A couple of years ago when Pinterest was the new kid on the block, I received an invite to join but was apprehensive to join yet another social media site. But, I kept hearing about it—Pinterest was all the buzz on the design and lifestyle blogs I read regularly, so I had to check it out and see for myself what all the chatter was about. Immediately, I was hooked and started the dark path of losing hours of screentime to the electronic boards.
Marketers are always looking for new ways to connect with their audience – to reinforce their brand, build new followers and create loyalty. And as with other social media sites, the professional marketers soon found ways to make Pinterest work for them. (Since 80% of Pinterest’s 70 million users are women, it makes sense that they would be interested in reaching this targeted audience in new ways such as “Pin It to Win It” campaigns where you earn entry into a contest by pinning a certain image.)
Using social media for marketing isn’t necessarily a bad thing. In my opinion marketing can be mutually beneficial if what’s being marketed to me is actually something I’m interested in, but it looks as if the days of “Pin It to Win It” campaigns are gone. Pinterest changed their Brand Guidelines (which seems kind of a weird section to place these kind of usage rules), and now it seems they are trying to enforce them with threats of legal action.
While Pinterest doesn’t appear to prohibit all types of contests, they do prohibit the Pinning Parties and “Pin It to Win It” campaigns that have become so popular. Marketers, bloggers and brands will have to come up with new creative ways to involve Pinterest in helping them gain traffic.
According to the Pinterest Business Blog, “Pinterest is about inspiration. Businesses are most successful on Pinterest when they encourage people to explore and share content that represents their authentic interests.” If this means less spammy contest pins and a more authentic community experience, it may be a good thing.
What do you think? Is it important that Pinterest remain authentic and not “muddy” the community with marketing campaigns and “false” pins? Does it matter to you?
If you’re interested in more topics like this, consider our new Social Media Marketing Essentials Certificate program. The Overview of Social Media Marketing course and Digital Marketing Strategies are both being offered in the spring 2014 semester beginning in February.