By James Reichert Earlier this month, Pinterest announced its new messaging feature as an “easier way to have a good old fashioned conversation.” At its roots, social media is all about having conversations -- you just need to ensure that you are talking with people, not at them. Similar to Twitter’s direct message feature, with Pinterest's new feature, the brand and user need to be mutual followers in order to have the ability to communicate directly. Once there is a mutual following, this feature opens a wide array of possibilities for facilitating a direct connection with a fan or follower. Below are some great ways brands could use Pinterest messaging to their advantage by adding it to their outreach strategies.
1. Engage with new followers.
You get a notification every time a new follower follows you, right? Why not reach out to those people and engage with them from the get-go! This could quickly turn them into valuable fans for your brand on the platform. You can even go as far as asking them politely what they like about your page and what they would like to see added, which can then help you optimize your content strategy on the platform.
2. Reach out to active fans.
Reward those people that are actively engaging with your brand on Pinterest by returning the favor. A Community Manager can probably rattle off a few familiar names if you ask who passionate followers of the brand are. Sending a fan who interacts with your recipe board a new recipe that you think he or she will appreciate is a great way to open up a direct dialogue between you and that fan.
3. Test new products.
This might be an interesting use for a brand that is looking to introduce a new product to its line of offerings. Adding a board for the new item on Pinterest and reaching out to users that are interacting with these new pins is pretty much a free source of social crowd-sourcing. Asking users what they think will also help them feel more involved with the brand -- this can help turn them into brand evangelists.
4. Provide customer service.
Although Pinterest is not really used for fielding customer service cases right now, this new feature could make it a possibility. As a brand, it is imperative to keep an eye out for negative comments or complaints on social content. With Pinterest Messaging, you can now reach out via a personal chat to assist people with their issue.
What do you think of this new feature? Have you seen any brands using it for outreach? What other opportunities do you think this new feature presents? Tell us in the comments below!