Friday, May 12th, 2017 | 10 min read
Retail businesses have successfully used Pinterest to drive awareness, boost traffic, and generate sales. Sephora, for instance, saw a 60% increase in website traffic after using the platform, and Etsy saw a 20% increase in sales per week.
Many brands in other industries, however, have yet to harness the full potential of the social network.
With 175 million monthly users, Pinterest can be a valuable source of engagement and revenue – regardless of your industry. In fact, 93% of Pinners use the platform to plan purchases, and 87% bought something because of content they saw on the network. Pinterest even closes the buyer journey on-site with ecommerce tools like Buyable Pins.
Let’s look at how brands in five different industries can use Pinterest to boost their social strategies and reach new audiences.
Technology companies may not sell yummy foods and home crafts, but they can still post inspiring and informative content. Microsoft, for instance, finds creative ways to engage its audience with over 20 Pinterest boards.
Take the Get Appy board, which features standout apps for Microsoft’s smartphones, such as the Weather Flow app and Xbox app. This Pin about the Camera360 app, for example, has over 4.3k Pins.
Microsoft also created a board called Red, Green, Cyan, Yellow – a play on the brand’s iconic four-colored logo. Here, the company Pins eye-catching images that feature these tones and appeal to Pinners’ artistic sensibilities.
Still, technology brands like Microsoft could take their Pinterest strategies even further. They might build Pinterest boards about typography, for instance, or showcase what customers create with their products.
Sony could even place a “Visit” or “Read more” button on these posts, inviting viewers to go to their website and view the product behind the picture – just like it did on the Pin It To Give It board. For the holidays, the brand posted images of its products as gift ideas and gave $1 to charity for every re-Pin. As a result, Sony and its Pinners raised over $12,500 in one month. The company also drove traffic back to its site, since each Pin included a link back to Sony’s online store.
Evidently, there are many opportunities for technology brands to make their mark on Pinterest. They just need to think past selling products and towards engaging customers around common interests.
Pinterest users love DIY tips and guides. That’s where automotive brands have an opportunity to shine. Instead of just posting pictures of pretty cars, these companies can offer content that helps people make more informed decisions. For example, a car manufacturer could post an infographic of tips for buying your first vehicle, or a DIY guide for keeping your car clean and organized.
Take inspiration from brands that have had success with this format. For instance, Apartment Therapy’s post about organizing your closet generated over 28k Pins.
Safety guides also perform well on Pinterest. Automotive brands can create their own guides for stocking your trunk with emergency resources, changing a tire on the side of the road, and driving in the winter.
Just look at this infographic on safety tips for driving at night. It was published by Ameriprise Financial, but it could’ve easily been created by a car manufacturer.
Cars aren’t just nice to look at; they’re vehicles that help us get to work, hit the open road, and stay connected with friends and family. Through Pinterest, automotive brands can create content that helps people live safer and more fulfilling lives.
Government agencies can get a bad rap. They’re often associated with rules, regulations, and slow lines at the airport. On Pinterest, however, these agencies have an opportunity to turn that reputation around and be more accessible.
USPS, for example, created over 50 Pinterest boards to help people improve the mailing process. On its USPS Tips board, the agency offers advice for shipping, packaging, and even installing your own mailbox. Just take this Pin, which has 3.9k Pins. To learn more, Pinners can click the “Visit” button and read the guidelines on the USPS site.
Other boards include tips for sustainable packaging, holiday shipping, and even wedding invitation designs. The USPS also has a series of boards devoted to different stamp collections, such Flags of Our Nation and A Charlie Brown Christmas Forever. Meaning, they found a visual asset related to their service, and found a fun way to share it online.
Some agencies are already delivering engaging experiences on other social networks. Over on Instagram, for instance, the TSA posts pictures of crazy items found in people’s suitcases and tips for what’s allowed through security. To start building its Pinterest strategy, the agency could easily create roundups of these tips for certain high-traffic holidays, and Pin them to a custom board. In fact, some Pinners have already posted similar content of their own. The TSA is missing an opportunity to join – and lead – the conversation.
On Pinterest, government agencies can break through the wall of bureaucracy and forge deeper and more direct relationships with their audiences.
Energy companies aren’t just names on checks and bills. They fuel our homes, hobbies, and workplaces. As such, energy brands can create content around each of these lifestyle topics.
For example, an electric company can produce Pinterest posts about energy-efficient office design or smart decisions for homeowners. Take this image outlining the lifespan of household appliances. It generated over 55k Pins.
With rising concerns about the environment, energy companies can also teach people how to consume energy more responsibly. This could involve spreading the word about renewable resources and offering ways to save energy each month. This infographic about how your home can save the earth, for example, received 10k Pins.
General Electric has a bit more fun on Pinterest. With boards like Badass Machines and Mind = Blown, the brand has developed a quirky and relatable voice on the platform. Then there’s the Hey Girl board – a spin-off of the Ryan Gosling meme. Instead of using feminist pickup lines, GE’s posts feature photos of Thomas Edison with science-themed pickup lines.
See? Energy companies can have fun, too, as long as they’re willing to think outside of the box.
Bank of America proves that finance companies can build awareness and drive website traffic through Pinterest. Instead of promoting its products and services on the platform, the brand uses Pinterest to help millennials make better decisions with their money and guide them through some of life’s big “firsts.”
For example, Bank of America launched its Better Money Habits profile with boards such as Wedding Planning, Budgeting Basics, and New Baby. Each Pin provided important advice and a link back to the brand’s site for more educational content. This one from the Buying a Home board received 2.4k Pins:
Bank of America also used Promoted Pins to reach even more Pinners. In less than five months, the company reached nearly 6 million people and generated thousands of engagements on the Better Money Habits website.
Finance brands can take a page from Bank of America’s playbook and use Pinterest to support customers through major financial decisions, lifestyle changes, and personal growth.
The best Pinterest strategies don’t just promote products; they bring value to customers through inspiring, informative, and entertaining content. As such, businesses in any industry can find success on Pinterest.
An energy company can post tips for decorating with holiday lights, for example. And an automotive company can post guides for DIY car repair. Each of these strategies cracks through industry silos and provides value to customers.
While retail brands may lead the charge on Pinterest, there is still plenty of room for non-retail enterprises to engage their audiences with all that Pinterest has to offer.
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