13 Jun 2012

Does Your Brand Belong on Pinterest?

By Adrienne Rhodes at Social Media Today:  
A recent HARO inquiry looked to interview “somebody who found a job in the healthcare industry using Pinterest.” I felt bad for that reporter because there’s no way he found what he was looking for. Pinterest is not meant to be used to find jobs. The reporter was trying to force Pinterest to fit into his story even though it wasn’t a good fit.
Brands often do the same thing, wanting to be a part of a social network because it’s trendy, even though their brand is not relevant. They end up sticking out – and not in a good way.

Just like any other marketing channel, success on Pinterest requires a thorough understanding of the channel’s purpose, audience, topics and best practices.

The purpose of Pinterest is for users to visually share their interests, gather inspiration, and organize their favorite content into relevant boards. People on Pinterest seek out beautiful imagery that appeals to their tastes and preferences.

For brands, Pinterest can be very effective at driving traffic and even conversions for the right brands. It’s also a great place to build awareness and tell a visual brand story by grouping products by unique and engaging themes.

Google Ad Planner has some valuable insights on Pinterest’s demographics.

So what does this mean for your brand? It means you should be a company that targets primarily young to middle aged women that have a minimal level of education and are not particularly affluent. Basically, if you’re going on Pinterest trying to sell luxury men’s watches, you’re wasting your time.

More valuable insights from Ad Planner (and the site itself) reveal the very specific interests of Pinterest’s users:

My observation has been that there are certain types of content that will nearly always do well on Pinterest: DIY project instructions, trendy apparel, recipes, decorating ideas, anything wedding-related, quotes, memes, motivational fitness tips and images, cute animals, and ideas for children.  

Best Practices
Just posting the content mentioned above won’t do anything for you unless it meets the basic quality standards of the average Pinterest user. These observations are somewhat anecdotal, but come from months of observation and interaction with this community.
  • High-Quality Photography: If you want your brand to do well on Pinterest, you can’t skimp on photography. Users won’t repin something unless it’s going to enhance their board and impress their friends and followers.
  • Active Engagement: To be successful on Pinterest, it’s necessary to like and repin other user’s pins, and be posting frequently to maintain a steady presence.
  • Optimized Pins: Pins should always have a few key elements – a beautiful photo, a descriptive file name and a link to an article or web page with more information.

When you’re trying to decide whether or not Pinterest is worth the investment of time and resources, consider your goals, the user demographics and the topics that are popular on the site. Ask yourself if your brand is actually a good fit, or if you’re just forcing it because you want to be a part of the next big thing.

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  1. We've just recently started using Pinterest and we've seen some good numbers from it.