Fashion Week in Paris just wrapped up, and like fashion, Pinterest is a visual medium. That’s why 40 million people actively use this booming social network to get visual inspiration each month. So it’s no wonder fashion brands living on visual appeal are creating a Pinterest presence to garner people’s attention and showcase the full spectrum of their aesthetic.
Kate Spade is a fantastic example. Each of the famous fashion label’s pinboards interprets the brand’s message in creative ways and demonstrates exactly what Kate Spade stands for. Although Pinterest isn’t limited to clothes, makeup, and jewelry, it’s an excellent place for fashion brands to interact with their fans in a richer, more authentic way — and build a brand presence that’s even more interactive.
The Advantages of Going Pinterest
Here’s an understatement: Pinterest is extremely popular among young women. In fact, 80 percent of its users are women. According to Pinterest, thousands of brands and businesses are using the social network to showcase their products and reach their customers where they’re already spending time.
Here are a few reasons marketers and brands are choosing Pinterest as their social media platform of choice:
- People buy more on Pinterest. On average, Pinterest shoppers spend nearly$170 per session, much more than Facebook shoppers (who spend $95 per session) and Twitter shoppers (who spend $70).
- Engagement is already high. Anthropologie and lululemon athletica have tracked engagement rates of 99 and 97 percent, respectively. Top fashion and retail brands are averaging 46 repins for each individual pin, which means people go to Pinterest to discover new fashion and repin items along the way.
Tapping Into Audience Behaviors
Just because Pinterest boasts high engagement doesn’t mean it’s the ideal place to focus your efforts. Conduct research before you create a campaign to ensure your customers actively use the platform. If you find most of your consumers use Facebook regularly, consider going there.
Here are a few other preliminary steps you should take before launching a Pinterest campaign:
- See what people are already saying. Monitoring conversations around your brand can help you discover brand influencers who are naturally passionate about your brand and can help spread the love. Often, these conversations also reveal new trends and hot topics within your audience. They reveal what people want to see from your brand — and how you can give it to them in your Pinterest content marketing strategy.
- Find influencers. Search for influencers based on factors including reach (how many people see their posts) and relevance (how often they post about certain topics). Look at Pinterest boards for events such as Fashion Week 2013, for example. Determine who was influential then, and see if they’ll be attending again this year. Then, add them to your influencer list.
- Create an editorial calendar. What will you use to create your brand identity on Pinterest? Will you make the content or simply curate it? Make sure you have a plan. If you’re strapped for time, hands-on services such as Curalatecan help schedule pins for you.
- Make your site pinnable. It should be easy for your website visitors to pin the designs or products they love. Putting Pinterest buttons on your site lets fans choose their favorite products and spread buzz organically.
- Don’t just pin products. Fashion brands shouldn’t feel limited to simply posting clothing. You can post makeup, travel, weddings and events, or DIY styles, like how to fade a pair of new Converse shoes. You can also promote events and special collections.
For example, last year Pinterest created a New York Fashion Week hub with curated Pinterest boards from designers, brands, publishers, and bloggers participating in Fashion Week. Create boards that speak to your label’s aesthetics, the meaning behind your designs, and what inspires your brand.
Beyond Just Pins
Fashion shows are all about the visual thrill — models on the catwalk, flashing lights, and front-row celebrities, right? That’s why fashion brands should consider taking advantage of Pinterest’s video feature. Whether you’re giving a peek at a new line or a backstage exclusive at Fashion Week, Pinterest can give your customers an insider view.
Here are a few tips for making your video appealing:
- Mix media. Combine videos and regular pins on your pinboards. You can also post videos on your website and other places, such as YouTube, and include a pin button next to them.
- Keep it short. Longer videos aren’t as engaging as shorter ones, so make them brief but compelling.
- Make it visually appealing. Pay attention to your video thumbnails on Pinterest; they’ll attract people just as much as your descriptions. By the same logic, it’s important to write good descriptions for all of your videos. Use plenty of hashtags and relevant search terms in your description. (Be sure to specify that it’s a video, too.)
Remember: For most women, Pinterest isn’t just a shopping cart. It’s a source of inspiration and aspiration, too. Women go there to find new, exciting ways to style, enliven, and reorganize their lives. And the faster your brand establishes a presence that’s focused holistically on connecting lifestyle and fashion, the faster you’ll start interacting with your customers in new, more meaningful ways.
Image courtesy of Bloomua / Shutterstock.com
(Originally posted in Spin Sucks)
For this year’s back-to-school season, TOMS launched a contest aimed at increasing visual engagement on Pinterest.
#TOMS Give Back-to-School encouraged people to create a pinboard and pin their favorite outfits using only items found on the TOMS website.
While primarily known for shoes, TOMS wanted people to see they could wear the brand from head to toe.
To compete for the $500 TOMS gift certificate, pinners created a special board for the contest and tagged every pin with “#TOMS Give Back-to-School.”
TOMS scored huge brand awareness and sales during the contest as pinners posted beautiful pictures that spread across their personal networks.
The TOMS campaign shows the expanding influence of visual social media sites, and in the coming years, more brands will take part in this growing trend.
Why Visual Social Media Takes the Cake
Pinterest has more than 70 million users, which may not seem like a lot compared to the billions at Facebook, but, unlike users of other social media sites, Pinterest users become more active over time, not less.
This makes sense when you think about the draw of pictures.
The Internet is overloaded with text, with every company in the world creating text-heavy blog posts.
With so much to read, people are looking for simpler media to consume.
Pictures are processed more quickly and remembered longer. They can also tell your brand’s story more effectively than 1,000-word blog posts.
(Hence: A picture is worth more than 1,000 words.)
When it comes to social media, posts with images get 39 percent more engagement than other posts.
And, in some inexplicable way, it’s been proven that users will not only remember your picture, but they’ll also associate your brand with similar pictures in a different context.
That’s reach you could never get with words alone.
Customers also love images because they’re editable. Everyone wants to express himself, and when users can share a brand’s content but also make it their own, it’s a win-win.
The beauty of visual strategy is that consumers can’t help but be drawn to the visual feast.
How Brands Can Get Visual
So, how do you make like TOMS and take advantage of the benefits of visual?
Like all other content, visual sites such as Instagram and Pinterest require some strategic thinking and a well-executed plan.
One of the worst things brands can do is throw up mediocre images, hoping to draw attention.
Here are some important steps for brands to take when crafting a visual social media strategy.
Define your brand visually. Don’t just think about your products. What colors, patterns, and images represent who you are as a brand? Make sure the images you use tell a story of either the brand or the user.
Think broadly about your visuals. Not every pin or Instagram photo has to be (or should be) focused on your brand. Capital One and American Express both maintain pinboards for brides, world travelers, and bucket-list creators. These images are inherently shareable, regardless of a user’s affiliation with the companies, which makes it easier for the brands to spread organically.
Use segmentation to your advantage. Segment your audience by demographics, interests, and values. Each of these categories can provide insight into the types of visuals your audience prefers and where it likes to see them. For example, users who are into “beauty” might also follow certain celebrities that you can incorporate into your campaign. Users who are “green” might appreciate holistic health advice or eco-friendly gift ideas. Use segmentation to branch out and go broad, as mentioned above.
Pay attention to top content for your audience. Through content tracking, you can also discover what kind of content your audience is sharing and publishing most, then create visuals around that content. Infographics are a great option here, putting information into an easy-to-understand yet still visually appealing format.
Know your grassroots influencers. Also called brand ambassadors, these are the people who are naturally spreading the word about your brand. Target these influencers by creating more of the content and visuals they love, but also by engaging with them personally. These people are the ones who will convince less enthusiastic users to love your brand, so make sure you love them.
The rise of Pinterest and Instagram is undeniable, and more brands are beginning to realize the power of images in marketing.
Winning brands will be the ones that create the best and most compelling visual social media strategies that engage all kinds of users.
The Unexpected is Amazing. Or Terrifying.
What if your audience wasn’t what your research said it was six months ago?
You already know Mattr is big on personality, giving you qualitative answers in 60 milliseconds instead of 60 days (or more). What if we went a step further and you knew if your audience was conservative or liberal, traditional or non-conformist, an early tech adopter, and even its degree of price sensitivity?
We did. Imagine how much that information could impact your advertising, content and PR strategies, especially in real time advertising.
In short, surprises are awesome–so long as you’re prepared.
Now you can see it in real time
Today we announced the Values-Based Social Segmentation expansion of Mattr. We’ve been working hard on this for quite a while and are now happy to say we can provide you with the qualitative information on audiences you’ve long been seeking. With this insight, you can increase brand awareness, consideration / engagement, and conversion.
Using personality traits, STEEP values (social, technological, environmental, economic and political), interests and demographics, you can now create multi-layered personas of your brand’s audience so you can target segments more effectively and align your brand personality and values with a specific audience. Oh, and again, we can give you this information in milliseconds as compared to the weeks required to get it using traditional research models.
Think about some of the ways this data could benefit you:
Better content – whether it’s owned, earned or paid content, having an understanding of your audience’s personality and mindset can enable you to create better content that resonates with them on a deeper level.
Better media placement – again, it doesn’t matter what the content is, but if you know who and what your audiences follow, it presents a better opportunity to pitch, place or publish your content somewhere it will reach them.
Better partnerships – knowing the companies, celebrities and media outlets your audience follows helps you more effectively form partnerships that can drive results for you.
Better engagement – connecting with your audience on a more personal level by showing you understand their values makes it more likely they’ll communicate back with you.
Influence the right buyers, with the right message, from the right people, at the right time
Right. We also added what we think is the best Influence Marketing product in the market. We can now help you identify the most appropriate influencers to target for your brand or event at the different stages of the buying cycle. You enter keywords and we deliver you influencers – but not simply via a list of names.
Using a tiered system, we discover all the influencers you need to know to get from awareness to conversion in markets worldwide:
Macro: Build awareness through paid content
Mid-level: Channel owned content and press for buying consideration
Micro: Funnel calls-to-action for conversions
Tapping into influence is an important part of marketing programs, so we didn’t stop at simply identifying individual influencers. We went further with our Influence Marketing feature so you can identify influential conversations. Sometimes there’s a topic, keyword or trend that’s a priority for a brand. We allow you to monitor those conversations in real-time so you can use them to your advantage.
On a personal note, we at Mattr are very proud of the new Social Segmentation and Influence Marketing features we’ve added. This is the biggest update ever to Mattr and I’m blown away by how hard our team has worked to provide our customers with these new features. Our longtime customers know that we typically take an iterative approach to our updates and extensions. That’s still the case. We’ll be rolling out more elements of our new features in the coming weeks and month – much of it based on customer feedback, so please, let us know what you think. Your opinion matters (pun intended).
Twitter’s shaking up the news feed, ostensibly to make on-boarding easier and to make finding relevant tweets easier. But content marketers are cringing at the Facebook-like model change that might follow. Bay Area startups know all about iterative releases – baby steps, in effect, that roll out small changes frequently. So why are they dead set on a wholesale news feed change?
From a content marketer’s point of view, we’re all struggling to find an effective Twitter advertising strategy. Brands big and small are fretting over what to tweet or post, and real-time marketing has become a reality way too fast for some.
So how can Twitter do what we know it needs to do–increase engagement–without yoinking our noses too far out of joint?
#WSTD: What Should Twitter Do?
The most recent update to Twitter was disappointingly aesthetic. From a usability standpoint, Twitter has significantly reduced the size of and moved the tweet text box, lowering that activity’s weight on the page. And, by adding an icon action to enter a tweet on the top right corner, they’ve increased the call to action a bit, but it’s still not nearly as visually heavy as it was before.
Instead of focusing on aesthetics, Twitter knows it needs to design an interface that’s conducive to engagement, not just finding new people to follow. More and more, marketers want to see the potential for results from Twitter, not a dilution of their strategies. They want a bona fide brand page with usage metrics — not simply a verified account. They want promoted tweets that are hyper-focused, not open to any and every user and barely used.
How Can Twitter Drive More Engagement?
Rather than rearranging how content is presented to users, here are some ideas that might help Twitter drive engagement for marketers and improve user satisfaction all around. The goal here is engagement — not simply finding new people to follow and new streams to search.
1. Auto-create a list of people I interact with most. As it stands now, building a list of the people you interact with most on Twitter — your Tweeps — is a necessary yet tedious task for Twitter power users. Most users put off this task for as long as they can. Twitter could dominate the social media realm by automatically giving users a list of their Tweeps.
2. Show me retweets of my Tweeps. Twitter should put more weight on the activity of users you engage with regularly. Rather than making me sort through updates I don’t regularly engage with, show me the tweets my Tweeps are retweeting. If they find them interesting, I might, too.
3. Let me auto-follow. Here’s a chance to be a little ballsy: Provide an option in settings to “auto-follow” when you interact with a tweet from someone you don’t follow. Make it an opt-out, and see how users react.
4. Take the mystery out of trending content. Twitter shows you the hashtags trending now, which are determined either by region or a mysterious algorithm branded as “tailored trends.” In not divulging the logistics behind these “tailored trends,” Twitter missed out on a big lesson from Klout: You must be transparent about how you derive your automated features or reap the negative consequences. If Twitter is going to ask agencies to spend their clients’ money on its platform, its secrets must be uncloaked or advertisers won’t take the risk.
5. Make it easier to start a conversation. I can’t believe the Twitter homepage still doesn’t have a way to add text to a retweet. The mobile version has this feature (albeit with two character-sucking quotes), and TweetDeck (acquired by Twitter a years ago) has always had it. You can “reply,” but that knocks out the context of the tweet for your followers and stifles conversation with the original user.
Twitter needs to start giving its users and marketers what they want: access to increased engagement and information on topics unique to users’ interests. Anything less, and Twitter is bound to lose its clout in the social media marketing industry.