Is Pinterest Relevant to Printers?
By Heidi Tolliver-Walker on December 18th, 2012
It seems that you hear about Pinterest and its 25+ million users everywhere now. Whole Foods has 86,000 followers. Michael’s Stores has 7,000 followers. Social media strategist Ted Rubin has 2,600 followers. Ted Rubin’s sock board has 2,300 followers.
There is no doubt about it. Pinterest is fun. I’ve seen some very interesting things on there. Certainly there are a few pairs of socks owned by Ted Rubin I’d like to see on my husband. But is it for printers?
Print is a visual medium, and since Pinterest appeals to visual thinkers like designers, you’d think there would some great overlap there. Yet look for a printer on Pinterest and, well, if you find one, let me know.
Consumer marketers seem to have figured out what works on Pinterest: a mix of product-oriented images and lifestyle boards. People come for the quirky lifestyle images, the fabulous design ideas, and the images of the really “out there.” But with every image viewed comes branding, too, and if consumers go through the marketer’s main Pinterest page, they get exposed to product information, as well.
I like Ted Rubin’s mix of content. His popular sock board sits alongside the board for his book Return on Relationship, his Collective Bias blog, his conferences appearanches, and other fun things like holidays, “just to be nice,” and “other things I like.” Go for the socks, but get exposed to his professional expertise along the way.
I can see this really working for printers. Different boards for different types of products alongside quirky boards about unusual uses for recycled paper, unorthodox employee activity, contest results for the most creative use of empty ink cans, things like that. It would be killer for dimensional mail, I would think. Especially considering the visual- and design-focused audience. Alongside the boards for the quirky, thought-provoking, and unusual, you could add images that lead to white papers, case studies, and video tutorials. Think of it as branding and accidental exposure.
So why aren’t printers using Pinterest more? Probably the same reason they don’t tend toward any kind of self-promotion. New, untried, uncertain return on investment. But particularly if you’re targeting designers and agencies, I’d think Pinterest would be somewhere you’d want to be.