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Blogger vs. Brand – Battle of the Pinterest Success Stories

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Blogger vs. Brand – Which Pinterest Success Story Follows the Rules?

Back in September, we posted an infographic on how to make the perfect Pinterest profile. But what about the top users on Pinterest; do they follow our rules? We’ve pitted the top blogger on Pinterest, Joy Cho of Oh Joy!, against the top brand on Pinterest, Harper’s Bazaar. Both users have millions of followers and are certifiable Pinterest success stories but which one sticks to the rules?

Round 1: Profile Picture

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In our previous post, we outlined three essential questions to ask when setting a perfect profile picture.

  • 1. Is it “over-branded”?
    • Harper’s Bazaar refrained from using a picture of their logo and instead, in line with our suggestions, has the most recent magazine cover as their profile picture.
    • Joy Cho has maintained the same photo of herself since she first became a Pinterest success, becoming the “face” of her page.
  • 2. Does it emphasize the emotion you want the audience to associate with your brand?
    • Harper’s Bazaar cover photo certainly conveys their brand image: clean, modern and fashionable.
    • Joy Cho’s photo is bright, fun and happy – just like her blog.
  • 3. Is it the right size?
    • Sizing and quality are where Harper’s Bazaar fall short in round 1. While the photo is recognizable, it’s such a small file that it comes up pixelated and does not properly fit the 160×160 frame size Pinterest provides.
    • Where Harper’s Bazaar falls short, Joy Cho finds success. Her photo is square, high-quality and eye catching.

Round 2: Profile Description

A perfect Pinterest profile description is simple – it tells who you are and what you’re pinning about. Explaining what users can expect to see in their feed helps them determine if they’d like to follow you.

  • Blogger vs. Brand – Battle of the Pinterest Success Stories image Screen Shot 2013 02 20 at 12.03.27 PM 300x107
    Harper’s Bazaar profile description is not all that, well, descriptive. Although Haper’s Bazaar is a large and well known brand, the description says nothing about who they are or what they are pinning about.

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  • Joy Cho’s profile description, while still simple, does a great job of quickly explaining who Joy is, what her pinning interests are and even the behavior she expects from her followers.

Round 3: Content

Without great content, Pinterest would not exist. Because content is extremely important, we came up with 4 main questions to ask when pinning.

1. Do you have enough content?

  • With almost 8,000 pins, Harper’s Bazaar is not short on content. We suggest that users have at least 10 boards (they have 57) with at least 10 pins (most have more than 10). With all the content Harper’s Bazaar has to offer, users will have plenty to peruse while on the profile.
  • Joy Cho has pinned over 8,500 photos onto 82 boards supplying, like Harper’s Bazaar, more than enough content to keep users interested.

2. Is it pretty?

  • Harper’s Bazaar is well known for their taste in fashion, art and design. Every pin is both high quality and eye catching, and the cover photos for each board represent the board’s name wonderfully.
  • Joy Cho’s content is also extremely high quality and eye catching. She has chosen well focused and beautiful images as the cover photos, making it easy for users to scan each board.

3. Are your board names short and relevant?

  • About half of Harper’s Bazaar’s board names are short enough to be visible but each board name is relevant to the content within.
  • Only 4 of Joy Cho’s 82 boards have names that are too long. She has done a great job of keeping the names short but still descriptive.

4. Is it too promotional?

  • Oh my. Harper’s Bazaar’s Pinterest page is very, very promotional. While their pins are all beautiful, almost all of them originate from harpersbazaar.com robbing them of the chance to further engage their audience with diversified content.
  • Joy Cho has done a wonderful job of mixing content from her blog with content related to her interests. Because of her Pinterest success, major brands like Target and Fossil have invited her to help with Pinterest campaigns.

Round 5: The Numbers

Using our industry leading analytics platform, we turn to the cold hard calculations to help determine whether our victor is a blogger or a brand.

Total Followers:

  • Harper’s Bazaar – 4,560,084
  • Joy Cho – 13,649,739

Total Repins:

  • Harper’s Bazaar: 392,115
  • Joy Cho – 2,912,115

Percent of Pins with at Least One Action:

  • Harper’s Bazaar – 98.15%
  • Joy Cho – 99.24%

Repins per Pin:

  • Harper’s Bazaar – 50.77
  • Joy Cho – 339.37


So Who is Our Victor?

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In our battle of blogger vs. brand, the blogger has come out on top. Joy Cho follows all of our guidelines to creating a perfect Pinterest profile, and in the end she has the numbers to back up her success. Joy proves that on Pinterest you don’t have to be a major brand name to have major success.

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  1. Thom says:

    Great advice for starting a Pinterest page. Thank you!

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