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Big Brands on Pinterest You Can Learn From


Many brands have followed their customers onto Pinterest – has your business taken the plunge on Pinterest yet? Is there something holding you back? Perhaps seeing how your peers are benefiting will help you to reconsider.

Our BlogWorld Expo Social Media Business Summit panel in New York next week, How Big Brands Are Using Pinterest to Drive Business, focuses on big brands that have been on Pinterest since early this year. Please join us on June 7th at 2:30 PM.

There is much to learn about how to succeed on Pinterest from our panelists Benjamin Moore Paints and Sony Electronics.

Big Brands To Watch on Pinterest

Benjamin Moore and Sony, along with the following brands, are not just strong on Pinterest, their brands are integrated across social platforms. You’ll find them doing noteworthy things elsewhere. Sony on Google+ has more than 42,000 followers which is a home run on that platform. The Benjamin Moore Facebook Page has over 200,000 likes, lively engagement and a unique Experts Exchange app.

The brands below had market listening skills sharp enough to see that they were getting pinned by consumers. This led them to explore joining their customers on Pinterest, jumping sooner rather than later.

By visiting the Pinterest pages for the following brands, you’ll see how they are able to use images effectively to extend their brand personality and the stories surrounding their brand and products.

This list focuses on fast moving consumer goods producers, durable goods, and retail brands with physical products that sell through brick and mortar locations. I believe a large range of businesses can benefit from what they have learned. I have excluded media brands because – although many of them are large and successful on Pinterest – it is difficult to imitate what they do without being in possession of their media assets.

American Eagle Outfitters
Barney’s NY
Benjamin Moore
Bergdorf Goodman
Coca Cola
Dunkin Doughnuts
Kate Spade
Kraft Recipes
Martha Stewart
Michael Kors
Michaels Stores
Panera Bread
Sony Electronics
Whole Foods

The following are some notable examples that are outside the above definition, but offer valuable Pinterest lessons for brands:

Daily Grommet
High Point Market – Style Spotters
Paula Deen
SouthWest Airlines
Warby Parker

Most of these brands have an advantage of being in the industries most pinned. A noteworthy exception is Sony Electronics which is succeeding in spite of its category.

Some Big Brands You’d Expect To Be On Pinterest But Aren’t Yet

Proctor & Gamble

I asked Ford Motor Company’s Scott Monty about Pinterest and he kindly responded, “We don’t plan to have a Pinterest account until we’re a little more comfortable with the TOS (Terms of Service) on the site.” I suspect that this approach may apply to quite a few big brands.

In Proctor and Gamble’s case, consumers are pinning many of their brands including Old Spice and Herbal Essences even though the company has no presence on Pinterest from which to engage them.

Sadly, while these brands are dragging through internal bureaucratic channels to decide if they should get on Pinterest, their brand user names are being snatched by third parties. In the case of some fashion brands, such as AnnTaylor, an individual who appears to legitimately be called by that name registered that Pinterest page. FairWinds Partners, a domain strategy consulting company, researched which names had been taken by brands, third parties and which were still available.

The results published on May 15: only 28 of the Interbrand top 100 brands have registered their brand names as Pinterest usernames. The other 68 brand names have been registered by unrelated parties. Of 285 major fashion brands (including apparel, footwear, and retail), only 75 of these have proper Pinterest brand username registrations with 40 brand names still available. The remaining 60% of the fashion brands are being used by those with relationships to the brands. No company wants to lose control of their brand name. One good example is the Pinterest user name “Prada” which pins both Prada and competitors – obviously not a positive for the Prada brand.

How To Use Pinterest Before You Create a Profile

Here are a few ways to investigate if your company’s products are being pinned on Pinterest. First, check to see if images from your website are being pinned on Pinterest. Just go to: pinterest.com/source/[yourdomainname]. Sometimes consumers and prospects pin your product images from sources other than your website, including their own camera. In these instances, you can use the Pinterest search function. As with Facebook search, to enhance results, you can alternatively try a Google search or create a Google alert such as ‘[your product name] on Pinterest.’

Looks like you are being pinned? Now it’s time to get serious. If your lawyers have delayed your entry onto the site, I recommend that you set up an account with Curalate to track the conversation about you. Their photo recognition based system can even pick up pins of images from your website via Pinterest to Twitter that don’t mention your product. Curalate can also track your brand photos that have been pinned from Tumblr and other blogs, so long as those images originated on your website. At a mere $99/month for their enterprise version, it adds a valuable listening tool even if you only consider being able to respond on Twitter. For many brands, signing up for this analytic tool is a no-brainer once you have an account on Pinterest.

Next you should make sure that your website is pinnable. You can test it through an existing Pinterest profile such as those belonging to your staff or agency. If you have a flash-based site that blocks pinning, you might consider setting up a separate gallery of images that can be pinned.

To learn more, read my article Why Your Business Should be on Pinterest.

EDITOR’S NOTE: If you’re a content creator who’s excited to tap into the power of Pinterest, you’ll want to download a free copy of BlogWorld’s 100-page ebook, “The Ultimate Guide to Marketing Your Blog, Podcast, and Videos with Pinterest.” Download it now.



  • MGraczyk

    Pinterest is great for social bookmarking, but what about personal bookmarking – the bookmarks for the sites you visit over and over? A productivity booster instead of a killer. Try my company’s http://iCrumz.com. Think Evernote but optimized for personal bookmarking. Intro: http://bit.ly/iCrumz.

  • NorbWinslow

    Nice post! By the way, I have used pinterest on my site and the result was awesome, my site jumped from page 8 to #3 at first page in around 3 weeks time. The key is we must got our website pinned and repinned by many people, which is the toughest part. Most of pinterest users won’t doing repin when they aren’t like what we pinned. I do simple thing to outsource it on fiverr and got my site pinned by 75 people, I don’t know how can he did it just search by typing pinterest on fiverr and you will find it on the TOP. Many other seller offer pinterest service on fiverr but in my experience they can’t make my website increase in SEO. I don’t know why. 4 Reasons why Pinterest is great for SEO: 
    1. You need to ping the links of your pins to the to get your website increase in SEO.
    2. Even not support anchor text (except the url link), it’s still perfect for placing our keywords in description. Google will read it. 
    3. Google interest in social media signal so it will not tagged as links farm.
    4. Once our website pinned it has 3 backlinks counts.

  • Curalate

    Thanks for taking the time to write such an informative article. We also appreciate that you mentioned Curalate! As you noted, fans/customers are pinning images from brands’ websites, regardless if the brand has a Pinterest account. This means that even if a company doesn’t have a Pinterest account, there is still conversations happening about the company. Curalate helps surface these conversations.
    If there are any brands/companies reading this, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us at Hello@Curalate.com. We’d be happy to provide a free trial which will allow you to dig into these otherwise ignored conversations.

  • SCADdotedu

    The Savannah College of Art and Design is extremely active on Pinterest, too.

    • LindaSherman

      Very nice boards. I followed you. Savannah has some nice Pinterest pages. Amy Brock is doing a great job at Visit Savannah. Getting on Pinterest early gave them a nice lift. http://pinterest.com/visitsavannah/

      • SCADdotedu

         @LindaSherman Yes, Amy is definitely doing a great job with Savannah. Thanks for looking at our boards.

  • Holly Maust

    At interativeswim we’ve put together a directory of brands on Pinterest with over 1200+ listed and categorized. http://bit.ly/QOmxZ8

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