The Pinterest frontier as yet unexplored is the territory of internal communications. The fast-growing social network is a natural for companies that sell visually pleasing products or promote a lifestyle brand. Brands like Nordstrom, Whole Foods Market, Bergdorf Goodman and even Chobani Greek yogurt have started Pinterest boards directed at their consumers. Ann Taylor launched a brilliant Valentine’s contest that motivated Pinterest users to pin Ann Taylor clothes and accessories to their own boards.
Now Pinterest has the potential to become a powerful employee engagement tool as well. At Tribe, we’re beginning to recommend its use internally, particularly for brands with predominantly female workforces, such as retailers for women’s apparel.
One of the trickiest communication issues for such retailers is communicating with the employees on the sales floor. They’re separated geographically from corporate and from other stores, yet it’s essential to loop these employees in on what the brand represents.
After all, the sales associates are the ones who interact with shoppers. You can have fantastic external branding, but if the customer experience doesn’t live up to that branding, you’re sunk. Especially in this economy, retail customers want to feel like they’re getting what they’re promised.
Many retailers use the strategy of communicating primarily with store managers and hoping they share that information with their teams. Face-to-face communication is indeed useful, and employees tend to look to their immediate managers for what they need to know. Print can also be helpful. But so many employees, particularly in the younger generations, are accustomed to getting their information online.
You want sales associates out on the sales floor, not in the back in front of the computer. But what if you could inspire them to spend their own time, after work, engaging with the brand online?
That’s what Pinterest can do. With 7.5 million users, and 70% of them female, you can bet many of your sales associates are already there.
Don’t know where to start? Tribe would be happy to help.