As the fourth largest driver of Web traffic with an audience dominated by women, Pinterest has found its niche in this new world of ours - the place where women go to share things by pinning and re-pinning. Maybe someday, someone will figure out what makes Pinterest the social media platform that women feel most at home in, but there’s no need for a major study to know the facts: 80 percent of Pinterest users are women. That’s a lot.
So if you’re a brand that caters to women’s needs, then Pinterest is the place to be. Of course, there are also plenty of gender-neutral brands that are succeeding on Pinterest, too. And sure, maybe even some guy stuff.
The important thing to keep in mind when thinking about successful branding strategies for Pinterest is that whether the brand is exclusively for women or a more general product, the eyeballs focusing on those brands, and causing all those re-pins and click-throughs, those are almost certainly female.
Here’s a look at 10 brands getting the most out of Pinterest:
4.4 million followers
This is genius, and expect more of it in the future. Nordstrom is pinning its most popular items on Pinterest with real pins in real stores. Brands using Yelp and Foursquare have done similar things, but those platforms are service- or location-based. This could be the first time that retail items are being advertised in physical stores as being popular on the internet. With 4.5 million Pinterest followers, that could translate into some real returns in the brick-and-mortar world.
If you’re a Neiman Marcus shopper, then you probably know who Rebecca Minkoff is and why it’s awesome that the store made a certain Minkoff handbag available exclusively through Pinterest. The promotion boosted Neiman Marcus’s likes by 3,000 with a 35 percent repinning uptick. That’s real metrics movement.
Fresh off the heels of Fashion Week, Pinterest is going onto cable TV with an integrated feature in Style Network’s “The ‘IT’ List: Top 10 Fall Trends.” The host will talk about Pinterest and its top pinners, and there will be a Pinterest widget embedded in the Style Network website.
Earlier this year, Sephora told the world that its Pinterest users spend 15 times more on Sephora products than its Facebook users. That’s a lot more. Sephora says the reason is that on Pinterest, users are in the mindset to acquire things; they’re shopping, like, for nail polish. While Facebook users are just wasting time at work.
5.5 million followers
Here’s a great gender-neutral brand that’s killing it on Pinterest. Maybe it’s L.L. Bean’s brand managers thinking about Pinterest as the latest iteration of their long-running catalog. With boards on weddings, vintage gear, recycled green wear, fishing, backpacks and camping, L.L. Bean has acquired over 5.5 million followers.
3.5 million followers
Yes, Lowes. Nothing could be more manly than lumber and power tools, but the Lowes brand has made a real breakthrough with Pinterest users by focusing on home improvement, interior design and holiday themes. With nearly 50 boards, Lowes has acquired over 3.5 million followers.
With only 10,000 followers, PetPlan Insurance isn’t quite in the same league as some of these other national and cosmopolitan brands, but the team there has invested time into Pinterest with boards on dog breeds, cat-tastrophes, jet set pets, and Star Wars pets. And according to PetPlan’s Press Room board, their investment is paying off. If you didn’t click the Star Wars Pets link, you need to go back and click that.
Here’s a brand found in Lowes, side-by-side with its competition, using Pinterest to focus not on the paint but on the finished product. With 27,600 followers on its main board, Benjamin Moore’s Pinterest team has built boards for doors, hometown hues, home how-to, man caves, and vintage looks. Benjamin Moore didn’t make that china cabinet, but they can paint it pink for you.
Also known as practically the oldest company on Earth, it’s hard to think of GE as a player in a world where most successful companies are start-ups named with words that didn’t exist until their first press release. And yet, here we are at GE’s Pinterest page with its 19,000 followers and 30 boards, including Bad Ass Machines, to highlight GE’s jet engine and wind turbine divisions; Mind = Blown, to encourage scientific thinking and education; the GE Archives, with documents ranging from old advertising to Thomas Edison patents to construction photographs of Rockefeller Center; and Fabulous Kitchens, because oh yeah, GE also makes all the appliances.
Subaru’s Pinterest page is approaching 2,500 followers, so their presence is still in a developmental stage. Yet still, they are working to connect with brand-loyal Pinterest users with boards like Subaru Goes Camping and Tailgating with Subaru, along with boards used to promote products the old-fashioned way, like this one for the 2014 Subaru Forrester.