In the past few months, Pinterest has quickly become the hottest new trend for online sharing. Of course, there is a new trend a day in the social sphere, but this one – in particular – looks to have a lot of potential and more importantly, SUPPORT. Last week our team attended Social Media Week Toronto and Pinterest was mentioned in almost every session we attended.

Pinterest – A Quick Overview

Pinterest is a self-described online pin board. Users can “pin” up photos and videos they like, and also “repin” items from other people’s boards. At its core, Pinterest is about visually sharing the things you love with people you know across the web. Much like Twitter, you can follow others and they can follow you to keep informed of the things you like!

The best way to organize your boards is to create themes. Themes can be anything, for example: foods, styles, destinations or holidays. Each of the pins on your board would fall under a theme. American Eagle does a great job using boards themed to different Spring Break destinations. They have a nice mix of products and photography related to and inspired by exotic locales like Austin, Texas and Cancun. Of course, these are all expertly tied into their branding across retail locations and their website. Many retailers have jumped on board (no pun intended), yet we still have not seen any shopping centers seizing this opportunity.

A few key considerations for shopping centres:

1. Right now, it’s a female dominated space, with the bulk of content being fashion, jewelry and the like. The majority of these content curators are socially connected and engaged – the exact demographic you want in your store, and talking about it online.

2. It’s destined to get even bigger with the media prophets ordaining Pinterest as the “next big thing”, so explore options for your brand. With an iPhone app and native Twitter and Facebook Timeline posting, it’s already integrated into the social ecosystem with little to no learning curve.

3. It’s driving more traffic to the websites of major brands than Google+, LinkedIn and YouTube combined.

4. Posting and curating sharable content is key. Pinterest isn’t just another place to content dump your products and services without any strategy. Remember it’s a community, and you want to add something valuable to that community.

As Pinterest grows, smart retailers are acting quickly and nurturing their presence on this new social platform. Here are a few examples:

Martha Stewart Living Expertly curated collections of living, dining, and crafting inspiration from the world of Martha Stewart. Mainly focused on her vast empire, but pins from other places are scattered as well.

Williams-Sonoma Gorgeous food and drink photography with links to their website for full recipes and serving suggestions.

Etsy Pinterest is a match made in heaven for this crafty online store! When the price is mentioned in the comments accompanying the image, it is automatically featured across the top corner of the image. We’re a little curious how this feature will work – due to the fact that anyone can add a price to anything they pin!

Copyright has become a big issue with Pinterest, so much so that web developers can embed a snippet of code to prevent images on their site from being Pinned. Why anyone would not want free exposure of their products or brand is beyond us, but you can choose to stop people from sharing your content if you wish.

One thing to note: Pinterest is still in beta. Meaning people need an invite to join the community. If this beta is an indication of the future, we recommend joining. If you’d like an invite, email us and we’d be glad to invite you to join the party!

What do you think about Pinterest? Let us know in the comments below!

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