Mark Cameron Columnist

Mark is CEO and head strategist at Working Three, a strategic digital consultancy that specialises in commercialising social media activity. He works with some of Australia's, and the world's, largest and most innovative companies to create a clear picture of the new market forces, and business model disruption, being driven by social media.

View more articles from Mark Cameron

In the Pinterest lab

Published 14 March 2013 07:31, Updated 10 April 2013 07:32

+font -font print

As major brands expand their social media budgets their marketers’ sights are moving to the new and innovative uses which are offered by less well-known social media platforms. The rapid growth of Pinterest has attracted many of these marketers’ attention. There have been many interesting cases of Pinterest being used effectively but few stand out like Honda’s recent approach.

Pinterest was the breakaway social media platform of 2012. It is essentially an image scrapbook online. Pinterest users “pin” images they find online, then categorise and share them. Like all social media platforms, Pinterest offers brands an effective communication medium – provided they think through how it will be used. Honda realised that many people were spending large amounts of time on Pinterest, to the point of developing a “pinning habit”, and that was the insight it needed to launch its campaign.

Honda’s new CR-V has a “get out and live life” brand personality. The target audience for the CR-V comprises young people on the verge of reaching one of life’s big milestones – getting married and having children. This group has grown up with social media and is planning its big adventures online. Many are using Pinterest.

Honda began by simply offering Pinterest users with high follower counts a challenge – if they took a 24-hour break from Pinterest, Honda would give them $500 each to spend on making one of their pinned images come to life. Honda called it taking a #Pintermission.

Honda set up individual boards within its profile and uploaded personalised images, then allowed the nominated users to add to these walls. Honda also asked the same targeted users to create their own Pintermission titled boards and make Honda a collaborator. It also created promotional posters that were easily shared through Pinterest.

This may appear a complicated approach but Honda clearly got the formula right. More than 4.6 million individuals were exposed to the #Pintermission boards. The campaign gathered more than 5000 re-pins and almost 2000 likes. By usual metrics, this is not a lot of direct interactions. But more than 16 million media impressions were garnered from the campaign.

And the buzz extended well beyond the boards of Pinterest as conversations moved organically to Twitter and Facebook.

This kind of platform and content experimentation, together with audience engagement testing, will be something we see much more of over the next few months. There is a multitude of social media platforms on which companies’ audiences are sharing and communicating. Trying out what works for each audience group is a necessary step in the process of finding where your market is connecting online. That is perhaps the most important lesson from the Honda campaign.

Mark Cameron is CEO of digital strategy and social media agency Working Three.

Comments