Last week, Pinterest announced it will begin experimenting with promoted pins. If successful, the way brands use Pinterest will likely change dramatically. In the four years since the social sharing site's launch, brands have flocked to the platform despite its lack of an advertising model. Several brands really understand the platform and have benefited greatly even without that option.
So what exactly are these brands doing? Each of these 10 brands has adopted its own approach, but all have managed to creatively and effectively utilize the platform to their advantage. Here are 10 brands on Pinterest that are doing it right:
1. BENJAMIN MOORE
What marketers can learn from this board: Simple is best.
This board idea from paint company Benjamin Moore is so simple, it’s genius. The brand built a board completely around different colored doors, providing a visual that is stimulating and ties back into the brand..
Board: "Build it!"
What marketers can learn from this board: Don’t spam your followers with company-made content.
One of the ways brands build large followings on Pinterest is by being careful to share a variety of content that is mostly from other sources. After all, users don’t want to feel like they are being advertised to. Lowe’s "Build it!" board show that they understand this. Nothing on the board is about the home improvement brand, but all of the DIY pins include materials available at Lowe’s stores.
3. L.L. BEAN
Board: "Woodland Creatures"
What marketers can learn from this board: "Cute" connects.
Pinterest users really love cute things. Clothing company L.L. Bean played into this knowledge with its "Woodland Creatures" board and is now the most followed brand board on the network with over 4 million followers. When it comes to driving Pinterest traffic, "cute" connects.
4. PETPLAN PET INSURANCE
Board: "Breed All About It: Dogs"
What marketers can learn from this board: How to format custom images for pins.
PetPlan excels at creating custom images for pins. Each pin depicts a breed of dog on a clean background with simple text. The pins are accompanied by a short description of the breed, as well, that usually includes a call to action. PetPlan has a board for cat lovers, too.
Board: "Garden Wedding Ideas"
What marketers can learn from this board: Find a niche.
Who could have predicted a fairly niche market such as garden weddings would garner over 4 million followers for retail chain Nordstrom? A quick glance at Pinterest will tell any user that weddings are a popular topic, and Nordstrom definitely played that to great effect with a stunningly beautiful board around a single theme.
What marketers can learn from this board: Take advantage of user content.
Sephora tapped into an overflowing content well by encouraging fans to post nail art photos with the hashtag #SephoraNailspotting. The fan submissions provide the cosmetic retail chain with an ongoing supply of images for Pinterest and Instagram. The brand wisely takes it another step forward, reposting the fan images with links back to the Sephora product featured, helping to drive traffic—and, hopefully, sales.
7. AMD PROCESSORS
Board: "Computer Workstations"
What marketers can learn from this board: B2B doesn’t have to be boring.
Many B2B brands might shy away from Pinterest because they don’t feel they have the right type of content to share, but B2B doesn’t have to be boring. AMD Processors proves that with their "Computer Workstations" board, featuring funky, fun and functional workstations that will make any cubicle worker salivate. It’s a fun way to grab attention on Pinterest without straying too far from the brand's ideals.
8. BETTER HOMES & GARDENS
Board: "Blogger Recipes We Love"
What marketers can learn from this board: Being popular means choosing popular topics.
Recipes are among the most re-pinned items on Pinterest, and Better Homes & Gardens wasted no time using this to their advantage. The "Blogger Recipes We Love" board has the most re-pins of any other brand board. They did this by putting the BHG spin on the already popular topic, resulting in a beautiful, and hunger-inducing, board.
Board: "Everything Pinterest"
What marketers can learn from this board: When in doubt, talk about Pinterest.
Social media publication Mashable created a Pinterest board about Pinterest, populated with infographics and helpful tips on how to use the social network properly. It’s almost like they created a help section. Apparently, users needed that help, too, because over 75,000 users follow "Everything Pinterest," and Mashable has over a million followers overall.
Board: "Daily Moment of Zen"
What marketers can learn from this board: Pinterest users are dreamers.
The majority of things that users pin are things they are probably never going to do, make or eat, and places they'll probably never go. Boards are a way to dream about the stuff they wish they could do, and Jetsetters tapped into that with their "Daily Moment of Zen" board. The board delivers stunning photos of exotic and beautiful places around the globe, attracting over 4 million followers.