4 Unlikely Brands That Are Killing it on Pinterest (And How Yours Can Too) | Hootsuite Blog
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4 Unlikely Brands That Are Killing it on Pinterest (And How Yours Can Too)

Unless you’ve been live blogging from under a moon rock somewhere in outer space, by now you know that Pinterest isn’t just for arts and crafts. Top social media marketers use Pinterest to sell everything from pork to private schools.

When you think Pinterest, you might assume that this platform best serves women’s clothing retailers and wedding vendors. Not so, my friend. According to the company, one-third of all Pinterest sign-ups come from men. In fact, more men use Pinterest in the U.S. every month than read Sports Illustrated and GQ combined. The bulk (70 percent) of the platform’s 70 million users in the U.S. are still female, but in emerging international markets like India, Korea and Japan the split is closer to 50/50.

Not only is Pinterest hugely popular, Pins last longer than media on other social platforms. While a Tweet has a half-life of only 24 minutes, and a Facebook post lasts about 90 minutes, Pins have a half-life of 151,200 minutes. What does this mean for your business? Say you publish a great blog post and Pin it this month. The post gets repinned over and over again. As a result, months from now Pinterest will still be referring traffic to your website. Many smart brands from a variety of industries have caught on to this marketing gold mine and are ready to get in the game.

But even a strong platform can’t help a company with bad content. One of the biggest mistakes that brands make is just pinning boring, salesy photos of their products. If your product lacks the appeal of say, an ice cream sundae, you’ve got to find a way to sweeten it up! Here’s a few unexpected companies who have found new ways to turn the mundane into magic.

1. Farmers Insurance

When you think of Farmers Insurance, you probably think of a responsible father (perhaps with a fatherly mustache) teaching his kid how to drive. Well, believe it or not, now dad’s on Pinterest!

Farmers Insurance is way ahead of the competition with boards like “A Smarter Commute” and “A Smarter Home” and even “A Smarter Vacation.” Farmers Insurance content is cleverly juxtaposed with Pins of dream homes and road trips—both of which you need insurance to secure.

Geico may have a gecko, but they sure don’t have a Pinterest board. Farmers proves you don’t need flashy gimmicks or a retail business to fit in on Pinterest. There’s enough Pins to go around.

2. International Delight

Coffee creamer company, International Delight may not have the same kind of brand recognition as say, Coffee-Mate, but their Pinterest boards are on fire. In 2014, the International Delight Pinterest page saw over 11 million impressions and reached more than 3 million consumers.

What is their creamy secret? Original, compelling content. Rather than pinning to tried and true content from other websites, International Delight hired their own bloggers and photographers to create content specifically for the Pinterest audience. Delicious photos, interesting recipes, and good writing resulted in one heck of an ROI for this coffee beverage enhancing business.

3. Mastercard

In addition to highly shareable food and shopping Pins, Pinterest is a great place to share inspirational messages. On an average day, one can find a flock of doves with the words “start each day with a grateful heart” Pin or a bouquet of balloons and the message “throw kindness around like confetti” Pin.

Mastercard tapped into this encouraging, supportive vibe on Pinterest when they launched their #AcceptanceMatters campaign. Playing on the idea that Mastercard is “accepted” everywhere, the credit card company applied this concept broadly to acceptance of humankind. Launching in conjunction with Pride NYC 2013, marketers developed inspirational word art and encouraged consumers to share why acceptance matters to them.

By creating visual, interactive content with an emotional message, Mastercard got great results. The company earned 24.5 million potential impressions, and more than 13,000 Repins in just nine weeks. Additionally, Mastercard gained 171 followers to the board, Pins continued to be shared by users and influencers alike. The takeaway? If it feels good, do it.

4. OnStar

Many companies have had success by shifting the focus from the product they are trying to sell to a related theme. OnStar, a company that connects people to help in a push of a button made great strides with this strategy. Rather than focusing on the service they offer, they created an OnStar Pinterest board around the theme of “connection.”

OnStar’s most popular Pinterest board (in terms of followers, clicks, Repins, and likes) is “Traveling with Kids.” The board offers road trip tips, mess free snacks, and game ideas to keep the kids from getting too restless. It is essential to note that this board does not center on OnStar, but focuses on life in and around your vehicle.

OnStar also developed an SEO-friendly Pin copy strategy, which includes hashtags for easier search within Pinterest, a verified business account, and categorized boards. As a result of this smart work and consistent upkeep, OnStar has kept average engagement rate on their Pins of above 10 percent and as high as 19 percent. The key to their success? Creating content that Pinners find relevant, interesting and worth taking the time to click through.

You can use the Tailwind for Pinterest app in the Hootsuite App Directory to schedule Pins and manage your Pinterest presence. Install the free app today!

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