Happy fourth birthday to Pinterest.
This strongly visual social media site tends to be most effective for highlighting products in context, either with related products or in a usage situation. Think of it as a virtual bulletin board where consumers 'pin' photos of products they like or want, 'repin' photos from other boards to their own and browse pins for social shopping.
Brands can use Pinterest as a way to understand what their customers (and prospects) are interested in, by analysing which and how many pins of their product photos (and competitors' photos) appear on consumers' Pinterest boards. Another way to use Pinterest is to connect with customers by repinning their pins, says a Responsys expert.
Encouraging customers to pin your product's photo engages brand fans and builds relationships. Kahlua's holiday contest campaign, which included Pinterest, attracted 8,000 entries and more than 10,000 pins. Topshop's holiday campaign incorporated thousands of Pinterest pins as personalised gift ideas, with a contest element to encourage participation during the shopping season.
Pinterest is, of course, extremely active in social media: It has a Facebook page (3.2 million likes), a Twitter account (1.7 million likes), a Flickr account (599 photos) and a GitHub account.