While trapped in my dorm room this weekend with a broken ankle and a raging blizzard outside, I decided to take an imaginary escape from my reality in order to peruse the beautiful world of Pinterest. I scrolled through the plethora of images that interest me: house décor ideas, amazing recipes, funny animal memes, outfit ensembles, and inspiring words.
One pin in particular caught my eye with its bold title “Sasquatch!” As a native Seattleite, this huge music festival is a household name for me. I immediately clicked the image to see the newly released 2013 lineup of musicians coming to perform at the Gorge this May. My jaw dropped when I saw the amazing headliners coming this summer—Mumford and Sons, The Postal Service, Macklemore, The Lumineers, Vampire Weekend, Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, Earl Sweatshirt. I clicked the Pinterest image which opened a tab and took me to an article about the lineup, which led me to then go directly to the official Sasquatch website. Fifteen minutes later, I had already told all my roommates, texted friends from home, put the date on my Google calendar, and wrote in my to-do list that I needed to get a weekend pass this year.
Talk about social media and business! While half-heartedly trying to occupy myself on Pinterest, I found a pin that a friend put on her board, and was instantly sold on something that had slipped my mind. After telling my friends, I had recruited about 5 new attendees for the Sasquatch music festival this Memorial Day Weekend, including myself. As a music festival event, Sasquatch seemingly has no business being on a channel like Pinterest. Maybe they have a place on Twitter to promote ticket sales, or at least a Facebook page for loyal fans and curious new attendees to find information and dates. But they chose to also put their lineup poster on Pinterest, a highly visual avenue that doesn’t typically promote music, and they found themselves re-pinned and generating leads.
Though Pinterest began as an online inspiration board, it has evolved into a landmine for marketers. Depending on the industry (or creativity of the brand, like Sasquatch), Pinterest offers a variety of ways to connect with consumers. For consumer product brands—like fashion, home furniture, craft stores—they can showcase what they offer. For companies like Nike and LuluLemon, they can also put up inspiring images and workout suggestions, in addition to their products. For companies like Starbucks, they can promote their brand image with comforting images of cups in coffee shops or next to books. For women’s magazines or other online news sources, they can successful link their articles to their main images, which sometimes catch a reader’s eye better than an article title does. For creative agencies, like marketers or advertisers, they can make boards showcasing what inspires them, as well as boards highlighting their work and clients. The sky is the limit on Pinterest, depending on the creativity and innovation of the brand.
Any current Pinterest user needs just five minutes to scroll through their home page to find a brand or business somehow being marketed to them through an attractive image. As a consumer, I like that relevant brands and companies can reach me through this medium, as demonstrated by Sasquatch. But more importantly, as an aspiring marketer, I love the creativity that Pinterest offers brands for lead generation, brand awareness, and building customer loyalty. We’ve seen the potential for Pinterest develop dramatically within the past two years. What else will marketers and brands come up with next on Pinterest?!
(PS. Sasquatch is also on Instagram, posting images of the lineup poster in addition to last year’s festival. Genius, huh?)