Meet the New Social Networks

By Clawson, Trevor | Marketing, May 2, 2012 | Go to article overview

Meet the New Social Networks

Clawson, Trevor, Marketing

Hardly a month goes by without news of yet another niche social network creating a diversion from Facebook and Twitter. But what potential do they really offer to brands? Trevor Clawson finds out.

Last month, Honda launched a page and campaign on Pinterest. The up-and-coming social media site works like a virtual pinboard, where users share images and videos with friends and followers. Honda's activity, which it has dubbed 'Pintermission', promoted its CR-V model and included a dollars 500 incentive for users to get out and visit some of the places they were 'pinning' about. Retailer Target also created a Pinterest page to promote its fashion lines and has pinned more than 50 images so far across four boards.

These are just some examples of how brands are tapping into a new wave of social media networks. Instagram, the highly addictive photo-sharing app for iPhone, has been a hit with users and attracted a successful dollars 1bn bid from Facebook last month (see interview, page 5). It plans to use Instagram's products to enhance its own photo-sharing offer. Smaller still but gaining ground is Path. This time the metaphor is a journal - designed as a mobile app, the network allows friends to share thoughts and images as they travel with their smartphones.

For those who feel that creating a journal is a bit too much like hard work, there is the opportunity to get competitive with Draw Something, an online game.

Many of these social network newcomers may be less than two years old, but they have grown their user base at a phenomenal rate. Draw Something has around 14m users and, according to figures published by Experian Hitwise, the popularity of Pinterest has exploded in the past year. In March the site welcomed 5m visitors in the UK, compared with just 50,000 a year earlier. Globally it has just under 11m users.

Brand engagement

Of course, all these user numbers are dwarfed by the daily traffic recorded by Facebook and Twitter, but as Heather Healy, head of social media at digital agency Sticky Eyes points out, niche operators can provide real opportunities for brands to engage directly with consumers She cites the example of Pinterest. 'We work with a US-based fashion retailer that also has operations in the UK. In the US, Pinterest is the single largest driver of traffic to its site. In terms of encouraging product sales, Pinterest is more effective than Facebook or Twitter,' she says.

Pinterest is essentially a visual channel - part of its appeal in Facebook's eyes. Users share videos and pictures on Facebook but the emphasis to date has been very much on conversation. On Pinterest, users (including brands) are pinning images and videos. As such it is a very product-friendly space.

It was this visual factor that attracted holiday company Unique Home Stays to the platform. A marketer of luxury and unique holiday accommodation, imagery is a big part of our sell, and a site such as Pinterest, which allows eye-catching images to become viral, is great for us,' says marketing officer Rhianna Morton.

She adds: 'In the short time that we've been using the site, we've found that our images have been shared, repinned and, thankfully, credited time and time again, reaching a far wider audience than traditional platforms would.'

Pinterest's audience is currently dominated by women, a demographic that has made it particularly attractive to fashion and lifestyle brands. However, that is not to say that other sectors can't get in on the act, as shown by Honda's activity. And earlier this year, - an online printing service - ran a competition asking customers to come up with designs for Faberge eggs.

'We chose Pinterest because it had been getting a lot of publicity and it seemed like an ideal platform to enable our design community to post their ideas,' says Alex Harrington-Griffin, partner manager at …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Cite this article

Cited article

Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25,

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

Meet the New Social Networks


Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25,

    New feature

    It is estimated that 1 in 10 people have dyslexia, and in an effort to make Questia easier to use for those people, we have added a new choice of font to the Reader. That font is called OpenDyslexic, and has been designed to help with some of the symptoms of dyslexia. For more information on this font, please visit

    To use OpenDyslexic, choose it from the Typeface list in Font settings.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search


    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.