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What is it? Who’s using it? How can you benefit?

Pinterest - Why Your Restaurant Needs to Be There Feb. 23, 2012 Article by John Moore is a social networking site with a visually-pleasing “virtual pinboard” interface. Users collect photos and link to products they love, creating their own pinboards, while following the pinboards of other people whom they find interesting. It offers a unique opportunity for restaurants to display photos and videos of their offerings that is much easier for users to navigate and share. It is also exploding as a social media platform and is positioned to become the breakout application of 2012 – TechCrunch reports that Pinterest reached 10 million unique visitors per month faster than any standalone website in history. Functionality – To sign up for Pinterest, you need an invitation – which you can easily obtain either through a friend that is already a member or by making a request through the website. After you’ve become a member, you download and install a simple “Pin It” button on your browser toolbar, which enables you to grab images from any website page and post them to your pinboard. Alternatively, you can upload images directly from your desktop. Other users can then pin your image to their board, comment on them or follow your account. The iPhone application gives you the ability to upload pictures directly to your account. The interface is simple, intuitive and addictive. While Pinterest isn’t as sophisticated an application as Foodspotting or Foursquare – that is also its appeal – simplicity.

Applications – Restaurants can employ this easy-to-use platform in a number of different ways. • Post pictures of new menu items • Ask patrons to post and comment on pictures of their favorite dishes • Invite the Chef to post pictures of favorite ingredients or recipes • Pin pictures from reviews or local food bloggers The list is virtually endless and the possibilities of viral propagation are huge. Pinterest just announced a feature that allows users to automatically post photos to their Facebook accounts; other platforms are sure to follow. And the advantages of linking food pics to your Facebook Fan Page are obvious – people can easily locate pictures of your dishes without having to dig through photo albums, or months of Wall posts. The best part is – like the best social media – Pinterest can be a collaborative effort between management, staff and patrons, offering everyone an easy and intuitive method for sharing visual media about your restaurant.

Food is one of the most popular categories on Pinterest. 2

The Rapid Rise of Pinterest

“Time on site” is one of the most valuable metrics for social networks, publishers and online marketers. More than mere follower counts or even pageviews, the amount of time users spend with your content is always top priority in the quest for user engagement.

Article by Matt Silverman

Feb. 28, 2012

Our friends at Statista have gathered a bit of data from comScore to illustrate just how engaged Pinterest users have become over time, and in comparison to other networks. In January 2012, users spent the same amount of time on Pinterest as they did on Tumblr — on average, 89 minutes per user.

Social network superstar Pinterest has enjoyed hockey stick growth in recent months, but it’s also worth noting that the time visitors spend browsing and pinning has also increased sharply.


How restaurants can succeed with Pinterest Social media is fast-changing, and nearly every month a new darling steals the spotlight. But the latest hot platform,, is snatching up share faster than most and giving restaurant marketers a venue on which they can pin both information and aspiration. Pinterest had 17.8 million visitors in February, up from 11.7 million in January, according to market research firm comScore, which said Pinterest is one of the fastest-growing standalone websites. Pinterest, which was launched in 2009, has become especially popular in the nation’s geographic midsection, comScore said. Women generate about 84 percent of Pinterest’s activity, comScore noted, but male interest is growing. Another website aimed more at men,, has experienced far less explosive growth despite a similar invitationonly platform that allows users to “pin,” “re-pin” and “like” interesting photos and items on “boards” that users subscribe to, much like Twitter followers. “Pinterest is a perfect fit for any brand that can establish an emotional connection with its target consumers using pictures,” said Dan Kim, founder of Red Mango and a self-described “Pinterest addict.” “Although fashion is definitely the industry that can leverage the Pinterest platform from both a visual and e-commerce perspective, foodservice brands can be equally effective, if not more so, simply because consumers love seeing pictures of beautiful food,” Kim said. Unlike Twitter, which is based on 140-character verbal spurts with photos occasionally attached, Pinterest is all about the pictures, which gives users wide latitude in communicating menus and philosophies. The site’s terms of use have raised some copyright concerns, so corporate users suggest having lawyers read them thoroughly before posting photos and links.

“The key is to create boards that appeal to your target consumers throughout their entire emotional spectrum, not just their interest in your products.” - Dan Kim Founder of Red Mango April 2, 2012 Article by Ron Ruggless

Christina Wong, a spokeswoman for the seven-unit Tender Greens chain, said the brand has found Pinterest an effective way to address some marketing challenges, such as “how to convey Tender Greens’ overall company philosophy and communicate the multitude of ways that they’re so much more than just a healthy ‘salad place.’” Wong said Los Angeles-based Tender Greens has been on Pinterest for about one month and that the boards are managed by Erik Oberholtzer, co-owner and chef, as are the other social media sites used by the brand, including Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr. Oberholtzer spends about an hour or two per day on social media, which ranges from posting all of the restaurants’ daily specials on Twitter, responding to individual Twitter replies, sharing content on Facebook and managing Pinterest, Wong said. “Tender Greens uses their Pinterest page as an overall brand page about the Tender Greens lifestyle, what they’re doing as a company and what inspires the individual chefs,” Wong said in an e-mail. Nation’s Restaurant News asked a few steady Pinterest users to share their top three tips: Chiara Granado Social media coordinator for Genghis Grill, a 60-unit casual-dining chain based in Dallas 1. Be strategic: “Post photos [or pins] that will generate visual conversation for your brand,” Granado said. “Think of content that fellow pinners can relate to with your brand. If you have a concept that implements freshness of food, a fun dining environment with family, unique ingredients, etc., pin photos of farmers’ markets with fresh veggies, a family having quality time together, or even photos of different spices or sauces.” Granado said boards need to be labeled clearly. “If you have a board dedicated to your customers and what they do in everyday life, appropriately name it ‘Our Customers’ Lifestyle,’” she said.

2. Share the board: Pinterest offers the option of allowing users to pin to other users’ boards. Operators should encourage that to build engagement, Granado said. “If you have a board for ‘Summer Recipes,’ let consumers be a part of the ‘visual’ conversation, and have them pin photos of their favorite summertime recipes and summer pastimes,” Granado said. “Let it be fun, and make sure that no one abuses the board, so you will have to make sure you or someone else is managing your social media directly. By letting others pin to your board — who knows? You might come up with an LTO that might be a hit among your customers. It would be even greater buzz to let your customers know that new LTO was influenced by the many ideas from your pinners on Pinterest.” 3. Engage with other pinners: “Use the search function in the top corner and type in a keyword that relates to your brand,” Granado said. “Type in ‘stir-fry recipes’ or even ‘mango-flavored drinks,’ and comment [on] and ‘like’ other people’s pins. You don’t necessarily have to re-pin their pins, but show other pinners that you are watching them in the social space and that you are interested in their pins. This is a great way to gain more traffic to your boards.”

Albert Im Marketing manager of Austin-based Mama Fu’s Asian House: 1. Picture it: “Pinterest’s boards are a wonderful way to organize and present information to anyone willing to click on them – they’re like big photographic hashtags,” Im said. “The trick is to give people a reason to click. Since Pinterest is such a visual medium, it’s important to make sure that anything presented on the boards, whether it’s about Mama Fu’s or otherwise, is new, interesting, or unique both in information AND presentation.” 2. Engage: “Like any social media outlet, Pinterest is a community,” Im said. “As a Pinterest user, it’s a great feeling to contribute content that others pick up and share with friends - so it’s important to reciprocate. I also make a point to involve others in our pins whenever possible, whether by sharing a moment with Mama Fu’s fans or giving a shout-out to the creators of user-generated content. Plus, what better opportunity is there to learn about the passions and interests of our fans than by engaging them on a more personal level?” 3. Have fun: “That’s the main draw of Pinterest. And when we have fun, people pick up on it,” Im said. “Whether it’s photos from a recent promotion, user-generated content, or random funny/inspiring bits from the Internet, ‘fun’ is the thread that holds it all together. For example, we have some customized ‘art’ boards on our page that don’t really serve a specific function, they’re just fun to make.”

Erik Oberholtzer Chef and co-owner of Tender Greens: 1. Build a community: “Pinterest provides a way to virtually build a community of like-minded people who share our philosophy and are hopefully inspired by what we share,” Oberholtzer said. “Pin visually stunning photos that share what your brand’s story and message is all about. People who follow Tender Greens and are customers at our restaurants believe in farm-to-fork sustainability, supporting local farmers and a living healthy lifestyle.” 2. Participate and be a part of the conversation: “Engage with the Pinterest community beyond marketing your restaurant’s own message,” Oberholtzer said. “Comment on other users’ boards, like items and follow interesting people. It’s important to remember that Pinterest is not a one-way marketing or advertising platform, it’s a virtual inspiration board where users pin ideas and what inspires them to reference later. We share what inspires us as chefs and restaurant owners in addition to sharing content about things we like including local small farmers and artisans, craft breweries, art and artists, recipes, dish ideas and inspiring news articles. 3. Offer useful Information or resources. “It’s not all about Tender Greens all the time,” Oberholtzer said. “We do share facts about our company, but we also share expert tips about what fruits and vegetables are in season, recipe ideas, sustainable design ideas, a local farmer’s market map, wedding/catering resources, craft beer reviews and even gardening/farming techniques.”


8 Best Practices for Food Brands on Pinterest March 12, 2012 Article by Janet Helm Pinterest has become the fastest-growing website ever, now with nearly 12 million monthly users. The site illustrates the evolution from the “social graph” to the “interest graph” – or the shift from friend-based networks to those that connect people based on their shared interests. Food is one of the major niches or shared interests on Pinterest. In fact, food lovers were among the first on Pinterest; they saw the benefits of pinning instead of clipping recipes. These foodies used boards to plan dinner parties, collect holiday baking ideas, and create their own virtual cookbooks. Not surprisingly, food bloggers have also become Pinterest power users. The Food and Drink category has become one of the largest and most active in terms of pins and repins. While the Pinterest terms of use prohibit commercial use of the site, Pinterest’s lack of enforcement means that marketers are rapidly turning to Pinterest to help visually curate their brands. (No doubt the legal issues surrounding Pinterest will be worked through and the terms of use will likely evolve.) In the meantime, there are numerous opportunities for food brands to leverage this easy-to-use, image-sharing social network, although it’s best for marketers to work with experienced legal counsel to minimize risks.

Here are eight tips and best practices to get you started. 1. Add Value Offer helpful advice and useful ideas that your followers would find valuable. Cooking Light, one of the early stars on Pinterest, has created

a series of boards that feature timely holiday recipes, seasonal menu ideas and how-to cooking techniques, along with DIY projects and kitchen resources. Most content originates from, which has made Pinterest the most important social media referral source for the site, according to Allison Lowery, who manages Pinterest for the magazine. Cooking Light was also quick to add “pin it” buttons to all online recipes to make it easier for readers to pin to Pinterest.

2. Tell Stories Pinterest was made for visual storytelling. Grocery delivery service Peapod tells a tale with its “Delivery Trucks” board. The pins share images from the road by showcasing the various trucks in transit. One truck got stuck in an NYC blizzard; another donated food in Connecticut as part of Peapod’s Kids Give Back program. A separate Pinterest board provides the back stories of Peapod’s delivery truck drivers.

3. Host a Contest Several food brands have achieved success with “pin and win it” contests on Pinterest. Saveur magazine created a dinner party pinboard contest, asking pinners to build a dream dinner party on their own boards using at least three recipes from Participants tagged pins with #saveur and #dinnerparty to help extend the reach (the hashtag searchability function of Pinterest is similar to Twitter). The winner will be featured on Similarly, Relish magazine created a three-day “Pinathon” to see who could pin the most content from to win prizes. Before launching a contest, be sure to consult Pinterest’s terms of use.

Relish magazine launched a successful 3-day “Pinathon” contest. 6

4. Curate Your Core Values

7. Leverage Your Offline Events

Create boards that showcase the lifestyle your brand represents, not simply the products it sells. Whole Foods, one of the first food brands on Pinterest, features boards on gardening, recycling and fitness. You’ll also find pins of inspiring kitchens and art projects, along with faces impacted by the Whole Foods Foundation, the grocery chain’s charitable group, which addresses world poverty and hunger.

Use Pinterest to bring your offline activities to life with photos and video footage. One of Greek yogurt brand Chobani‘s boards highlights the travails of the CHOmobile as it canvasses the country. Cabot Creamery showcases farm families that are a part of the Vermont cooperative, and McDonald’s has a Pinterest board dedicated to the building of its first Olympic park restaurant in London.

5. Collaborate Create collaborative boards that allow external pinners to contribute. It’s a way to award and engage a few of your top evangelists or favorite bloggers. For instance, create a board dedicated to their pins, an approach used by Better Homes & Gardens and Whole Living magazine. America’s Test Kitchen created several boards focused on projects that feature pins from contributors – from homemade gifts to slow-cooker recipes.

6. Engage and Intersect Panera asks its followers to share their favorite pairing (like soup and salad) using the hashtag #youpicktwo. A board is dedicated to these creative pairings, and even features photos of pairs like Julie & Julia or Will & Kate. Dunkin Donuts asks users to share what they’re drinking and how they’re “running on Dunkin.”

8. Be Pinnable Ultimately, Pinterest is all about visual content, so be sure your site has quality images worthy of pinning. Each online recipe and article needs some type of image, or it’s virtually unpinnable. Flash-based websites are also unpinnable. On the other hand, infographics are popular on Pinterest; consider ways you can convert your written content into an infographic. Install a “pin it” button and “follow me” badge on your site, and be sure to promote your Pinterest account across your other channels. Include key words in the description of your pin to increase your searchability, and recognize users who pin you by visiting to see where your pins are showing up.

Pinterest has become the fastest-growing website ever with over 12 Million members as of March 2012.


13 Pinteresting Facts about Pinterest Users

It’s no secret that the Internet loves Pinterest. Now, most users are even spending more time, on average, pinning than they are on hanging out on Facebook. Here’s what you need to know about Pinterest user demographics.

Article by Christine Ericson

Feb. 25, 2012

With an average of 1.36 million users daily, the social photo pinboard has taken the web by storm, and top online retailers are following suit. Who are these feverish pinners? According to full service agency Modea, the majority are female mothers — 28 percent have a household income of $100k+.

TOP 10 Categories on Pinterest 1. Home 2. Arts and Crafts 3. Style/Fashion 4. Food 5. Inspiration/ Education 6. Holidays/Seasonal 7. Humor 8. Products 9. Travel 10. Kids

New to Pinterest? Find helpful tips for beginners at

TOP 10 Most Popular

Board Names on Pinterest 1. For the Home 2. My Style 3. Products I Love 4. Books Worth Reading 5. Food 6. Favorite Places & Spaces 7. Recipes 8. Craft Ideas 9. Christmas 10. Crafts Top 10 Lists from March 12, 2012 Article by Lauren Indvik

Still Craving More Pinformation? Check out the AMAZING infographic above at March 21, 2012 Article by Stephanie Buck Infographic by Column Five

Pinterest users spend an average 98 minutes on site per month, third only to Tumblr (2.5 hours) and Facebook (7 hours)


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Digital Identity Spring 2012 - Pinterest  

Digital Identity Spring 2012 - Pinterest - created by Dean White, Sysco Eastern Maryland

Digital Identity Spring 2012 - Pinterest  

Digital Identity Spring 2012 - Pinterest - created by Dean White, Sysco Eastern Maryland