Yesterday at Blogworld, Callan Green from Sony Electronics presented Sony’s new Pinterest strategy and highlighted how businesses can get started in this growing space.

When you are preparing for the launch of this kind of strategy, it’s helpful for your team to begin by using the platform personally. Next, it’s important to research existing brand pins in the community. When Sony searched Pinterest, they found a lot of gadgets as they expected but they also found a lot of old school products and pictures of fan made products such as Sony walkman shaped cakes.

By knowing what fans wanted, this allowed the Sony team to plan its potential boards and analyze the assets they already had in its Flickr community, in house and in its archives. 

Soft launch to full launch

Next, Sony had a soft launch that lasted for three months that allowed them to test its content and grow its audience. By testing which type of pins work as well as frequency and timing of posts, Sony were able to develop a strategy to move forward with.

As well as monitoring, measuring and reporting on the results of its Pinterest soft launch, the social media team inspired the company pre hard launch by running an internal Pinterest competition. Employees were asked to make pin boards of what Sony meant to them.

This helped get things moving internally, the social team now had more content for launch and it helped them get a Pin It button put on the site.

At launch, Sony utilized other channels to promote its Pinterest channel. The team also increased pin frequency to 4 pins a day and created additional boards as needed to keep momentum going.

To maintain the growth of its Pinterest boards, Sony continues to promote them via emails, social channels and through outreach to media and bloggers though as its audience grows, most of the interest comes from the Pinterest community itself and as new people join they are discovering Sony there.

The social media team has also started to create content designed for Sony’s fans and one of its images of a heart made of Sony products, is one of its top pins now.

Questions to ask before embarking on a Pinterest strategy

When you decide to embark on any type of social strategy, there are a few important questions to ask:

  • How are you devoting internal resources?
  • How does it tie into your overall businesss goals?
  • How will you measure success?
  • How do you want to be viewed on the platform?
  • How do you compete for eyeballs?

Sony’s strategy is to build a community and engage fans. They do that by creating pins and boards focused on three main objectives:

  • Driving sales through its new products board
  • Creating brand affinity with boards such as its retro Sony board
  • Building community acquisitions with techy geek fun pinning photos of things such as Harry Potter, Star Wars and the Avengers

What about the numbers?

Sony’s Pinterest community has:

  • Over 2300 brand followers
  • 1200+ likes on Sony pins
  • More than 2500 pins from sony website

It’s most popular board is the commerce driven brand new products and its most popular pin is the commerce driven pin deals.

For Sony, the Pinterest platform has driven:

  • 800 percent increase in traffic from Pinterest to the Sony store website
  • 2.5 times the traffic driven by twitter (which has 80,000 followers) to the website
  • Ten times more clicks of the Pin-it button than the Tweet This one

These results aren’t surprising, according to Responsys’ Chad White.

Pinterest links are creeping into emails with 28% of retailers linking to their pinboards, 7% promoting Pinterest contests, and 4% using “pin it” sharing links in their emails.

By September, White thinks at least 50% of retailers will be using and promoting Pinterest to their customers. At that point there will be very little new adoption of Pinterest as retailers head into the holiday season but should begin to pick up again in January.

With Pinterest already leading the pack by being the platform where consumers follow the most brands (an average of 9.3 retailers compared to 8.5 on Twitter and 6.9 on Facebook according to a new study), it will be no surprise to see more and more adoption by 2013.

Brands may finally have a social platform where customers not only want to engage with them but will want to buy more as well. It may be only a matter of time until the P-commerce experts start selling their wares to retailers everywhere.