Pinterest has been written about in the news quite a bit lately. It's now the third most-visited social-networking site in the United States, according to a report recently released by Experian Marketing Services. Pinterest ranks behind only Facebook and Twitter in terms of total visitors which was based on U.S. visitors during March and did not even include mobile traffic.
Most of us probably never heard of Pinterest six months ago. For those not familiar with Pinterest it lets users "pin" photos and info from the Internet onto virtual boards. Once I started reading about it I first had to request an invite to join. Once I signed up it allowed me to easily follow all my Facebook friends, which is one of the reasons behind it's fast growth. I have to admit, I didn't have any photos pinned to my boards at first and I still only have a few. My most popular are "Recipes I Love" and "For the Love of Doggies". I still really haven't spent much time on this social network and not sure if I want to, but there are many people that are, especially women.
We've recently been getting some inquires about Pinterest from clients who are currently running sweepstakes and contests promotions with us. They're asking if we've done one yet and should they consider it. The answer is no, we haven't done one yet, and there is this issue of who owns the copyright of the image being pinned that we share with them. Just because someone can pin any image they find on the Internet to a Pinterest board doesn’t mean that it’s legal. The vast majority of images found on the Internet are not “public domain” and pinning or re-pinning them on a brand’s virtual pinboard risks a copyright infringement claim by the original image owner.
Using Pinterest for promotions presents its own practical issues. First, you have limited space in which to make required disclosures, like the official rules. You're limited to a 500 character description of your photo, so similar to Twitter you can include a URL address that links to your rules. Also Pinterest boards are viewable upon creation, so by encouraging consumers to create a themed pinboard for your promotion, consider what images the participant may connect to your brand. They may not always be "brand friendly" let alone be images that they own. In addition to the copyright issues, this may present further complications if you plan on using the winning pinboard for later publicity. To be safe, some are providing a library of images for participants to pin from that the brand owns or has licensed.
Here's an interesting Pinterest contest that the folks at Harrods, the London-based department store, is currently running. They are inviting people to create a mood board on Pinterest, which will be the inspiration for a ‘Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Street Party’ window. A participant's board must be titled ‘Harrods Street Party Window’ and once complete, they must tweet a link to their board to Harrods Twitter Page, @HarrodsofLondon, and include the hashtag #HarrodsWindows
Harrods created some ‘Pinspiration’ to help people get started which is shown on their Pinterest page specifically created for this contest.
The winner will be brought to London and put up in a premium hotel in advance of the official unveiling of their window next month. The deadline for entries is Thursday, April 19. It's only open to residents of the UK, so this doesn't have to follow any of the U.S. contest regulations, which is probably why we found no Official Rules.
— Harrods (@HarrodsofLondon) April 10, 2012
BTW, I just used one of Twitter's new features which is to embed a Tweet. Pretty cool.
So are you on Pinterest? Why or why not? Have you been involved in a Pinterest promotion yet? Let me know what you think in the comments.