Should Your Brand Be On Pinterest?

By Amanda DiAntonio

Pinterest announced two new features last Friday. In the next few weeks, the network will begin tapping into user’s cookies, log data and device information to deliver more customized pins and boards. Unless of course, the user enables “Do Not Track.” (Do Not Track is a browser feature that allows people to avoid cookies that collect personal information as well as 3rd party cookies that can be used for advertising.) The other upcoming feature is an edit button that lets users better customize their home feed based on their interests.

While the physical changes will be evident to users, brands are now posed with the challenge of creating even more compelling content and making sure that the content is seen. If you’re a brand looking to break into Pinterest, here are 3 questions you MUST ask yourself before joining or upping your strategy.

1. Who is your target audience?

The fact that Pinterest users are roughly 80% female is no secret, but let that sink in for another moment. If your brand does not appeal to women between the ages of 25-44, and you’re not interested in expanding your demographic, Pinterest may not be the place for you. Nike, for example, does not have a Pinterest page, but Nike Women does. Figuring out what networks are right for your brand is a key to any successful social strategy. Don’t go into social with an “all or nothing” approach.

2. Will your content stand out?

Eye-grabbing visuals are the key to Pinterest. According to PinLeague, the average lifespan of a piece of content on Pinterest is 1 week - as opposed to 80 minutes on Facebook and 5-25 minutes on Twitter. Pinterest is all about discovery. Most of the time, a user spends hours browsing Pinterest with the intent to find new products, new ideas and new ways to use the things they already have.

As important as the individual pins are, the boards that they are pinned to are just as important. Pinterest provides users the ability to only follow certain boards, rather than a brand’s entire profile. This means that consumers are hyper-targeting. There should be boards to represent every aspect of your brand in order to appeal to every type of consumer in your demographic.  If you don't have the time and resources to curate this type of quality content, you may want to steer clear of Pinterest.

3. Can you fully integrate Pinterest?

It's valuable for brands to integrate Pinterest into their website and vice versa. Every product offered on your website should have a “Pin It” button and every product pin should be linked to a purchase URL. (There is nothing more frustrating to a Pinterest user than seeing something appealing and finding that it is not linked to a purchase page.) Pinterest’s new personalization features will be focused on websites with "Pin It" buttons installed. In other words, add the button to your website and your content will have a much better chance of being seen on a user’s feed.

Pinterest is a social investment that can really pay off, but if you answered “no” to any of the questions above, it may not be the right investment for your brand – and that’s OKAY. The beauty of social media is the opportunity it provides to brands to reach consumers. If one network doesn’t make sense for reaching your target audience, there are 10 more that do.

What brands do you feel are “doing Pinterest right?” Share your thoughts in the comments below!