Are You Using Pinterest To Improve Your Branding?

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Visual Branding Is An Important Part of Social Media Marketing

Top brands have been flocking to Pinterest for some time now and a quick look at key statistics about the hugely popular photo-sharing social media site explains why:

  • 70+ million total Pinterest users
  • 40 million monthly active users
  • 23% of Pinterest users visit the site at least once daily

While brands like Starbucks, Nordstrom, Whole Foods Markets and others “get” Pinterest and its vast appeal, other businesses are still struggling to see how Pinterest boards and pins can translate into prospective customers and followers. But, as is clear from the following examples, businesses intent on establishing a brand presence on Pinterest can reap significant rewards from the effort.

Starbucks

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Starbucks got on the Pinterest bandwagon early on and now boasts 17 boards and well over 150,000 followers. Rather than focus solely on its coffee and coffee-related products, Starbucks has sought to promote a lively and visually appealing presence that embraces both a love of coffee and the lifestyle that reflects it.

“Starbucks didn’t just pin a million pictures of their coffee cups, tumblers, and mugs,” notes HelloSociety, a Pinterest marketing and technology platform. “Instead, the company goes beyond products for sale by choosing to promote the feelings of excitement and passion that [are] created in their stores and from their products.”

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From “Mornings” (“The perfect morning reminds us of one simple truth: Today is going to be a good day”) to “Coffee Moments” and “Inspiring Spaces,” Starbucks’ boards are, as HelloSociety notes, “the perfect example of how a brand with a limited e-commerce side can still use Pinterest to boost offline sales.”

Whole Foods Markets

With 60 boards and nearly 200,000 followers, Whole Foods Markets occupies a sizeable presence on Pinterest. Their boards encompass a wide range of related topics, including recycling, green lifestyles, food choices, holiday menus and much more.

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Whole Foods also uses Pinterest to promote their charitable efforts (Whole Planet Foundation and Whole Kids Foundation) with links that enable followers to contribute to charitable organizations.

“One of the most efficient methods to approach a social media platform is to act more like a person and less like a business,” says marketing expert Jeffrey Morgan. “You shouldn’t create a page that concentrates solely on commerce. Opting for several different directions is an excellent strategy, and that’s exactly what Whole Foods did.”

Whole Foods is a prime example of why it makes sense to have numerous boards with great content, rather than just two or three that end up feeling packed and difficult for followers to take in.

Nordstrom

This high-end fashion specialty retailer attracts a staggering 4,421,988 followers. Their 66 boards highlight all types of fashion, décor, designer and DIY images. You can find topics like “Shoe Lust,” “Spring Fashion,” “Style Under $100” and “Totally Throwback,” just to name a few.

With this eclectic array of subjects, Nordstrom is betting there’s something to appeal to just about everyone.

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Nordstrom also uses its Pinterest boards as an in-store promotional tool.

According to social media expert Ekaterina Walter, “In the same way that cosmetics or perfume brands might use an image from their latest campaign to draw attention to their product in a store, Nordstrom is now highlighting its most popular items on Pinterest by ‘pinning’ them in store.”

Walter suggests that whether you have a virtual or brick-and-mortar store, you can “highlight the products that are particularly popular on Pinterest to draw attention to trending items.

Ben and Jerry’s

Everyone loves ice cream, a fact that Ben and Jerry’s Pinterest 23 boards celebrate in a variety of ways. Fun-loving boards such as “Inspired Flavors,” “Lazy Sundaes,” “Yummy” and “Flavor Graveyard” evoke the popular brand’s festive appeal.

But Ben and Jerry’s Pinterest boards do something more, by highlighting what they call “The People Behind the Pints.” Photos and videos like “Our Factory” and “Our History” enable followers to go behind the scenes, learning about how their ice cream gets made and how their employees regard the company as much more than just a business.

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This is a great example of how to use Pinterest to feature your employees and the community where you’re based to put a “human face” on your business.

Now in its fourth year and continuing to attract many new followers every day, Pinterest could be the marketing tool for your business.

“Successful marketers will take advantage of Pinterest as a rich data form, using it to inform their carefully orchestrated marketing strategy at large and engage with consumers in a more authentic way,” says Simon Robinson on Marketing Cloud Blog. “It’s the only way to appeal to the ‘see it, want it, buy it, mentality of modern day consumers.”

Image: Pinterest

About The Author

Peter LaMotte is a Senior Vice President at LEVICK and Chair of the agency’s Digital Communications Practice. He is also a contributing author to LEVICK Daily.