One might not at first think that power tools and lumber have a place on the Internet’s current social media darling, Pinterest, but this visual platform is being dominated by none other than Home Depot. Currently, Home Depot has over 12,000 profile followers on Pinterest, and their individual boards all have over 8,500 followers. If Pinterest’s high revenue-per-click rates and the assertion that Pinterest users are heavily motivated to buy are to be believed, Home Depot has build quite the lucrative following on this social networking – and it’s a following that is growing daily.
Understanding What Users Want
While DIY home renovators might go to Home Depot for pipes and wood, the company understands that this kind of item isn’t likely to resonate with Pinterest users. Based on their Q2 2012 reports, about 2% of their total sales come from their online channels, which doesn’t sound like much until you remember that total sales for the company were $20.57 billion that quarter. People aren’t likely to buy certain items online because they want to see them in person, but Home Depot sells lots of items that people are willing to purchase sight unseen, and these are the items the company highlights on Pinterest.
For example, here’s an item Home Depot pinned on its Outdoor Living board:
Pinterest users are a lot more likely to buy this item online than to purchase potting soil or plants online, despite these being popular outdoor items at physical Home Depot stores.
Home Depot also understands that people are looking for different things at different times of the year. For example, during the fall, the boards at the top of the Home Depot profile include Tailgating Ideas & DIY Football Party Ideas and Halloween Crafts & Ideas.
The company also has boards for other holidays and seasons, like Valentine’s Day Inspiration and Summer Celebrations, but these are found closer to the bottom of the Home Depot profile. These can easily be moved to a more highlight position when the time is right.
Give and Take
The best take-away from Home Depot’s Pinterest activities is perhaps the way this company combines promotion of their own products with promotion of other items. Like with all social networks, when you use the platform as a broadcasting tool alone, users typically don’t respond well. To have a more complete Pinterest presence, you need to not only promote what you’re selling, but also promote other cool and interesting products and projects you find.
A good example is the Home Depot Wreaths for Any Occasion board, which features some Home Depot products like an ornament wreath and bat wreath alongside wreath products and projects from others sites, like The Charm of Home, Make and Takes, and Once Wed.
Home Depot has Character
What I personally like most about Home Depot’s Pinterest presence is the personality. Home Depot could take the path many brands take on social media by being extremely “corporate,” but instead, the company’s pins have a little flavor. The descriptions make it sound like a real person, not a stuffy corporation, is behind each pin.
In the above pin on the company’s DIY Wedding Inspiration & Gift Ideas board, for example, you can see Home Depot asking “How cool would it be to have a wedding cermony [sic] inside of a greenhouse?” and several people answered. This type of engagement with a brand is worth more than passive repins, especially for a product not originally from the Home Depot site.
Where Home Depot Could Improve
Although Home Depot does Pinterest better than most brands, I still see room for improvement. Here are a few ways Home Depot could have an even strong Pinterest presence:
- More Boards: Currently, Home Depot only has 32 boards, which means there’s a lot of room for improvement. With a topic like home improvement, there’s no limit to the individual boards that could be created.
- More Interaction with Followers: Home Depot’s conversational style with pin descriptions is just a start. The company could take things a step farther and interact with their followers through comments.
- Following More People: Home Depot currently only followers about 280 people, which is a very small percentage compared to followers. By following more boards relating to home improvement, the company would have more ideas to repin.
It will be interesting to watch how Home Depot continues to grow on Pinterest, as well as see other brands follow suit and start to build a presence on Pinterest.