2012 has already seen the news packed with social media stories. From bald Barbie Facebook campaigns, Ed Milliband’s Blackbusters blunder, McDStories hashtag horror, Katie Price’s Snickers Stunt to LA Fitness’s Twitter storm.
With social media continuing to be a clear influence on our behaviour and on brands’ marketing strategies it is no wonder that more sites are popping up with new ways of engaging and interacting with audiences.
Two which we think have great potential this year are Instagram and Pinterest.
So what do these social media tools have that the giants don’t? Is there really room for them in this seemingly saturated market?
Instagram has gained popularity over the last year and was named iPhone App of the year. It is now considered the largest mobile social network with over 15 million users and is recognised as a great choice for brands. This new platform allows consumers to tell their story instantly via shared photos.
Recent brand initiatives using this technology include Levi’s “Be A Levi’s Model” campaign, where individuals were encouraged to strike a pose and upload a photo in the hope of becoming a future model. Another example is Tiffany’s latest campaign ‘true love in pictures’, which uses an Instagram gallery to allow followers to share their photos. Other brands such as Burberry, Mango, Starbucks & ASOS have used it as a way of creating content that their followers regularly engage with and talk about.
Pinterest is a virtual pinboard site which allows individuals to pin images to digital boards, link back to other sites, share posts with followers, like and re-pin content. One of the best features of Pinterest is its ease of use – you can share and browse content simply and quickly. Its uptake has been fairly rapid over the last few months and brands are beginning to tap into its potential. It’s also proved to drive more traffic to retailer’s sites than Google+.
As HubSpot point out, “the trick to succeeding on Pinterest isn’t necessarily about showing off your products or services directly. It’s about finding creative ways to show how those products and services fit into the lifestyles of your target audience”.
One brand that has used Pinterest particularly well is Greek yogurt company Chobani. With boards ranging from “Nothing but good” to “Flavour inspiration” it is clearly connecting with followers from a lifestyle perspective and enabling users to understand its brand, rather than just focusing on the products it sells. Other brands using Pinterest well include Gap, Whole Foods, Etsy and Better Homes and Gardens.
Pinterest is currently only available by invitation, so if you want to join you can either request an invitation or get in contact with us at Limelight – check out our Pinterest boards here: http://pinterest.com/limelightideas/
These two social media initiatives aren’t as big as the giants (yet!), but I’m sure over the next few months more and more brands will use them. They offer a refreshing new platform to share content visually, and I’m already hooked!