Ask any marketer and you hear the same thing: Pinterest matters. What’s less clear, however, is exactly how. While we’ve all heard that Pinterest drives traffic, reinforces a brand, builds consumer interest, and increases community, few companies know how to get it to do those things for them.
So with that in mind, let’s take a look at five brands using Pinterest best today—from what they’re pinning to initiatives they’re launching—to see what we can learn from their examples.
1. Whole Foods Market
The national supermarket chain focusing on natural foods and often linked with a more luxury lifestyle, Whole Foods Market has over 100,000 followers on Pinterest.
What Whole Foods Pins: Whole Foods keeps 54 boards, with topics ranging from straight culinary (“Eat Your Veggies”) to kitchen-related (“Super HOT Kitchens”) to more lifestyle-centric (“We’re Used to Reusing!”). All the boards fit within the Whole Foods brand, amplifying it to followers as well as casting a wider net to those who will find the company’s pins interesting.
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The Lesson: Take a page from Whole Foods and think outside the obvious when it comes to pin topics. If you’re an automotive manufacturer, pin more than cars, for example. Think also about topics that fit with your brand’s aesthetic and values: travel, luxury, affordability, etc. The broader your topics, the broader the audience you can reach—just make sure the topics fit with your brand.
2. Martha Stewart
As the name synonymous with home decorating, cooking, and entertaining, Martha Stewart has over 150,000 followers on Pinterest. What’s more, her corporate account, Martha Stewart Living, has two times that many.
How Martha Collaborates: Like Whole Foods, Martha Stewart Living hosts a variety of group boards, including boards from guest pinners. The guest boards feature a particular blogger who creates the pins for a given length of time.
The Lesson: Enlist the help of bloggers to do your pinning for a week, and you both benefit. You get curated pins; the bloggers gets additional exposure.
3. Bare Minerals
Cosmetics company Bare Minerals boasts more than 15,000 followers on Pinterest, despite having only 11 boards and under 300 total pins.
What’s Its Secret? With the launch of new products, Bare Minerals hosted what it called the “Pin It to Win It” contest. Users could enter to win one of 10 $50 gift cards or the grand prize of one $500 gift card simply by following the brand, setting up a themed board following the company’s directions, and tagging its pins with #BareMinerals and #READYtowin.
The Lesson: Contests are powerful on Pinterest. Use them to generate user pins, broaden your reach online, and create more engaged fans. As Bare Minerals shows, the prizes needn’t be extravagant—but they do need to be something followers want.
4. West Elm
Home goods retailer West Elm draws 126,000+ followers on Pinterest, all of whom find interest in the brand’s 53 boards that range from “Dream House of the Day” to color-focused “Aquamarine.”
West Elm Contests: West Elm makes its Pinterest sweepstakes even easier for fans than Bare Minerals does—entry to its latest contest is as simple as following the brand and repinning five of its pins from the “Sweet Dreams Sweepstakes” board.
The Lesson: A simple contest is still powerful. At the end of its sweepstakes, West Elm will have new followers, as well as an exponential spread of its brand on one of the most powerful referral networks.
5. Relish Magazine
While smaller than the other brands mentioned in this roundup, food publication Relish Magazine, with its 5,000+ Pinterest followers, demonstrates blogger engagement well.
How Relish Works with Bloggers: Not only does Relish Magazine keep a board of “Food Bloggers We Love,” but it also enlists top food bloggers as guest pinners.
The Lesson: Figure out your target demographic (in Relish Magazine’s case, foodies) and find a way to incorporate it into your Pinterest strategy. Food bloggers pinning for Relish Magazine give the magazine more exposure and influence, enhancing its brand and bringing in new readers.
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