I’m not surprised that Pinterest drives more traffic these days than Google+, YouTube, and LinkedIn (at least, according to Mashable) and is part of a new trend hitting the Internet called “social curation”.
Elad Gil, an technology entrepreneur recently wrote a very interesting post on his blog explaining the evolution around how Pinterest emerged. The post includes a series of date ranges spanning the last decade that easily classify social media into categories from long form (blogging) to status updates (Facebook) to push button (Pinterest being an innovator in this site format).
Gil is right, Pinterest is part of the latest trend on the Internet, yet again giving us a chance to consume content faster than before (it sounds like we’re all getting stupider, doesn’t it?).
As someone with a deep interest in the fashion industry, I find Pinterest especially intriguing for those of the fashion community. So far, I’ve used the site to get inspired with new creative ideas, run a contest for my blog, and find new style bloggers (just this week I discovered Rachel Parcell of The Pink Peonies).
However, what are fashion brands up to on the site these days? I found a curated list made by Dave Surgan of fashion brands on Pinterest and while I’m not following all of them, I am aware of what a few of my favorites are up to.
Kate Spade is promoting their Spring ’12 campaign on the site, using both titles and hashtags to do so. My favorite is “dress colorfully”. Each board’s name is short, punchy, and the pins give more detail about the photographer of the photo and/or what’s being shot (if they’re done by the brand).
Next up, is ModCloth, already a stand out brand as far as fashion marketing goes! They recently ran their first Pinterest contest offering a gift card of $100.
How did it all work? Basically, the contest rules were for entrants to create one Pinterest board of 20 pins based on the criteria outlined in a pin announcing the contest. ModCloth also requested how contest entrants tagged their pins and for entrants to post links right in the comments section for the contest announcement pin.
A few of my favorite pins I used in my sparkled themed entry:
“We love coming up with fun, unique, and engaging content and contests for our fans,” Ashley LaFerriere, Social Media Specialist at ModCloth said, who added that the ModCloth team received a very positive response from the contest. In total, there were over 500 contest entries.
While fashion brands like Kate Spade and ModCloth are quickly wrapping their heads around the social curation trend, many others have yet to jump on board. What brands need first, like with opting into any new social platform are a strategy, process, and analytics. In this case, brand strategies may be as simple as posting behind-the-scenes photos of their new items, photo shoots or events. Strategies may be as complex as running contests using Pinterest, or Pinterest in conjunction with other sites. As for analytics, I haven’t seen the site come out with anything yet, but I am waiting. Polyvore did after a long wait, so I don’t doubt Pinterest will at some point either.
Right now though, Pinterest has more basic things to focus on.
Jonathan Howard, a member of the site’s smaller demographic- the male population- has found a few challenges when pinning. One has been the downside of the tagging feature. To find men’s clothing (for his boards like Suit Up and Like a Bauce), navigating through the abundance of style bloggers using the hashtag “menswear” to categorize their pins can be frustrating.
“To find things I want to repin I still have to actively search, browse, or pin original content myself,” he said.
Another challenge he’s run into has been connecting his Pinterest account to his Facebook account.
“My feed keeps filling with my female Facebook friends’ boards as they join, and I have to keep unfollowing boards about weddings, cute animals, and chocolate cakes. I don’t want to totally not be connected to Facebook friends. I just don’t want them auto-added to my feed.”
He makes some fair points. As a female user I don’t mind my feed filling with boards about baby animals and glittery things, but I do agree that the Pinterest team needs to focus on keeping the site running as smoothly as possible before focusing on anything further.
In the future however, I’d like to see the Pinterest team become very creative and savvy in how they work with the fashion industry (among others). After all, nobody wants another Tumblr.