Since its launch in 2010, Pinterest has quickly evolved beyond a social bookmarking service. The social network has become a powerful discovery platform, especially with the introduction of its Guided Search feature. Its enhanced discovery features makes it a great place for brands to gain visibility.
Pinterest is a huge traffic driver, making it an excellent fit for retailers, but it can feel like a challenging network for marketers in other sectors. That’s not to say Pinterest can’t work. When used creatively and strategically, Pinterest can also be an excellent tool for building brand awareness.
Here are five examples of brands in a variety of sectors that are using Pinterest creatively and effectively to engage fans in a meaningful way.
L.L.Bean’s first Pinterest win was made back in March of 2013 with its Woodland Creatures board – at that time it was the most followed branded board on Pinterest. People just can’t get enough of the cute. L.L.Bean did a great job taking advantage of the cute factor while staying true to the outdoor nature of the brand.
The L.L.Bean Cat Lovers board also plays off the cute factor while showcasing products. L.L.Bean has two other boards I love that do a great job of highlighting products without being promotional. The Your L.L.Bean Selfies board showcases fan generated content from Instagram and other sources across the web. Bean Boot Style shows how real people rock the brand’s iconic Bean Boot.
Pinterest is a natural fit for the global authority on color. The PANTONE Color of the Year 2014 board brings color to life by curating the color of the year as seen in nature, fashion, décor – even food.
The brand’s It’s a PANTONE Universe! board speaks to the PANTONE obsessed with color swatch cookies, credit cards – even toothbrushes. PANTONE goes beyond its products with other inspirational and well curated boards including Colorful Décor, Colorful Accessories and Colorful Quotes.
Home and DIY & Crafts are two of the most pinned categories on Pinterest so it’s no surprise that the brand’s Build It! board is quite popular. Lowe’s does a lovely job of engaging the blogger community while subtly promoting its products. I emphasize subtle promotion. The board features DIY projects posted by bloggers. It just happens that these projects can be completed with products from Lowe’s. Brilliant.
It’s not easy, but with the right strategy, Pinterest can work for B2C – and GE is a great example of that. The #GEInspiredMe board features user-generated photos from Instagram – a great way to curate and showcase visuals from other social networks.
GE’s Pinterest page brings its tagline “Imagination at Work” to life by “Pinning things that inspire us to build, power, move and cure the world,” just like the description says.
5. Random House, Inc.
Of course, book covers are an obvious pinning opportunity, but Random House goes beyond self-promotion by providing a consumer centric experience, curating content that speaks to bookworms. The Bookshelf Envy board is a great example.
Adorable Readers takes full advantage of the cuteness factor, featuring the “cutest little readers from across the web.” – humans and animals. Inside Random House provides a peek behind the scenes into the culture and personality of the brand.
Each of these brands is very different, but they all have one thing in common: it’s not all about the brand’s content or products. It’s about the brand following and community – and the content they want to see and share.