Are You Being Pinned?

Hopefully, you have been keeping up with your customers with social networks like Facebook and Twitter; there is a new player in town:  Pinterest.  This social network has exploded in the last year and its impact may be far-reaching.  This social media outlet is a must-have option for quick-service operators.

Essentially, Pinterest is a virtual, visual bulletin board where users can “pin” items of interest found online in one spot known as “boards.” A great meal at your location can now be “pinned” on a customer’s board allowing all their followers (friends) to see it.  In reality they are advertising for you. These pinned items link back to the websites where they were collected, making them ideal referral tools. Unlike other social media networks, Pinterest relies on images rather than text. “It’s a new fun way to share photos with those of like interests,” says Linda Duke of Duke Marketing LLC in San Rafael, California. 

Launched in 2010, this invite-only network, and they seem to accept everyone after a day or two wait, has grown to 11.7 million U.S. monthly visitors. Ask for an invite on their home page at Pinterest.com. According to conScore, users now spend more time on Pinterest than another network except Facebook and Tumbler.  Although initially popular with users sharing content related to DIY projects, recipes, weddings, and other visually strong subjects, Pinterest now has many brands building a strong following. Dunkin’ Donuts set up its Pinterest account at the beginning of February and already had more than 1,300 followers by month’s end.

As with all social media, Pinterest works best when brands are active and engaged with their followers. To make the most of a Pinterest account, experts say brands should interact with their followers, not only by showing the latest menu items but also by engaging followers through shared interests, providing insight into the people behind the brand, and trading ideas with followers.  To get the word out about the brand’s Pinterest account, quick-serve operators can promote their Pinterest boards through their other social media outlets.

“There’s little doubt that Pinterest will be the next major platform for interactive marketing,” says Jenna Galardi, Interactive Marketing Manager at Blue Interactive Agency, a South Florida based social media marketing agency.  Since Pinterest’s format is visual Jenna advises clients to have plenty of quality photos on your page. Many of the same photos found on your Facebook page can be utilized here.

Contests on Pinterest are another great promotional tool. Contests on Pinterest can range anywhere from adding a comment on a photo, to ‘repinning’ a photo on a user’s own board, to submitting a photo.  In return for this free advertising by customers, companies are giving special offers to loyal visitors by offering a free appetizer, buy-one-get-one-free promotions, and/or a certain percentages off their entire meal.

In the restaurant industry, it is as important to maintain that public relations inside the restaurant as well as out. Calypso point of sale systems has intelligence software and hardware systems that enable you to notice your restaurant’s weaknesses and strengths by evaluating your efforts for return on investment. Therefore, with this system, your restaurant is capable of over-seeing where your marketing efforts should take place and what contests or deals will benefit your sales when posted on Pinterest!

If you are interested in marketing online, whether on Pinterest or Facebook, check out Calypso’s point-of-sale social integration with their SunDrop Mobile platform. Gain the ability to have your offers and coupons broadcast on Facebook and watch is spread virally. SunDrop can be integrated directly into other software products and includes SMS text message, email and voice in addition to social media communication.  Contact Calypso today at 800-771-7100!

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