Who came up with the name Pinterest

Why Pinterest is starting to get noticed

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Pinterest? Do we still need Pinterest now? When looking at current numbers, the answer is "yes". Because in Germany the number of users has increased by 181 percent in the past twelve months.

Pinterest is now around three years old - and after some initial hype, it is now becoming increasingly important in Germany. According to a Comscore statistic, the monthly number of visitors to Pinterest in this country has risen to 864,000. In America, Pinterest has even overtaken the Tumblr blog service. In the USA, Pinterest is, alongside Instagram, the social network with the greatest growth in the last 18 months. So visual platforms are growing the most. Around 41 percent of companies worldwide use the image service in communication, according to the result of a survey by the marketing platform SocialMedia Examiner among 3,000 marketing managers from all over the world, to which Focus online refers.

Visual communication has advantages

In addition to the Facebook timeline, the photo network represents the trend towards visual communication that the photo community Flickr initiated several years ago. Marketing, PR and communication research have recognized that images are more than just the illustration of texts. Pictures are a communication mode of their own. Image communication can develop persuasive visual effects that cannot be achieved through pure text communication, says Stephanie Geise in her specialist article "The mode of visual communication and its functional logic". For many companies, this raises the question of whether they now also have to communicate on Pinterest in addition to their established channels on the social web. How can Pinterest be useful for PR and visual communication?

How does Pinterest work?

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If you want to be active on Pinterest, you first have to be patient. After registration, Pinterest sends out invitations. It can take a few days until these are in the mailbox. Those who have overcome the first hurdle will then be welcomed all the more warmly: "You're in! I'm excited to invite you to join Pinterest, a social catalog. I can't wait to have you join our little community" it in the welcome email.

The user then has to choose topics that are interesting. In contrast to Twitter, Pinterest users not only follow companies or people, but also topics. And this principle offers starting points for public relations.

Pin and share pictures

The name Pinterest says it all: It is made up of 'pin' for 'attach' and 'interest' for 'interest'. Your own pins, i.e. your own photos, graphics or videos, are organized on so-called boards. Publishing these photos is called 'pinning', but it means nothing other than sharing with others. To make pinning as easy as possible, Pinterest has come up with a browser plug-in and an app for smartphones.

However, problems arise from the ease of use: Graphics are pinned so quickly that the question of the image rights and the copyright holder is easily forgotten. If you only post your own photo material, you are definitely on the safe side. The power of the pictures, which hardly anyone can avoid, is the big plus of the photo network.

Consultants are already celebrating the new possibilities of visual communication with Pinterest as a way out of the communication crisis, in which classic claims and advertising messages hardly reach their target groups. Another advantage, according to communication research: when understanding images, only a much smaller mental effort has to be invested than when understanding text. Pictures are more immediate, says Stephanie Geise.

Pinterest is suitable for visual communication

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A picture is worth a thousand words. Pinterest is visual, an image medium that is suitable for companies that have appealing image material or for organizations that primarily rely on visual communication. For baby food, toys or clothing, all lifestyle topics such as design, architecture, cooking, decoration or fitness, Pinterest is a suitable channel. The best-known German brands on Pinterest include HRS, audible.de and Best Western Hotels. But Zeit Online, SZ Magazin, RTL II and Adidas can already be found there.

Kotex - the first successful Pinterest campaign

Various bloggers report that the first successful campaign on Pinterest is a gift box campaign by the American hygiene product manufacturer Kotex. 50 women who had posted particularly interesting pins on their boards received individual gift boxes, the content of which was composed of the ideas of their boards. In return, Kotex hoped that photos of the gift boxes would be posted. According to a blog entry, the result was 2,284 interactions and 694,853 impressions, which also reached Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

Conclusion: Campaigns that rely primarily on emotional images and stylish imagery are in good hands on Pinterest. This includes real men's topics from the motorcycle and car sector, travel, hair and beauty products, architecture and games. In this way, posters and claims can be tested and disseminated in political communication. The Kotex example also shows how dialogue-oriented communication can be successful on Pinterest and how viral effects can arise. Most of the Pins on Pinterest are Re-Pins. So the degree of virality is high. With the appropriate storytelling for images, Pinterest can also be used as a means of online PR. In this way, companies can successfully use the opportunities and advantages of virtual communication, provided they are internationally positioned. Anyone who is only present on the German market is currently even better off with a visually used Facebook timeline.

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