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Ultimate brand advocacy at Pinterest

Sarah Graveling
Sarah Graveling
Creative Director
10 August 2011

If you don’t already know Pinterest is a virtual pinboard. Users collect the things they love and group them on pinboards for particular interests and share with followers.

So you can easily understand why the platform has soon become the ultimate breeding ground for fans of brands and the place to virally share the things you are passionate about.

I’ve only been on Pinterest for a few months and already have purchased a dress via a pin and had my eyes opened to a number of brands that I previously hadn’t been aware of.

There are many things I like about it as a designer, but as a consumer one of the main things I like is that you can’t pay to be prioritised like you can on search engines.

Pinterest is focused on encouraging “real” brand fans.

If I wanted to a buy luxury chocolate as gifts for Christmas, if I search “luxury chocolate” on Google, the results are based on paid terms (PPC) or the larger more established brands (SEO). This doesn’t leave much room for the smaller, individual boutique brands as they struggle to compete with the larger marketing budgets of their competitors.

Searching "Luxury Chocolate" on Google.

However, if I search “chocolate” on Pinterest the results are purely based on product and user advocacy. Individuals have repinned and liked the images, and this makes them popular and likely to be shared amongst the community. I can click on the image and be taken to the pin source, which in most cases is the brand website. Also, the results vary, if I repeat the search tomorrow the results will be slightly different based on another day of pins, so this adds variety to the results, encourages me to return and keeps things fresh.

Searching "Chocolate" on Pinterest.

Search engines have tried to give priority to user experience and advocacy with real-time search for example, but it’s hard to back track, leaving way for platforms such as Pinterest to fill the space.

Obviously, Pinterest is a newbie in the digital arena and I hope they don’t allow the results to become manipulated by media budgets and continue to focus on user advocacy as it grows.

So the question will be, how we as digital marketeers and encourager of creating brand advocacy can get involved on behalf of brands, but without trying to change its heart?

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