My name is Maria Schimizzi and for this white paper I thought it would be beneficial to look into Pinterest as a company and a social networking medium using its best attributes as an exceptional marketing tool. Pinterest has become one of the fastest growing social services in the world. The small company took off in March of 2010 and has grown tremendously since. The purpose of the social network is to connect people through their common interests. In the past two years, it has not only spiked the interest of millions of individuals, but businesses as well. Based upon pinterest’s unique style, creativity and set up, the company has the ability to connect with businesses across the globe and use the social network as a marketing strategy.
Tom Kelleher’s book Public Relations Online provided great insight into how Pinterest can use lasting public relation concepts to succeed not only as a social network, but as a business. It’s organized and structured to create relationships and share content with the people you love. As an online media consumer I truly believe that Pinterest could benefit from Kelleher’s lasting concepts simply because of its dramatic growth in the past year and because of its outstanding marketing capabilities for other businesses. Kelleher goes into detail about peer-to-peer relationships and commerce-driven relationships, which contributes greatly to Pinterest’s overall purpose and goal as a company. In order for Pinterest to reach their stakeholders and build stronger relationships, they need to connect better with businesses and make joint efforts to ultimately connect with the consumer. Below is a SWOT analysis of Pinterest and its marketing capabilities:
Looking at the SWOT analysis above, Pinterest has the ability to build relationships through business efforts. It is important for the company to take advantage of this and its other capabilities and use them in order to grow even further. Some of the best ways to create these strong relationships is through some of Kelleher’s lasting concepts.
PR Concepts Meets a Great Marketing Strategy
After doing research and experiencing Pinterest as a consumer myself, I began to realize that this small company could be the next “big thing.” Facebook and Twitter have grown tremendously over the past several years however, marketers still find difficulty in developing successful ways to market their businesses through these social networking sites and ultimately struggle in connecting with their consumers. Pinterest on the other hand, has developed a way for marketers to not only reach their consumers, but also increase sales and improve upon retention rates. The company is set up in a way that people are connected. Peers repin other peers pins and so on and so forth. This gives marketers a benefit simply because it drives web traffic, provides exposure to a brand and sells more products. This in turn gives Pinterest a competitive advantage over other social networks. It creates peer-to-peer relationships along with commerce-driven relationships all on its own.
According to Kelleher, peer-to-peer public relations can be broken down into either two-way asymmetrical public relations, or two-way symmetrical public relations. Two-way asymmetrical public relation efforts are typically unbalanced. Organizations look to get feedback from the public but only in order to use it in a way that ultimately influences the public even more. Two-way symmetrical PR is the organization looking at the public’s interest and finding some form of balance between the public’s interest and that of the business. In relation to Pinterest as a company, its peer-to-peer efforts are pretty evident just in how the site works. People are able to take their interests and “build their own.” The company gets feedback from the public through different pins and through its web traffic. In return, the company simply allows the users to create their own and share. Other businesses should use this as a way of getting feedback on their brand and products. They can look at the web traffic and see what people “like,” “comment” on and “repin” to gain a better understanding of what the consumer wants. This is all done by simple peer-to-peer interaction.
In terms of commerce-driven relationships, Kelleher explains how “online technologies, individual people and cultures all come into play in building and maintaining dollar-driven relationships.” Pinterest epitomizes individualism and culture through commerce driven relationships. People are influenced by travel and places, apparel, home décor, and food to the point where people are unaware and do not realize that they are being advertised to. Pinners are constantly influenced by their followers, which then creates a cultural environment through each Pinterest relationship. It almost works in the same way as the concept of word of mouth. People feed off of each other and spread content rapidly. Marketers need to understand that given Pinterest’s design, their brands and products can spread like wildfire and create stronger relationships with their consumers more so than that of Facebook or Twitter.
Pinterest already as it is uses web 2.0 as a tool based simply on its web design and overall content and layout. People are able to connect with the people they know and share content online. As a way for Pinterest to further connect with individuals and businesses alike, the company should create a way for users to communicate with the business first hand. The company already connects users and businesses to other social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter, but in order to take Kelleher’s lasting concepts of public relations and put it to better use, they should create a blog or Pinner for the company so that users and marketers can communicate better with them. If the company itself had a Pinterest account it could reach its users, stakeholders, and businesses through their own pins, likes, comments, and pinboards. It would be as if the company was a peer itself and could relate with the consumer on the same level. This would not only allow consumers to see what future plans Pinterest has in store for the pinning community, but it would also allow businesses to further share their input and work as one with the company.
We live in a world of technological communication. People are able to share thoughts, ideas, beliefs, cultures, photos, videos and other content to others all over the world. We have reached an age where relationships are thriving everywhere, particularly through social networks like Facebook and Twitter. Much like individuals, businesses have turned to social networks as a means of marketing their brands and products, but have only found minimal success. This has all changed now with the rise of Pinterest. Businesses are not only able to market their brands and products, but create stronger relationships with their consumers. This has been done with the website’s simplicity, uniqueness, and creativity. The company has already reached great success, however, I believe that if Pinterest applied Kelleher’s lasting concepts of public relations, the company and social network could thrive even more so.