While Pinterest is more popular with men in the UK, in the United States, Pinterest is most popular with women.
That, you might think, would make it a pretty unlikely target for the US Army's social media team, but that's not the case. In fact, Pinterest is of great interest to the US Army precisely because of its demographic makeup.
The Army's Director of Online and Social Media, Juanita Chang, explained to The Atlantic Wire, "We saw that would be a way that we could potentially reach an audience that we don't normally reach with our other platforms." She added, "We know pinterest is highly dominated by women... A lot of people that follow the military are men because that's the majority of the military. We want to connect and reach out to the female population and maybe the Army spouses and family members -- the people who wouldn't have any other reason to follow the military otherwise."
Crazy, or brilliant? The fact that the US Army is thinking about social media as a means to reach market segments it doesn't typically reach shows that its social media team is perhaps one step ahead of the pack in terms of strategic thinking. After all, a lot of brands still seem to sign up for the latest and greatest without a real strategy motive, although ironically, some brands haven't moved quickly enough on Pinterest to protect themselves from brand squatting.
Most importantly, the US Army's Pinterest profile actually looks quite good. Even if military nostalgia isn't your thing, you can tell by looking at the Army's profile that its social media folks are taking the time and making the effort to pin interesting photographs.
Needless to say, that the US Army has set up a Pinterest profile is just another example of the service's meteoric rise, but it also highlights one of the existential challenges brands of all types and stripes have to face: maintaining a strong presence. It's easy to set up a brand profile on the latest and greatest social network but it's much harder to keep it going strong, or to leave when the profile loses its utility.
With this in mind, it will be interesting to watch as the US Army's Pinterest profile evolves, and to see what other major brands do on the rapidly growing social network.