Expanding Pinterest OFFLINE

It’s no secret that pictures have power- for social media and for ROI. Pictures drive Pinterest, now the third most popular social site in the country, and they account for the rapid growth of Instagram, DailyBooth, Fotki, Fotolog, My Opera, Virb and a host of other photo sharing sites. And that’s not even counting photo apps!

If you’re looking for advise on how to use Pinterest to grow your business, there’s no shortage of how-to articles available for free online. They offer tips like have at least 5 boards, like others, promote on your website, tag your photos, etcetera, etcetera.

But what about taking photos from Pinterest or other photo sharing sites (and user generated content more generally) and putting it in an offline context? When we talk about having truly integrated social media strategy this is exactly the type of thing that gets overlooked. Businesses get so nearsighted jumping into social media that they forget all about the face-to-face opportunities to impact clients/customers on a daily basis. Consider just a few – the office space where you meet new clients, the window displays at your stores, your print catalogs, décor and signage at your company event or party, employee apparel or uniforms, really any and all business collateral. These are all offline opportunities to reuse and repurpose online content. Are you a restaurant owner- how about having a dinner special decided on by having fans upload and vote on their favorite food image? Or a fashion designer, who gains a following by creating her next runway look from user submitted photos on a “Summer” themed pin board? There’s no end to re-purposing social-photo content.

Here’s a look at some ideas to take online photos offline:


New York-based Peanut Butter and Co. held a peanut-themed pop-up gallery exhibit featuring user and company created social images.  Attendees and people walking past got a taste that the company was delicious and socially savvy.


CanvasPOP is a company that prints Instagram photos onto canvas, turning them into art. Think about the possibilities for turning customer photos (especially photos of the customers) into art for the office, retail store, or events. Nothing sells a brand better than its most loyal customers.

Similarly, PRINTSTAGRAM turns you Instagram photos into any number of products, including posters (think custom store or office wallpaper), or this adorable tiny book (I would love to get one of these from my favorite store included with my purchase because, hey, you might be in it!).


And here’s British indie-rock band The Vaccines video for their new song “Wetsuit”- composed mainly with Instagram photos taken by their fans at the band’s music festivals.  They got a music video practically for free, showed appreciation for their fans, and associated themselves with “cool” technology.



As you can see, your photo contest or campaign doesn’t have to stop when the voting is over. Take user generated content full circle so that it ties back into your business’s broader marketing goals. The return is cohesive content, more potential buyers, and deeper branding. That’s serious Social ROI.

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