Visual Storytelling for Social Brands: How Pinterest Can Help

If you read any blogs or online publications in the social media space, you"™ve probably noticed over the past few weeks that one channel is gaining major traction with brands: Pinterest. If you don"™t know what Pinterest is, it"™s essentially an online site where you can "pin" images from around the web, categorize them by interest areas and the images then link back to the site where they are hosted or featured. A beautifully simple concept for anyone who has ever tacked up their favorite pictures or ideas for inspiration or reminders.

The site actually started in 2010 and originally became popular with brides and the fashion crowd. But in the past few months, companies and brands have quickly embraced the channel for an age-old tactic, visual storytelling, proving you don"™t have to work in the fashion industry to use imagery to create compelling experiences. The site, now in fact, rivals the likes of Twitter to help drive traffic to corporate websites and is being deemed the fastest growing site ever.

While everyone is still in the infancy stage of discovering all the ways the channel can be best used, there are a few ways brand can start using Pinterest to tell stories visually today.

Illustrating Company Culture

The reason many companies do well in social media is that they use social interactions to share their culture and people. Pinterest is proving invaluable to share images that illustrate who you are as a brand. Held a fun company event or had recent photo-ops where people in your company are shown doing things that represent who you are as a brand? Pin it.

Sharing News and Data 

Infographics, data visualization and newsworthy stories are easily shown, or only shown, with imagery. Think about your recent research finding, news story or industry updates and how they can be shared through pictures. Things like magazine covers and front-page stories are absolutely relevant. Companies like the Wall Street Journal and Time are already deeply embracing this opportunity. Media companies take note.

Helpful Resources

Many business-to-business companies may be thinking that Pinterest won"™t work for them. But B2B companies are the leaders in sharing resources and content to build interest and thought leadership in their respective domains. Spredfast actually has a board up on social media management where we share anything and everything related to helping social brands get ideas for social programs. What resources, content and ideas can you share as a B2B brand that help drive interest and conviction in your industry that will lead to bolstering you as a leader?

Fashion and Consumer Goods Trends

Obviously, this is where Pinterest has its roots. Clothing, fashion and even consumer goods can be illustrated well with visual examples. What"™s the newest fashion line you are launching? Do you have home goods that that can be categorized in meaningful or fun ways? Or, what consumer goods do you offer that can be illustrated creatively or even shown in use?

Food and Beverage Inspiration

A picture of a delicious recipe can be as appealing as images of a new line of shoes to consumers. Whole Foods is taking this to another level with its Pinterest boards by sharing the multitude of foods they sell with fresh ideas on how to prepare them. They"™ve also includes suggestions for personal green living and reusing products "“ all of which stay true to their mission.

Travel Experiences

Travel is a huge industry. And whether you are a travel consultant or actually offer travel housing, displaying ideas for travel destinations, activities to participate in or places to stay can illustrate your offerings better than most written words can do them justice. HomeAway has taken an original approach by not just sharing the houses they rent, but highlighting unique features like the kitchens, views and even venues for weddings their rentals have.

Social Good

Social media for social good isn"™t a new concept. But we all know that pictures of adoptable pets and images of the people an organization serves resonate better than any other tactic. The Humane Society of New York pins adoptable pets and UNICEF has boards dedicated to the children they help. Both are creative and inspiration ways to help drive social change.

These ideas are just the tip of the iceberg on how Pinterest can tell your story with visuals. If you"™re looking for more inspiration from brands that are doing it well, here"™s a list of 100+ brands using the site today.

Do you have others ideas or success stories from brands using Pinterest?

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