job.” That means participating in the
conversation, not just selling.
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