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Pinterest Creates New Customers and Brand Loyalty

April 27, 2012 By: Dave Dronkers

Should bar, nightclub and restaurant owners and operators begin using this new social-media channel called Pinterest? It’s too early to tell, but one thing is certain: Its popularity has grown faster than that of almost any other social-media site in history.

Pinterest is one of the fastest-growing standalone websites. Pinterest had 17.8 million visitors in February, up from 11.7 million in January, according to comScore, a market research firm based in Reston, Va. It is especially popular with women (84%), but male interest is growing.

The average time a visitor spends on Pinterest is more than 1½ hours per month. That amount of consumer time speaks volumes about the interest the site creates!

Unlike other new social-media sites, the early adopters aren’t techie types, but rather “middle America.” Therefore, chances are that an owner/operator’s target audience includes Pinterest users.

It’s important to understand the implications Pinterest may have on an establishment and how owners/operators can use it to their advantage to increase customer traffic and sales. In simple terms:

• Pinterest operates like a virtual corkboard, letting users upload, sort, save and manage photos, videos and other content on pages known as “pinboards.”
• Users add content — referred to as “pins” — by “pinning” to a board using the “Pin It” button.

Bars, nightclubs and restaurants can best use Pinterest in the following ways:

• Post pictures of food and drink specials or even an entire menu. Customers can visualize their future drinking and eating experiences and leave feedback after the visit.
• Pinterest allows owners/operators to engage with customers. This helps put a personality behind a brand, resulting in a more satisfying customer experience.
• Users can view other consumers’ pins simply by browsing the site. There are no private pins or boards; this is a great way to keep a close eye on competitors who also pin.
• Users can “follow” individuals, groups or topics, which helps populate an establishment’s Pinterest homepage with content.

Suggested marketing strategies for Pinterest include:

• Add Pinterest link/app to a website or Facebook page.
• Tweet about pinned content on Twitter.
• Pin daily photos of food or drink specials as well as wines and beers.
• Pin food or drink recipes instead of photos.
• Pin a printable coupon.

Legal Considerations

Because pins are essentially copying content, such as a photo, from one source and displaying it in another, many consider the practice to be copyright infringement; the original owner did not give permission to copy content and use it elsewhere. Pinterest’s own terms of service make it clear that the user is completely responsible for any copyright issues that may arise. It is important that each company review and understand the Pinterest terms of service.

Next Steps

Whether internal or external marketing resources are available, be sure to review the current marketing plan (and legalities) and determine the right fit for Pinterest. Make sure Pinterest complements any Facebook, Twitter and other social-media marketing plans.

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For tips on how to bolster your establishment's Foursquare presence, click here.


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