Penned by Christine Corretti
Editor’s note: This is a guest post from Dr. Christine Corretti, who recently published Pinterest for Business: a Complete, Updated Guide for Ultimate Success.
Elite companies have managed to gather hundreds of thousands, even millions of followers on Pinterest. They have done so partly because they are already household names. However, it is clear that big businesses are also combining key strategies to achieve success on Pinterest. These organizations have proven to be:
Case Study 1: Etsy
Let’s consider Etsy. An online site with over 800,000 individual shops and over 15 million unique handmade and/or vintage items. Etsy channels into some of the most popular categories on Pinterest – crafts, jewelry, home goods, and clothing.
The company has 78 boards, each well stocked with colorful, detailed images of unique things that epitomize Etsy’s diversity. Together, the boards cover a variety of topics, and none show just one type of product. Each board highlights an occasion (i.e. weddings, Halloween), function (entertainment), group of people (kids), décor/design, and the like.
Concomitantly, the company’s profile displays a plethora of Etsy products that are suitable and beneficial for each subject; bridal jewelry, for example. These boards are, in essence, tutorials — popular types of pins, for they instruct by showing how their items may be used.
The multi-faceted content of Etsy’s business profile indicates that the company has much to offer those pinners who are using Pinterest to enrich their own personal lives.
Etsy’s Pinterest profile is, like Pinterest itself, a place to shop, as well as get ideas from others. However, the real creativity of Etsy’s Pinterest presence comes from the community that Etsy has built. The presence of guest pinners on the company’s profile stresses that fact.
These contributors show that Etsy is a community of everyday people from all over the world (in addition to U.S. shops, there are foreign boards: “EtsyUK,” for United Kingdom shops, “EtsyFr” for French Etsy products, etc.) and that viewers can find their own creative niches and open shops on www.etsy.com themselves.
Yet, all the guest pinners stand out from the crowd in one essential way — they all have over 100,000 followers on Pinterest. Perhaps they are guest pinners because of that fact, or maybe their presence on Etsy’s profile helped pinners discover them. Either way, the guests are encouraged to repin Etsy material, and when they do, these pins expand Etsy’s audience tremendously.
Case Study 2: Sephora
Like Etsy, Sephora realizes that the visual power of marketing wearable items on Pinterest. Since Sephora carries hundreds of cosmetic and fragrance brands, the company’s Pinterest profile is highly varied,
it should be. No one board is dedicated to a single name.
Instead, boards are organized according to the most popular topics in the beauty industry, runways and magazines, and top preferences, such as “Red Carpet Beauty;” “Trending Now;” “Pro Tips.” Each board advertises more than one company’s items — all of which can be used to achieve the looks showcased on that particular board. The message is that Sephora has everything a woman needs to look her very best.
Similarly, the multitude of written and video tutorials on Sephora’s Pinterest profile display techniques one can apply with a variety of items carried at Sephora.
Sephora’s Business profile is an educational catalog that links ideas with products so viewers can believe in the company’s technical and aesthetic expertise.
Case Study 3: Neiman Marcus
The Pinterest Business profile of Neiman Marcus is different because each of the company’s boards has a title beginning with the words “The Art of.” We see “The Art of Shoes,” “The Art of Living,” “The Art of Orange,” and so on.
Neiman Marcus is a high end department store, and its profile cleverly suggests that its merchandise is what luxury living, a proverbial art form, is all about. Indeed, the company even has a board titled “The Art of Neiman Marcus.”
Neiman’s boards are made up of pins that show you how to combine their products for a luxury lifestyle. Not surprisingly, a good number of these pins come from Neiman’s catalogs, which showcase seasonal trends and how to wear them for different occasions. Neiman’s Pinterest boards are catalogs within the larger catalog of its business profile.
The Pinterest profile of the yogurt brand Chobani is a must-see if you are using Pinterest for business. The first board, called “Go Real,” (“Life’s real, so are we” is the board’s description) encapsulates what the brand is about — organic yogurt — and sets the tone for subsequent boards that focus on healthy eating.
Interestingly, the first board includes quotes and phrases that define what being “real” is (i.e. “Be you, bravely”) without alluding to food. Even though these sayings have little to with yogurt, it helps define further their brand and company culture. Furthermore, quotes on Pinterest are quite popular, and helps them gain further visibility around their brand.
Their boards also consist of different ways to use Chobani yogurt: “Baked with Chobani,” “Dip and Dish with Chobani,” “Protein Parfaits and Smoothies,” “Tastes Better with Yogurt.” The message here is that Chobani yogurt is versatile enough to use in many dishes.
Additionally, Chobani uses Pinterest to brand that their yogurts are a good way to add protein to any dish. As the description for the board “Protein Parfaits and Smoothies” mentions, Chobani has twice the amount of protein of other yogurts. That message appears on the smoothie and parfait board as well.
Not all the pins making up Chobani’s boards involve Chobani products. The company wisely suggests that it cares more about its customers’ well-being than about competing with other brands and businesses by excluding them from its Pinterest profile (this message harks back to the saying on the first board, “Real friends get treated like family.”)
Chobani advertises foods from other brands, as well as recipes from culinary blogs and websites, such as “Sweet Treats and More.” The latter are important to Chobani, because they are venues where one can learn to use Chobani products.
Hopefully, these case studies offer further inspiration into how best to curate your own content on Pinterest. One significant aspect to take from all four of these case studies is the importance of being creative in integrating your own material.
By utilizing a variety of pins throughout your boards you empower pinners with a myriad of insights on how they can further use your products or services. Apart from a central theme that denotes your brand’s value, your profile needs diversity to attract followers, keep their interest alive, and stand out from the ocean of images that make up Pinterest.
About the Author
Christine Corretti, Ph.D. is an art historian, artist, and author of the book Pinterest for Business: a Complete, Updated Guide for Ultimate Success (2013), which you can be purchased on Amazon. She loves to connect with others on Pinterest and on her website and her blog.