It’s social, visual, viral, and easy to use, which are just some of the reasons why brands like Whole Foods, Food52, Chobani, Sustainable Table (GRACE Communications Foundation), Cabot Cheese, and now Food+Tech Connect are flocking to Pinterest. Pinterest is a virtual pinboard that helps you organize and share interesting things you find on the web. TechCrunch broke the story Tuesday that Pintrest reached 11.7 million monthly active users, making it the fastest independent site to reach 10 million monthly uniques in the U.S. and one you will probably be seeing a lot more of in the coming months.
Food brands, non-profit organizations, and media properties are among some of the early adopters, finding the site a new way to humanize their brand and share their favorite resources. The pinboard layout makes it easier for people to consume more content than is possible on other sites like Twitter, Tumblr, and Facebook.** Unlike the aforementioned social networking platforms that focus on the social graph, Pinterest focuses on the interest graph- connecting you with people based on your interests rather than friendship. This presents new opportunities to learn about consumers’ likes and interests. The brands mentioned above, for example, have created boards highlighting their favorites, from farms and farmers, recipes, books, gadgets, inspirational quotes, and news sources, among other things.
But brands should beware Pinterest warns, “Avoid Self Promotion: Pinterest is designed to curate and share things you love. If there is a photo or project you’re proud of, pin away! However, try not to use Pinterest purely as a tool for self-promotion.” Perhaps, this is why it’s difficult to search for brands on the website. Mashable has some helpful guidelines for those creating an account for their brand.
We at Food+Tech Connect just launched our own Pinterest account after we noticed people were already ‘pinning’ our infographics of the week and videos. As curators, we are excited for a new visual, medium to share our favorite tools, infographics, apps, and resources. We are also excited about new ways to discover new food and technology resources from the Pinterest community.
Dawn Brighid, Project Manager for Sustainable Table, explains, “As we are just getting started with Pinterest, it’s an exciting new space for us to share ideas. It allows us to highlight/pin things that are of interest – and make them easily accessible to everyone on the site (I heard 10 million users?). While we have favorite books, movies, organizations – we have never had an easy way to let others know. Pinterest allows us a place to keep track for ourselves and others. We can also highlight pages/blogs from our sites that feature information that is of interest to others learning about sustainable food – and hope that they pin them to share with others.”
In an interview with Fast Company, Chobani digital communications manager Emily Schildt comments, “Pinterest allows your brand to show different facets of its personality because there isn’t just one. Pinterest gives a more visual look into Chobani’s personality and the core values behind our brand. For example, we compile inspirational quotes on our “Nothing but Good” board and motivational quotes on “Chobani Fit” board. On Twitter, those same quotes would get retweeted, but on Pinterest the visual impact makes content very shareable and shows a lot of different sides of our brand.”
How are you or your brand using Pinterest? Who should we be following?
** This should not be taken as an excuse to pump out more content. Quality is key.