A few weeks ago Kotex ran an interesting Pinterest campaign / activity. It was innovative and successful, by various measures.
It worked like this – Kotex found fifty of the most influential women on Pinterest, checked out what they had posted to their boards, made and sent them all a gift representing those images. The results:
- Close to 100% of recipients posted about their gifts on Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram
- 2,284 interactions
- 694,853 total impressions
Before I launch into the influencer mythology argument, aside from the impressive statistical results gleaned, I must mention being impressed by the innovation of this campaign. In many ways it was a great, unique idea, which cannot now be repeated without cries of copycat.
But this type of ‘influencer’ marketing smacks of elements of traditional communications which peer to peer Internet philosophy rather bites its thumb at…
- Really noisy, famous people are more important than all other people (or women who use sanitary products) – they deserve free gifts and lots of attention
- A small group of really well-known people can influence everyone else, by dint of their massive profiles
- The silent majority, or lurkers, are there to be talked to, not with, or for
Even the largest stories on Facebook are the product of lots of intimate sharing — not one person sharing and hundreds of thousands of people clicking
And as for the silent masses, the numbers who quietly fitting in Pinterest between busy jobs and busy lives, liking the odd picture here and there, they need not be excluded from our technographics obsessed considerations… for we are not all at one place on the ladder all of the time, but rather hang off various rungs at various times.
Furthermore, Jon Hickman has argued for considering participation by lurkers as “hidden actions.” (As opposed to ‘inactives’, on Forrester’s ladder above) He writes that the extent of participation by lurkers shouldn’t be underestimated, citing a case from the recent Digital Transformations event which his research supports:
we heard about a woman who had never commented or liked anything on her participatory group’s Facebook page. In offline fora, the same woman was the strongest and loudest advocate for their work. Her practice as a lurker meant she was immersed in the detail of the group’s work and was able to speak for it in offline spaces
So what’s the point? No more influencer marketing? No more drive for active online participation? An obsession with the silent, over those who have something to say? Not really. But when it comes to marketing on Pinterest there is another, longer game that might well be played.
To reach more people appropriately, in context, over time – than dishing out freebies to the Pinterati and patting ourselves on our massive corporate backs when they all spew predictably about their free gear, one might try:
- Behaving similarly to individual participants of Pinterest, collecting and sharing images in line with themes
- Finding pictures to pin that impact everyday life: crafts projects, planning birthday parties, designing a home on a budget. As their onboarding email says, “Pinterest is as much about discovering new things as it is about sharing.”
- Developing boards where you both submit and accept pins from others
- Repinning / liking others’ images
- Optimising your website content for Pinterest sharing
- Making sure you have the rights to any images you upload to Pinterest and including keywords in line with your search strategy in the image file name
- Looking at your site’s page by going to http://pinterest.com/source/yoursitehere often to discover which posts and images are resonating with Pinterest users and using that information to shape your content strategy based on what people are already finding interesting and valuable (hat tip: Angela Giles)