7 Examples of Brands That Pop on Pinterest

    by Lauren Sorenson

    Date

    February 2, 2012 at 2:34 PM

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    I’m sitting here next to an empty pan of mini red velvet donuts, and all I want to do is find another recipe to bake this weekend. No, my first stop won’t be the Food Network, Gourmet, or Cooking Light. What I am dying to do is head over to my new obsession -- Pinterest -- to discover the next pastry to tackle. Currently, I'm using Pinterest to save links to just about everything: recipes I love, clothes I want to buy, or furniture I want to furnish my house with someday. As a 25-year-old graduate student, someday is a little farther off than I’d like, but it’s best to be prepared. 

    Since you already know how to use Pinterest for marketing, now you're probably craving some inspirational real-life examples of brands using it effectively. Many businesses have recently discovered that, not only is Pinterest another way to engage with fans and customers without spending advertising dollars, but it's also a great way to impact purchases, especially when it comes to impulse buying. Data from Monetate shows that referral traffic from Pinterest to the websites of five specialty apparel retailers jumped 389% from July-December 2011.

    Based on this data, it's not surprising that many businesses-focused early adopters have been lifestyle brands like home goods retailer West Elm and Real Simple Magazine. However, tech brands like Mashable and The Next Web, as well as design network Behance have quickly seen the benefits, too. For these brands, Pinterest's knack for allowing an interesting, visual way of categorizing information is likely the draw. So whether your brand is based on fashion or you're just trying to show your followers what your brand is all about, Pinterest offers a great medium connect with your audience. And the brands that have been most successful aren’t just enabling users to “pin” their content; rather, they're getting in on the pinning themselves.

    While Pinterest is still very young and its true ROI remains to be seen, here are 7 examples of brands who are already using Pinterest the right way: to engage fans in a meaningful way that gets them to react, share, and even convert!

    Chobani

    You may wonder why anyone would want to follow a Greek yogurt brand, but like Facebook and Twitter, it’s all about the content you share, not necessarily what you sell. 

    Chobani

    What They're Doing Right:

    Chobani's Pinterest account doesn't just feature its different yogurt types, but it also shares recipes of how users can use its products differently. Chobani also has a featured board called “Nothing but Good,” the company’s tagline, which only showcases fun and funny pictures that go along with its brand image; there's no yogurt to be seen. In this way, Chobani is embracing the main goal of Pinterest -- to focus on the concept of a person's lifestyle and encouraging users to share their tastes and interests with others and discover those of likeminded people. In other words, by promoting the lifestyle its products promote, Chobani is using its Pinterest account to enable people to learn more about its brand beyond just its signature products.

    Oreck

    Yes, the vacuum cleaner brand. Sure, Oreck may be a more boring, industrial-type product (not a brand you would typically think of following on a social media site), but then again, you haven’t see how clean its floors are.

    Oreck

    What They're Doing Right:

    On its Pinterest page, Oreck has taken its industrial cleaning product and made you forget that a vacuum cleaner brand is behind the pinboards you're looking at. For example, Oreck has a board just to feature pictures of beautiful flooring styles and layouts. The images are so beautiful, and it reminds viewers about the fact that they also have to clean them every once in a while. My favorite Oreck board, however, is its board devoted to 'Furry Friends.' It subtly points out one type of cleaning job its products help take care of without hitting you over the head with it. After all, we're all well aware that the hairy aftermath of your favorite pets isn't always the easiest thing to clean.

    Mashable

    Mashable is the largest independent news source dedicated to covering digital culture, social media, and technology. Pinterest currently has a pretty girly vibe, considering that 54-70% of it user base is female. But as this tech brand is proving, the overwhelmingly estrogen-charged demographic of this social network could change quickly.

    Mashable

    What They're Doing Right:

    Mashable is preparing to be ahead of the curve for when the male population finally gets on board with Pinterest. Mashable's Pinterest account showcases the gadgets and infographics the news source is well known for reporting on, taking its immense amount of data and information and making it more visual and shareable. Even if you’re a more data-driven company, that doesn’t mean you don’t have something interesting to share.

    Etsy

    This online shopping website, with 43,000+ followers, is one of the biggest I’ve seen. Beware: I've seen items I’ve pinned for a later purchase quickly disappear before my very eyes.   

    Etsy

    What They're Doing Right:

    As a retailer of homemade and vintage goods, Etsy's pinboards really take to heart what its brand stands for. You can of course connect to the thousands of items for sale on its ecommerce site, but Etsy's account also shows you how you can make your own products and how to put their products to work in your daily life, which again, emphasizes the lifestyle philosophy that Pinterest promotes. Not sure what to buy your love for Valentine's Day? Don’t worry, Etsy has all its pins organized to give you tons of ideas. In other words, giving your customers new ideas for how they can use your products will give them more reasons and incentives to buy from you. When using Pinterest, think outside the box of how you'd typically use social networks to market your products and services.

    Drake University

    Drake is one of the few universities jumping on the Pinterest bandwagon, and at the same time, they're doing an unbelievably awesome job. I sort of wish my beloved Wisconsin Badgers would jump on 'board,' too (hehe).

    Drake University

    What They're Doing Right:

    Drake University showcases items its student population might actually be interested in (sorry, I don’t exactly mean different kinds of beer bongs). Drake has its boards organized by clothing that matches the school's colors, room décor perfect for the dorm, what kinds of food to make when you run out of “Bulldog Bucks,” study inspirations, fan experiences, and even a board completely devoted to its bulldog mascot. Obviously, Drake is following Pinterest' lifestyle credo, making its boards specifically about the school and student experience. If you are a potential student, you can learn everything you need to know about the school with just a few quick glances. The takeaway here is to make your Pinterest brand page personal for your fans. Remind them why they love you (or should love you)!

    General Electric

    General Electric seems to be all about social media lately. They're rocking it on Instagram, and I shouldn’t have been surprised to find out they're dominating Pinterest as well.

    GE

    What They're Doing Right: 

    Not only does GE have a board specifically devoted to the “Badass Machines” the company works with everyday, but it also has an “Archive” board that gives a visual history of the company’s products through the years. They also have an amazing board where they've posted all the fan photos taken during their #GEInspiredMe campaign, exemplifying a great use for Pinterest -- leveraging and featuring user-generated content. All in all, as its description says, GE is clearly devoted to “#Pinning things that inspire us to build, power, move and cure the world.” On Pinterest, stay true to core of your brand, and if you get your fans involved too, that’s even better.

    Peapod

    Peapod is the largest grocery delivery service in the United States, and if you are having trouble figuring out why, look no further than its Pinterest page.

    PeaPod

    What They're Doing Right:

    Ever wonder how the food gets to your office or home? Want to know what sort of produce Peapod has in stock this season? The Peapod Pinterest page has all the answers. I particularly love the behind-the-scenes board devoted just to Peapod's delivery trucks. It really highlights that, at the end of the day, Peapod is primarily a delivery service. Showing the cities it's traveling through or watching its signature green bins getting loaded onto its trucks is a great way to give customers an inside look into a business that, on the outside, may not seem so glamorous. Even if your company isn't exactly devoted to “pretty things,” it doesn’t mean you can’t be on Pinterest. It just means you have to get creative about showing off your brand in an interesting and unique way. You can do this by showcasing some behind-the-scenes content that shows the people behind your brand, injecting some personality into your business and make it easy to relate to.

    As you can tell, the trick to succeeding on Pinterest isn't necessarily about showing off your products or services directly. It's about finding creative ways to show how those products and services fit into the lifestyles of your target audience. Find ways to do that, and you'll have what you need to pop on Pinterest just like these brands do.

    Are you experimenting with Pinterest for your brand? What are some pinboards you've created to highlight your business?

    Image Credit: Christian Guthier

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