Pinterest and Tumblr. If your brands aren’t using them, chances are you’ve considered or will consider it soon.
is, of course, the
current darling of social media, a social network in which its users
“pin” images to “pinboards” along with brief comments. Tumblr
is an easy breezy blogging platform ideal for photo sharing. It recently hit 20 billion posts.
As more companies and brands move to communicate within these media,
we’ll need to rethink (once again) the way we write and present content
to gain maximum traction.
As always, when determining whether to create an official presence for
your brand in a new medium, you need to determine if it’s the right time
to make the move.
Consider these questions before you make that decision:
Can we afford the time/resources it would take to maintain a robust presence in this medium?
- Is my audience there already?
- If so, is my audience already talking about my brand in this space, and how are they talking about it?
- How will this medium help me tell my brand’s story?
- What are the potential risks involved with this medium?
Pinterest is a predominantly visual medium, so it might not be the best
place for your brand if you have nothing visual to add. (Careful when
pinning, though: As PR Daily
—and at least one advertising lawyer
out, brands need to approach re-pinning with caution due to
Tumblr, meanwhile, is more versatile. But you still see that the most
successful posts are those that are visually interesting—photo, video,
For brand managers who are starting to incorporate these media into
their social strategy, here are a few tips for planning content with
Understand what your audience wants
As with any social media platform, you have to understand how your audience wants you to communicate with them.
Fashion brands have found great success on Tumblr. This shows an astute
understanding of how their audiences are using a certain medium. For
example, J.Crew's Tumblr page
goes beyond merely presenting ways for people to spend money, the
clothier offers content that gives people ideas on how to use its
products in daily life.
The team behind fashion impresario Kate Spade also proves that with
these media what you say is far less important than what you post. The
brand’s Pinterest page
is a festival of colors, offering tips on how to dress, travel, think, decorate, celebrate and live—colorfully. Its Tumblr presence
is less splashy, though still engaging. The images are
vintage-inspired, with plenty of black and white shots, sepia tones, and
washed out colors.
Other, non-fashion brands are taking advantage of Pinterest. Regardless
of your opinion of the National Rifle Association, the organization has a
firm grasp of how to present its content on Pinterest
Naturally, there are images of firearms and people using them, but
there are also pinboards that have a loose connection to guns.
Get creative with how you title your boards
If you’re wondering what it means to be a lifestyle brand in a social space, look to Bergdorf Goodman’s Pinterest page
. The luxury retailer recently put the following question to its Facebook crowd: “Sunday’s are made for …
The company used the responses to create a Pinterest board titled
“Sundays are made for …”. The images and copy are in line with the
type of lifestyle itsaudience leads. Brunch, mimosas and picnics are
represented. “Sitting by an open window” saw more than 75 repins.
Apply this to your brand by asking, “How can I engage my audience around
images that will resonate with them?” The copy itself doesn’t have to
be anything magical. Really, it’s less writing and more telling a
lifestyle story through images.
Be willing to show your brand’s personality
Individuals use Pinterest and Tumblr to show the world what inspires
them and what they love about the world around them. Brands should
approach their content on these media with the same spirit of
enthusiasm. A great example of this is Whole Foods’ Pinterest page
Obviously, you think recipes and food porn would make the most sense
content-wise for this brand. But that’s not all they stick to.
The company was founded in Austin, Texas, and one of their boards features reasons they love Austin. Of the “#whyAustin
board, Whole Foods writes, “Pretty self explanatory ... This is why we
live and build businesses in Austin (the best city in the world)!”
Write to sell the aesthetic
With both of these media, you’re presenting ideas, so keep it simple.
Think in terms of two to three word kickers. Don’t overdo it.
For example, Nordstrom balances the matter-of-fact with the clever. Take its spring fashion trends board
which showcases nautical gear that the retailer offers. Not every post
is clever—most just name the product—but pins that are more lifestyle
examples, such as “The perfect afternoon,” can inspire sharing and boost