All posts in “Pinterest”

Social Media: The Gateway to High Fashion for the General Public

Karly Gaffney is a Manager on the Content and Community team at Social Media Group.

It’s no secret that social media is a natural fit for fashion brands and designers. Considering the ever-changing nature of fashion, it’s not surprising that this industry has adapted quickly and is leading the way with its experimentation and innovation in social media.

Social media platforms have allowed the fashion world to reach a larger audience of both loyal consumers and aspiring purchasers who like myself, may not always be able to afford the products (but love looking at them!)

There have been hundreds of articles and blogs focusing on this very topic; however, fashion changes constantly, as do the stories. Below are a few that stood out recently.


Gucci recently grabbed attention after unveiling a ‘Pinnable’ banner ad as part of its Fall/Winter 2012 digital campaign, featuring a “Pin it” button in the creative. Not entirely ground-breaking, considering anyone with the Pinterest plug-in can pin straight from their browser.

Gucci, however, is providing users with the option to either pin the model or pin the shoes. (Though this isn’t inherently obvious when looking at the ad.) In any case, adding the Pin it button to the creative will likely prompt an increase in shares for Gucci on Pinterest.


Burberry boasts 536k followers on Instagram, over 1.2 million Twitter followers and 13 million Facebook Likes and is a brand that is very aware of the responsibility it has to its large following. In an interview with Mashable at the Spring/Sumer 2012 runway show, Burberry’s Chief Creative Officer, Christopher Bailey commented, “A brand is not just about product, it’s about experience as well, and experiences need to come from the center of a community.”

Burberry Spring / Summer 2012

As a brand that values content and experience, Burberry has developed some pretty interesting social campaigns over the last year. During the Spring/Summer 2012 runway show in London, photographer Michael Kus published a real-time photo feed to Burberry Instagram followers, providing the images before they were available anywhere else. Burberry also staged “Tweetwalk” where it premiered every look on Twitter moments before the models hit the runway, #Burberry was trending worldwide shortly after the show began. (Not bad for a 155-year-old company.)

Louis Vuitton

Louis Vuitton has been actively recruiting new fans and rewarding loyal customers through Facebook over the last three years. It broadcasted the spring 2010 ready-to-wear show live exclusively to Facebook followers and continues to stream shows live on Facebook.

For an industry that has historically been pegged as elitist, high fashion brands like Burberry, Gucci, Louis Vuitton and many others have been using social media to open the doors and let the common folk inside.

What are your thoughts on fashion brands on social media? Are they authentic or just another way to peddle merchandise?


The Age of the Social Shopper

Kirsten McNeill is a Coordinator on the Content & Community team at Social Media Group.

The social shopper is not a new phenomenon, but the scale and scope of the new social shopper is much greater. This shouldn’t come as a surprise considering new smartphone technologies and group buying sites. A recent study from Barclay reported that sales driven by social media influence is expected to double within the next 5 years. This is obviously a trend that shouldn’t be ignored; now let’s take a look at who and what is a social shopper.

According to Commerce in Motion, a social shopper is a consumer who regularly uses social networks and apps, smartphones and location-based services as part of their shopping lifestyle. Essentially, these shoppers are using technology to create the social interactions that they would have found in physical malls and stores, in the comfort of their own home.

Take a look at the Infographic from SteelHouse below to see where social shoppers are visiting and engaging.

The infographic shows that 55% of consumers are sharing their purchases on social networks, with Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest taking the top spots, making these essential networks to be engaging on. What’s even more noteworthy is the conversion rate of Facebook vs. Pinterest. Pinterest has received a lot of hype this year and looks to be the top network converting social shoppers to customers, with 59% of users having purchased an item they saw on the site.

Are you on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest? If so, have you seen an increase in website/mobile purchases since engaging on these channels?


Facebook Taking More Cues from Pinterest

Karly Gaffney is a Manager on the Content and Community team at Social Media Group.

They say imitation is the highest form of flattery; I wonder if Pinterest agrees. As Pinterest continues to gain traction in the social scene, it seems like Facebook has been investigating what they’re all about and what they are doing well.

Inside Facebook recently reported that Facebook appears to be testing a layout for Open Graph app stories that look very similar to the Pinterest design, with boxes for individual items that allow Likes, comments and other app-specific actions.

This change would make app stories more prominent in Facebook’s News Feed and app developers would benefit from being able to use larger photos, captions and new options for users and their networks to engage with app content.

What exactly are they testing?

“Clicking on a photo takes users to the third-party app page or website. When users hover over a photo, they have the option to comment on the item, which wasn’t available in the old layout. Also on hover, users can take in-app actions without leaving Facebook if the app has created custom action links.” (Inside Facebook)

Pinterest integrates Open Graph in its platform, so this latest News Feed change also happens to apply to Facebook stories from Pinterest as well.

Pinterest Story Before:

Pinterest Story with the new design (look familiar?):

According to Inside Facebook, it’s still unclear how widely this test has been rolled out or if this would apply to all stories from games and other apps. What is clear is that the layout is surely going to remind Facebook users of the Pinterest design.

What do you think about this potential new change to the look and feel of stories on Facebook’s timeline? Do you think it was smart of them to take a cue from the popular new kid or should they have taken another direction in order to distance themselves from Pinterest?

The Opportunity for Nonprofits on Pinterest

Kirsten McNeill is a Coordinator on the Content & Community team at Social Media Group.

I’ve covered how B2Cs and B2Bs are using Pinterest, which leaves only one more. Are nonprofits on Pinterest and if so, how?

They definitely are and there is plenty of opportunity for them! Nonprofits and cause-related organizations can use Pinterest to gain awareness if they can tell the story of who they are and what they support through a series of images. These images can come from a variety of sources such as the organization’s website or user-generated content from their social networks. They can even come from within Pinterest from other pinners’ that may have pinned their own images involving the organization.

Let’s take a look at some nonprofits on Pinterest that are doing it well. Operation Smile, an organization working to heal the smiles of children born with facial deformities, is dedicating its boards to pinning before and after images of children they gifted with free surgeries. To go along with the before and after images, they also have a board that tells the individual story of each patient. The visual nature of Operation Smile’s cause makes Pinterest the perfect fit to showcase their story and bring awareness to the difference they are making!


Last month, Opportunity International, providing loans, savings, insurance and training for people working their way out of poverty, used Pinterest to host a Mother’s Day Social Good Campaign. Followers could make a minimum donation of $5 and they could then leave a mark for their mother on the ‘Global Opportunity Quilt,’ designed to look like a Pinterest stream. This was a great campaign for Opportunity International because it enabled them to tap into Pinterest’s highly female demographic and reach those women that they are trying to serve.

One last example of an organization succeeding on Pinterest is PETA, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. They are using their boards to promote awareness and as an easy outlet for their supporters to find information by pinning products that are vegan and don’t test on animals. By pinning products from supporting companies, followers will know which companies are behind the cause and can be confident they are still supporting PETA when purchasing from them. Another useful board for followers to reference is PETA’s recipe board, where they pin vegan and vegetarian recipes, which allows followers to support PETA in their everyday routines.

Each of these organizations are telling their story through its own images as well as others’ and doing so provides a more intimate look at what the organization supports and the culture behind that. The opportunity is not only to create awareness but also presents the chance to get to know more about the community that surrounds and supports an organization. It is a great way to connect with them and develop relationships by pinning and commenting on their images.

Are you a nonprofit on Pinterest? How are you getting involved?

Pinterest for B2Bs – It's Possible!

Kirsten McNeill is a Coordinator on the Content & Community team at Social Media Group.

Pinterest’s popularity has grown exponentially in the past six months, leaving marketers hunting for strategic ways to get involved. Pinterest is a natural fit with obvious tie-ins for clothing retailers and home décor brands. Brands such as Real Simple, West Elm, and HGTV have done a fantastic job with their presence on Pinterest. The link is less obvious for B2B companies, although this doesn’t mean there isn’t an opportunity!

Pinterest can work for B2Bs as a way to build credibility and share industry trends and data. Companies can share infographics, charts or whitepapers on Pinterest, as they are great visual content pieces. Companies can also share and re-pin others’ infographics, whitepapers etc. because it will keep the profile community-based and not just a promotion center. No one wants to follow a company that strictly advertises itself. Bringing together industry data in one spot will help brands to develop relationships with the pinning community interested in a specific industry. Another more social way to share industry related content is to create a board dedicated to images and videos from corporate events or conferences, as Conduit has done with their “Conduit Conferences” board.

Companies and organizations can also use Pinterest to share their company story, personality and culture by pinning images and team bios to show the human side of the organization. (Check out Constant Contact’s “Life at Constant Contact” board to see an example of this).

Pinterest also provides a great way to share customer success stories and testimonials. One business doing a great job of this is HubSpot with their “I HubSpot Because…” board where they have created shareable images out of testimonials and quotes.

As with any new platform, there are some important questions to consider before jumping on the Pinterest-wagon:

  • Why are you interested in making Pinterest a part of your social strategy?
  • Is your target market using Pinterest?
  • Do you have visual content on your site worth sharing and, if not, are you willing to dedicate time, money and resources towards creating content?

Are you a B2B on Pinterest? Let us know how you are getting involved.

Pinterest – Valuation, Usage & Experience

Jordan Benedet is a Manager on the Client Strategy and Innovation team at
Social Media Group.

Everyone is in a tizzy about the Facebook IPO today, but when I noticed that Pinterest had raised $100 million in funding, which valued the company at $1.5 billion, I felt the need to write about the platform. Pinterest has been the talk of the town since their explosive growth in late 2011 (which has actually almost leveled off in March). When a platform generates as much referral traffic as Google and Twitter, it will definitely spur many people to write a lot about it, such as explaining what it is, how to use the platform, and of course some obligatory demographic data (spoiler: overall it is around 70% female).

This post focuses on some of the ways people and marketers use Pinterest, sprinkled with some miscellaneous stats, with a side of my personal experience and thoughts.


Pinterest has so many different usage applications for both consumers and marketers. Users love how they can tell their own story and express themselves through pinning their favourite images, or sharing and discussing with friends. The phrase “a picture is worth a thousand words” really applies here. Content on Pinterest also really gets around—80% of all pins are repins, or things that other users have already shared.

Pinterest is such a new platform, which means marketers are experimenting with ways to connect with consumers to drive brand awareness, and sales. It’s a great platform to showcase products, implement tasteful link-bait strategies, hold contests, and show off a brand’s true “style”. I personally really like General Electric’s Pinterest board; it has a great mix of product focused content, interesting content, and user-generated content in the #GEInspiredME board.

One of the biggest concerns affecting both users and marketers is the legality of Pinterest related to copyrights, which I’m sure will continue to grow as more and more people use the platform.

Personal Experience

Sure, I have a Pinterest account, but I will be honest—I don’t use the platform outside of work. Not personally using the platform does not mean I’m far from it though, and here is why—I’m getting married in July, and moving into a new place with my soon-to-be wife.

Pinterest is great resource for both wedding planning, an interior decorating. My fiancée religiously uses Pinterest to get ideas and inspiration ahead of our big day, and I totally approve because it has also made my life a little easier during this somewhat stressful planning period (although I have not really seen my iPad in quite a while…).  I definitely like Pinterest, and think it has a lot of potential, but like all up and coming platforms, they will need a great monetization strategy that balances both corporate and user interests to stick around for the long haul.

New Start-Up Aimed at Selling Goods Socially

Lindsay Stanford is a Director of Client Engagement, Content and Community at Social Media Group. Follow @lindsaystanford

Have you ever created a song or digital art that you thought might be worth something, but were so discouraged with complex e-commerce sites to even think about selling it? Well you can rejoice because a new startup has come to save you from that fate! Gumroad, a social-centric site makes selling your stuff online super simple, much cheaper than competitive sites and lets you share links of your goods through your social platforms.

Sahil Lavingia, the 19-year-old brain child behind Gumroad and former Pinterest employee, dropped out of college to pursue his dreams of running his own company and creating a service that allows people to sell anything they can share. Gumroad even has a cool feature that allows the buyer to pay what they think the product is worth, love that idea!

I think Gumroad will be extremely successful. They have taken away the complication and created a space where in a matter of minutes an item can be uploaded, shared and bought. I’m not the only one who believes it will take off. Monday it was announced that Gumroad received 7 million in funding. For a company who only takes a 5% cut of sales plus $0.25 per transaction, it is just a matter of time before they are making a profit and possibly forcing the competition to lower their rates.

Check out the video below and if you’re not the creative type pass along Gumroad to those who are. You never know, you could end up buying something from one of them.

Social Media Roundup for April 13

Facebook Bought Instagram

On Monday, Mark Zuckerberg announced on his Timeline that Facebook bought popular photo-sharing app Instagram for $1 billion. This was a great acquisition for Facebook since photo sharing is such an important part of their user experience, so what better way to improve the user experience than to buy the best and most viral photo app?

“Providing the best photo sharing experience is one reason why so many people love Facebook” said Zuckerberg, “and we knew it would be worth bringing these two companies together.” There has been mixed feelings from Instagram users. Take a look at this Mashable Poll:

What do you think about the acquisition, will it make Instagram for the better or worse?

Google+ Redesign

Google+ launched their redesign this Wednesday in an effort to create a cleaner and more aesthetically pleasing user experience. The redesign is said to resemble Facebook’s Timeline, including the addition of a cover photo that stretches across the top of the profile, a bigger photo and video displays. The redesign also features a new Hangouts page and a new Explore page.


Yammer Buys OneDrum

Yammer acquired OneDrum, a Scotland-based startup enabling users to co-author, file share and instant message within Microsoft Office documents in real-time. Adding this business functionality to Yammer will bring the enterprise social networking platform full circle to not only be a communications platform but to providing business functionality as well.

Pinvolve – Turning Facebook Pages into Pinterest Pinboards

Bazaart, a fashion catalog for the iPad, launched a Facebook app called “Pinvolve” to convert Facebook pages into Pinterest pinboards The app creates a new section on your Facebook Brand page to present all of your photo posts on a pinboard and it also allows you and the page’s fans to re-share on Pinterest. Bazaart’s co-founder Dror Yaffe says that the app has increased their re-pins by over 150% and that early adopters have seen the same. See Audrey Kitching’s Page below.


Caine’s Arcade

9-year old Caine Monroy builds an arcade from a big pile of cardboard. This video is worth the 10 minutes, it will melt your heart.

Social Media Roundup for March 30

Michelle McCudden is a Manager on the Client Strategy & Innovation team at Social Media Group.

The Timeline Deadline is Here

Today Facebook will implement the mandatory switch to Timeline for Pages. If you’ve been reluctant to make the switch, here’s some good news to ease you through the transition: It looks like Timeline will actually benefit your page. A study from Wildfire this week showed that Pages with less than 1 million fans are seeing a big boost in engagement from switching over to Timeline, with sizeable increases to comments, likes and People Talking About This. Larger pages have seen a smaller boost, but are still benefitting. We’re looking forward to more data after the switch this weekend. In the meantime, it’s been interesting to see what some brands are doing to take advantage of that Cover Photo real estate:

Another awesome use for Timeline? Tracing your brand or industry back hundreds or thousands of years. Two of the best examples are the New York Times, which begins its Timeline in 1851 with the paper’s first issue, and Spotify, which traces the history of popular music back to the year 1000.


Pinterest’s New Terms of Service

Last weekend, Pinterest rolled out their new policies, with updates to the  Terms of Service taking effect on April 6 and updated versions of Acceptable Use and Privacy policies taking place on March 23. Among the changes are new tools for reporting alleged copyright or trademark infringements, the prohibition of pins or boards promoting self-harm (targeting “thinspo” boards, among others), and an update to the Terms of Service to remove the word “sell.” (Pinterest recently came under fire for their stated right to sell any content posted to Pinterest, with critics sighting concerns about copyright and ownership.) The new Terms also state that users aren’t to post any content that would infringe upon the rights of the creator, as a means of protecting Pinterest against charges of copyright infringement. How tightly this will be enforced remains to be seen. Check out John Herrman of Buzzfeed’s projection of what a board without copyrighted content might look like:

Understanding the Twitter Bug


A big story this week has been Twitter’s confirmation that there is, indeed, an “unfollow” bug, making it appear that you are not following someone that you had previously followed. Since Twitter’s redesign late last year, it’s much easier to see if someone is following you or not, thanks to the “FOLLOWS YOU” that appears next to their name.

While there’s some speculation that the bug is the result of the December redesign, others (myself included) seem to remember it starting earlier. Twitter reports that they’re working to fix the bug.


Best Thinkers Webinar Series: Women and Social Media: Passion + Purpose = Conversion

Join Maggie Fox on Tuesday April 3rd at 12pm EST /9am PST for an exclusive live webinar from Social Media Today on Women and Social Media: Passion + Purpose = Conversion.

Are social media sites the “killer app” for reaching a female audience? And where do female web users congregate? The great growth surge seen by social photo-sharing site Pinterest is driven by women, rather than the males who more often make up the demographic of geeks and early technology adopters. And BlogHer’s latest annual study, Women and Social Media in 2012, found that women who read blogs actively make more purchasing decisions based on that social weapon of choice than on Facebook and Twitter.

Clearly, women lead the social and spending uses of certain regions of the Web. Maggie and panelist Elisa Camahort Page, Co-Found & COO of BlogHer will explore these new realities and more, discussing:

  • Women who hold leadership positions in social media companies
  • How women are making a difference in the world through the Web
  • The implications from these numbers for online and offline cultural change
  • How an analysis of women’s use of social tools could impact your marketing plan

Interested in joining the discussion? Register HERE!