Mar 07

Dos and Don’ts for Brands on Pinterest


Pinterest is one of the fastest-growing social media networks ever. It’s the third most popular social network in the U.S. in terms of traffic, according to consumer online behavior experts at Experian Hitwise. Pinterest has about 25 million monthly unique visitors.

As more and more brands join Pinterest, it would be helpful for them to have a clear purpose for joining, rather than just jumping on the latest social media bandwagon. It’s also important for brands to understand the primary uses of the platform as they reach out to their target audiences.

As of fall 2012, over one-third of the top 1,500 brands in the U.S. were on Pinterest, but each only have an average of 124 followers, according to Danny Maloney, the CEO & co-founder of PinLeague, a Pinterest marketing platform for businesses. This could mean many things. Is your target audience on Pinterest? Are your pins visually appealing? Are you provoking interesting ideas? Before your company starts dropping random photos onto a Pinterest board, here are some things to ponder.




Be positive

Pinterest is a positive and creative space. In contrast to Twitter and Facebook, where consumers often use brand pages to tell their opinion or vent their problem about a product, the goal of Pinterest is to engage your audience in a visual platform. Help your brand keep it positive!


Share inspiring ideas

Why do people go to Pinterest, besides looking for examples of how to dress up their dog for Halloween? People go to Pinterest for ideas. Some of the most successful pages are clothing stores, like Macy’s and Forever 21, because they give ideas for new styles and looks. Food pages are also very popular, especially if they provide recipes, in contrast to Nestle Toll House, which only provides pictures. People go to Pinterest to get something relevant from the brand.


Promote your boards across all social media channels

Many consumers will go to Facebook and Twitter before they think to head on over to Pinterest. Be sure to include a clear link to Pinterest on your other social channels to drive traffic to your boards.




Be overly promotional

Since the main idea behind Pinterest is fostering ideas and creativity, try not to be overly promotional. Some clothing lines occassionally highlight a sale, but tend to stick with style photos that link back to their website (where you can find information on pricing).


Rely on boards for direct sales

This platform is not the best channel for contests, giveaways or coupons. It’s best for a more indirect and organic sales process. For example, Whole Foods is known for not pinning items that are directly available in their stores. Instead, they pin products that relate to a lifestyle that can be created by shopping in their stores.


Track solely through hashtags

Pinterest allows you to add hashtags to your photo posts, but there isn’t a way to run a report on how many pins or repins use that hashtag. To learn more about metrics, check out this great article by Joe Colacurcio that shares some interesting statistics, including growth and engagement, and how they are applicable to brands on Pinterest.


Pinterest is a great tool that has evolved and improved over the last two years. Like other social media sites, just be sure it’s the right tool for your brand’s audience and think about the best way to engage your audience.



-Heather Rice is a Senior Account Executive at Zócalo Group.  Follow her on Twitter at @hricetwitt. Zócalo Group is an award-winning word-of-mouth, social and digital marketing agency focused on one thing: To help our clients become the most talked about, recommended and chosen brands in their category.