As we pointed out in Why Pinterest Reminds Me of the Stock Market, Pinterest was one of the fastest growing social networks ever – an online bulletin board that allowed you to “pin” your own pictures and online bookmarks and share them with friends.
It has become the go-to site for everyday creativity – things like cooking, styling, or DIY project ideas. And therein lies the issue.
The Pig Cake Conundrum
A partner here needed to make a pig cake for her daughter’s birthday. Her first step was to search for “pig cake” on Pinterest, which returned hundreds of options, from Peppa Pig to Miss Piggy. The options seemed endless and each image linked to step-by-step instructions of how to make the masterpiece.
Good news: She duplicated a cake and it was a hit at the party.
Bad news: The experience sucked.
It wasn’t because the cake didn’t look and taste fantastic. It was because she couldn’t take credit for it. It wasn’t hers. It belonged to Pinterest.
What this means for clients
One of our CPG clients, a household marker brand, promotes its products as expressions of everyday creativity. They began using Pinterest shortly after the site launched. It has been a great traffic driver to the client’s website. Its had synergies with other social networks and has improved positive social mentions.
Would we recommend that our client that not posting crafts because people should be creative on their own? Of course not.
But brands that enable people to be “creative” should encourage engagement that does not rely on step-by-step instruction.
Define a creative task, but leave it loose. A sample engagement invite for our marker client: Using only a blue, green & yellow marker, draw a picture of your favorite summer activity.
Encourage fans to share their own creations. Calls to action around UGC should reward participation with positive comments and appreciation.
Redefine creativity through your brand. Food and beverage brands have contests for consumers to volunteer new recipes. Home improvement brands love it when people use their products in new and unexpected ways. Even the act of authoring a review is creative – and should be acknowledged as such. Converse, back in 2005, started down a path of consumer-authored creative and look where its taken them.
Feeling like your consumer outreach could use a little creativity? Discuss it with us over a beverage. Contact us.