Monday, May 21, 2012

How to Build a Brand with Pinterest

Pinterest is all the rage in social media circles. The words pin, pinning, and pinboard have taken on new meanings, just as Tweet, like, and follow did for Twitter and Facebook. Pinterest promotes itself as a way “to discover new things and get inspiration from people who share your interests.” 

With Facebook's IPO hoarding the news, no one seems to remember the formerly hot Q&A site Quora, and the jury is still out as to the potential of Google Plus. So, can Pinterest endure for the long-term, and what will its impact be on building brand equity?

The rate of Pinterest users is amazing in social media circles, especially because the site is still in its beta phase, and users must receive invitations to set up accounts. According to ComScore, the number of daily users has increased by 145% since early 2012. In addition, 80% of users are female, 55% are between 25-44 years old, and most live in the mid-West. The average time spent on the site by American users is 77 minutes per day vs. 36 minutes on Twitter. In the USA, the top interests include crafts, gifts, hobbies and leisure, interior design, and fashion designers/collections. In the United Kingdom, the top interests are different and include venture capital, blogging resources, crafts, web statistics/analytics, and SEO/marketing.

So while the site is growing, how should brands respond? Should businesses with strong brands jump into Pinterest now? Should small-to-medium size businesses with evolving brands jump in or wait? Some well-known brands with a Pinterest presence include Southwest Airlines, Whole Foods, Nordstrom, The Travel Channel, Better Homes and Gardens, Apple Vacations, and Starbucks.

In order to build a brand presence on Pinterest, consider these questions first:

[1] Is your business a match with Pinterest? If you manufacture duct tape or widgets, Pinterest may not be the best marketing tool.

[2] Do you have a social media strategy, and does a Pinterest presence align with the rest of your social media strategy? In addition, does a Pinterest presence align with your overall marketing strategy?

[3] Do you have personnel to dedicate time to pin images and links and comment on other pins? Do you have appropriate images to share on Pinterest, and are those quality photos?

[4] Does your team understand your competitive landscape well enough to follow what your competitors may be doing on Pinterest?

[5] Do you understand the nuances of Pinterest to generate repeat traffic? Perhaps, a daily theme or different news, tips, etc., should be featured on your page. Can you easily find this information without impacting your team’s other tasks?

[6] Some common board titles include recommended books, inspirational words, cartoons based on subject, places, pets, videos, and technology. Do any of these resonate with your business, and if yes, how can you integrate them into your pins and boards?

Sherry Nouraini, President of Captive Touch, a San Diego social media agency, explains, “I’ve always thought that the most brilliant ideas are the simplest ones. That is the very thing I like about Pinterest – it is simple, yet powerful. In an era of increasing attention deficit, incorporating simplicity into your branding efforts could be a great asset. Pinterest allows you to express the personality of your brand in an extremely engaging manner. Brands that show personality, authenticity, and creativity will have the upper hand in the race for grabbing eyeballs, and Pinterest can help put you in that position.”

Here are some Pinterest pages to visit:

Do you have a Pinterest page? If yes, what do you think about this unique social media site? If no, send an email to me at, and I’ll send you an invitation.


  1. Great post Debbie~ I believe it is not that it's important for organizations to jump at every shiny social object that pops up, but it is important to be listening and watching where your customers are hanging out and how they are using these new tools. Pinterest is a great tool for sharing your business and its story through pictures. It can also provide a way to share what products and services you support and recommend. Each social site should bring people a little closer into relationship with your different ways. Pinterest is like sitting together and sharing products and services you love. Take a peek at my Pinterest boards at

    1. Absolutely true, Gina, thanks for your right-on insights!


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