What Role Does Pinterest Play in the World of Marketing?

Allyson Jansen

If Instagram is for pictures, Twitter is for words and Facebook is for life updates, then what is the role of Pinterest in the world of social media and marketing? According to Pinterest CEO Ben Silbermann, it’s a “catalog of ideas.” It’s a place people go for inspiration—and to waste time. 

Pinterest gets an untrue reputation for being just for middle-aged women; in all actuality, out of the 200 million active monthly users, over half of them are millennials. And to further debunk that stereotype, one in four American Pinterest users are men. With this growing number of users, the importance of Pinterest in brand promotion is more important than ever. ​

Setting up a Business Pinterest​

1. Choosing a profile picture

This should preferably be your company’s logo. It will not be the main focus of the Pins, so make sure there is no small text. Designs that are easy to read and remember are key.​

2. Describing your company

This is a great place to show off your company’s values and mission. Make sure to include a link to your website and any relevant company hashtags!​

3. Setting up a Pinterest board

The boards are designed to collect all the Pins relating to an idea or topic. With the boards, both the cover image and the title are important for generating interest with Pinterest users. Your boards should group ideas logically and align with your company’s brand; however, this is a chance for creativity in naming. The title should be something interesting and catchy, yet also clearly indicative of the topic.​

Using SEO-friendly and on-brand terms for both board names and descriptions will help to drive up search results. Keep board names short and catchy—and consistent—and use the description area to add more keywords.​

These boards should be used to tell a story. They should curate a narrative and evoke a feeling that will further enhance your brand. A great way to brainstorm ideas is to look at companies you admire and get a sense of their storytelling and the feeling they are emitting. You can get a sense of what works and what you would improve to further appeal to clients. ​

4. Adding the Save button to your website

This easily installed widget allows users to Pin your photos directly off your website with just a few clicks. When adding the Save button directly to your site, you’ll want to ensure that the description field for the image has text that you’d want included in a Pin description. The metadata will pre-populate in the Pin description, so it’s important to make sure it says what you want people to know about the image. ​

The Importance of Imagery

The first thing that a “Pinner” sees on their feed is the image. And that is the most important part of the Pin. With numerous images on one’s newsfeed at a time, viewers are going to be drawn to the most attractive ones. ​

Studies have found that longer images tend to do better, as they stay in the news feed for longer while Pinners scroll. The CG social team has found that images uploaded as 236 pixels (height is scaled) with an image aspect ratio of 2:3 to 1:3.5 work best for Pins in the regular feed. For expanded Pins, they should have a minimum width of 600 pixels (height is scaled).

Pinterest itself has also found that lifestyle images generally outperform product images. For instance, fashion and style Pins showing products in use in real life saw 30 percent more clicks and 170 percent higher checkout rates than those showing the product alone. They are relatable, and consumers can easily visualize themselves in place of the models. 

Let’s Not Forget the Importance of Words

Captions on each individual pin should be different and provide a concise and possibly clever idea of what the image will lead back to. Key words are CRUCIAL here, as Pinterest works like Google, pulling up the most popular results and visited Pins. This is where rich Pins can come in handy.​

Rich Pins are like a dream to businesses—they allow for extra copy and links without distracting from the image. There are six types: app, article, product, movie, place and recipe. They allow for extra information to be added to a Pin, like a blurb from an article, or the ingredients to a cookie recipe, without having to click on the Pin. And, best of all, they stay with the Pin, repin after repin—Pinners cannot change them!​

Maintaining Engagement

Pinning your own ideas and photos helps to drive your product and ideas but engaging and promoting similar and partnering brands is also essential to your Pinterest success. Working or promoting other brands will help Pinners see how your products or lifestyle can be integrated into their lives.​

Promoting your brand’s lifestyle and goals can be done through board ideas. Lowe’s has had success with this, providing DIY tips and ideas for their products. L.L. Bean’s “Woodland Creatures” board has attracted over 4 million followers! While it has nothing to do with flannels and coats, it promotes the rugged outdoor lifestyle that the L.L. Bean brand embodies—and baby animals are just cute to look at!​

Last, but not least, as with any social media, consistent posting is key to maintaining engagement and a strong following. Spreading out scheduled Pins to reach a higher number of views has been found to work well, as well as posting during the evenings and on weekends—when users are most active. 

Ready to Start Pinning?

Interested in more guidance regarding your social media strategy? Contact the social media team at CG. We provide social media content creation and management services that can help your brand create an engaging social media presence. 

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