How brands can use Pinterest

How brands can use Pinterest By now, you’ve probably heard of Pinterest, the new-ish social media darling that recently surpassed 10 million unique monthly users. If you’re not familiar, Pinterest allows users to “pin” content they find on the web onto various boards representing their interests – everything from food to fashion to home decor to craft ideas to parenting tips and even politics. In the old days, maybe you’d rip pages out of magazines or newspapers with articles you wanted to save, recipes you wanted to try, or inspirational photos of home improvement ideas; now, you can organize all of those things – and share them – with Pinterest. Not surprisingly, savvy marketers have jumped on the Pinterest bandwagon. Conveniently, Pinterest users tend to be young (25-34), upper-middle class (almost 1/3 have a household income of $100,000 or more) and female (nearly 70%) – exactly the demographic that most brands would love to tap into. But as with all social media, brands can’t simply talk about themselves and their products on Pinterest. It has to be balanced with the kind of useful and inspirational content that Pinterest users love to share. Here are a few examples of brands using Pinterest in some pretty cool ways:
  • Whole Foods: Whole Foods came early to the Pinterest party, and as a result, have a robust following (nearly 50,000 follow their dinner ideas board alone) and a wide selection of boards. Sure, they cover the obvious stuff like recipes and tips for preparing veggies, but they have expanded well beyond that into gardening tips and ideas, kitchen design and cooking gadgets.
  • Calypso St. Barth: This brand is all about vacation fashion; to bring that to life, they hired a prolific and influential pinner to go along on their latest tropical shoot and document her experiences via Pinterest. She pinned details on the outfits she packed (Calypso St. Barth, of course); the activities she did; and the beautiful scenery she saw throughout her trip.
  • Kotex: In honor of Women’s Inspiration Day, Kotex launched a campaign in Israel in which they identified 50 inspirational women on Pinterest. They sent each woman a virtual gift, and if the recipient repinned the gift, Kotex followed up with an actual gift that reflected something she’d pinned about.
Of course, this is just the tip of the iceberg. Other ways brands can take advantage of Pinterest include posting coupons exclusively for Pinterest users, and holding contests on Pinterest – for example, asking “foodies” to post recipes using a specific product or ingredient. Behind the scenes, Pinterest can also reveal a lot about the people who like your brand. Mine the boards of your Pinterest followers to see what they’re posting: what they’re inspired by, what they like, and what they are doing with their time.