3 Creative Ways Brands Are Using Pinterest

social media how toAre you looking for some creative ways to use Pinterest?

Would you like to make stronger connections with your customers?

Although many brands run creative contests on Pinterest, here are some new ways to engage audiences and build your presence.

Take a look at what these 3 brands are doing to get inspiration for using Pinterest creatively for your business.

#1: Run a Campaign to Give Back

One of the most interesting things I’ve seen on Pinterest was Sony Electronics’ Pin It to Give It campaign.

sony pin it to win

In the spirit of holiday giving, Sony gave $1 to charity for every repin on this board.

Sony Electronics used their Pinterest brand page to curate an array of Sony Electronics products that were pinned to the Pin It to Give It board. Every time someone repinned from the board, Sony Electronics donated a dollar to The Michael Phelps Foundation. The campaign ran from November 27 through December 31, 2012 and raised more than $12,500.

This campaign had a unique spin when compared to other competitions with the overused Pin It to Win It campaign title. Sony’s label clearly communicated that the campaign was about helping others.

This not only helped Sony Electronics build their brand image by showing that they give back to their community, it also helped them engage their audience and create product awareness. Visit the board today and you will see pins that have been repeatedly liked and repinned—many more than 200 times.

How can you get creative with Pinterest contests?

Think like Sony Electronics and create something that is not only unique, but that engages your audience in a way that makes your campaign stand out.

#2: Get Strategic With Guest Pinners

Etsy has made incredible use of Pinterest’s group boards feature, also known as contributor boards.

In addition to the Etsy-curated boards on their brand page, they have several guest pinner boards, on which a contributor who is an expert on a subject contributes pins. Both individuals like Guest Pinner: Automatism and companies like Random House, Whole Foods Market and Martha Stewart Living contribute to boards for them.

guest

A guest pinner board on Etsy.

This association benefits the creator of the board and the contributor and forms a strong relationship between the two.

When Guest Pinner: Automatism’s Lori Langille pins to the group board Etsy created for her, not only does Etsy’s board gather more pins from an expert source, they also attract followers from her because the board is displayed on her personal Lori Langille (Automatism) profile.

In turn, illustrator Lori Langille (Automatism) receives increased exposure through the pins on her Guest Pinner: Automatism board, as well as followers who find her through the guest board on Etsy.

eclectic inspirations

Lori’s guest pinner board has a constellation of eclectic inspirations.

Associating one contributor with one group board, as opposed to associating many contributors with one group board, can help avoid complications with content. Group boards with too many contributors and no moderators often suffer from issues such as oversharing of spam pins that aren’t relevant to the board’s topic.

How can your business best use guest contributors to your Pinterest boards? Which experts are in your network who could share value with your audience on Pinterest? Follow Etsy’s example and create a valuable community on Pinterest with the help of others.

#3: Help People Get to Know You Better

When you think of Ben & Jerry’s on Pinterest, the first thing that pops into your mind is probably a brand page full of ice cream recipes, frozen desserts and other sweet stuff.

True to their roots, Ben & Jerry’s has done something completely different. They have used Pinterest to help their audience learn more about the company.

On their brand page, you find boards that teach you everything about who they are, what they do and how they treat their fans.

The Fan Photo’s board is full of photos from fans who are enjoying Ben & Jerry’s ice cream.

fan photos

A great way to stay connected with your fans!

These images will help engage their fans and double as testimonials. When people look at others enjoying ice cream, they want some, too. And they might buy some Ben & Jerry’s to get involved like everybody else.

This board shows that Ben & Jerry’s cares about their fans, that they want their fans to be a part of the company. This is an attitude that goes a long way toward attracting more loyal fans.

The Our People board shows you pictures of Ben & Jerry’s employees.

behind the scenes

A behind-the-scenes look helps customers know the employees.

The Our Factory board is a collection of images that show what happens inside Ben & Jerry’s factory.

ben and jerrys factory

Seeing what happens inside is another great way to connect with the community.

These boards, along with others like On a Mission, History, Vermont and Flavor Graveyard, help Ben & Jerry’s to form a special bond with their followers. As boards are pinned, followers get to know the product, the company and the people who work for them better. People prefer dealing with people they know, rather than companies of strangers about whom they know nothing. Visitors will likely be keen on having more Ben and Jerry’s.

How does your audience want to engage with you on Pinterest? Is your conversation there one-sided? Or are you making it easy for people to get to know you?

To build a committed following on Pinterest, follow Ben & Jerry’s lead. Instead of simply pinning content and products to your boards, make an effort to help your followers learn more about your company and get them involved.

Make the Most of Your Pinterest Community

Pinterest offers unique opportunities to engage with your audience, thanks to the visual interactions.

These are just three examples of brands using Pinterest in creative ways to engage their followers, create partnerships and build community.

What do you think? Have you noticed any other brands with intriguing strategies? Are you inspired to use Pinterest in a more exciting way? Please leave your comments below.

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About the Author, Mitt Ray

Mitt Ray is the author of the book White Paper Marketing and the founder of Social Marketing Writing, where you can download his free Pinterest Marketing Video Tutorial. Follow him on @MittRay. Other posts by »




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  • Nicole Sanchez

    I sell on Ebay…and the biggest way I get my stuff out there is that I made a Ebay pinboard and I share directly from Ebay, I copy and past the description, add in the price, and it appears to get sold faster, and if it doesnt, I sure seem to enjoy watching all the shares.. Tip – Taking good pics and using Instagram helps even more!

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  • Yvette Hayes

    Great tips that I’ll implement on my new biz boards!

  • http://www.mittray.com Mitt Ray

    Hi @nicole_sanchez:disqus!

    This is a very helpful comment. Thank you so much for sharing all your tips.

    Mitt

  • http://www.mittray.com Mitt Ray

    Hi @yvettehayes:disqus!

    Thank you for your comment.

    Mitt

  • catherinetatum

    I’m interested in creating a guest pinner board. How do you do that. When I clicked on the Etsy board I could see both admins as pinners…..how do you set up the ability for someone else to be a guest pinner?

  • http://www.EntrepreneurOnFire.com/ John Lee Dumas

    Mitt, this post got me fired up – thank you! You’ve provided some great examples here of how companies are using creative ways to engage followers, create partnerships and build community on Pinterest. Because Pinterest isn’t as straight-forward a tool for businesses as some other social media platforms, it can be tough to know how to use it properly. So, thank you for the advice!

  • catherinetatum

    I think I found the answer to my own question…..from another blog post on your site….here is the link in case someone else has the same question as I did on how to create a contributor board. http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/pinterest-contributor-boards/

  • Anna Pham

    Pinterest has so many interesting functions which I am myself amazed by them. It’s gonna keep growing with rapid speed. Thanks for sharing.

  • http://www.mittray.com Mitt Ray

    Hi catherinetatum!

    It’s very easy to invite guest pinners. First click on the ‘Edit Board’ option on any of your boards – then in the ‘Who can pin?’ field type in the name of the person you would like to invite – and invite them to pin onto your board.

    Note: To be able to invite someone you need to follow them or one of their boards.

    Mitt

  • http://www.mittray.com Mitt Ray

    Hi Entrepreneur On Fire!

    It’s always nice to see your comment. Thank you so much for all your insights. You’re welcome.

    Mitt

  • http://www.mittray.com Mitt Ray

    Hi Anna Pham!

    You’re welcome. Thank you for your comment.

    Mitt

  • http://www.callboxinc.co.uk/ Hannah Hamilton

    Pinterest is simply a part of one’s web marketing strategy. With these latest online bulletin board has draw a lot of people curious and really look their time to check out those visually stimulating sites as a good tool like Pinterest.

  • http://www.nazito.com/ Nazito Naz

    I think is time to get into Pinterest. I didn’t know about the guest pinner board, I think this feature has a great potential.

  • http://www.mittray.com Mitt Ray

    Thank you for your comment @HHamilton:disqus!

    Mitt

  • http://www.mittray.com Mitt Ray

    Thank you for your comment @nazitonaz:disqus!

    Mitt

  • http://www.skiusainc.com/ Cady Haren

    In my previous way, one great way that we found to increase the engagement of our Pinterest followers was via contest. We would create contests around certain themes, ask them to select their favorite products on our website that fitted with the theme and create a board on the same. They would then have to provide us with the URL of the board and the best one voted would win the price. It really helped us gain a lot of traction as well as traffic via Pinterest.

  • Tom Howlett

    Some useful examples there. Would be interested to see examples of smaller companies making waves by using Pinterest.

    A good idea to use the platform to show the human side of your brand. People definitely tend to connect better with brands that do – easily something that if already implemented on a website, can be carried across to Pinterest.

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  • http://www.agencyplatform.com/ Dave Thompson

    If you want to expand your social media presence, Pinterest is really a place to be. Great ideas are what every one needs when it comes to marketing, it can be on any platform. Loved the campaign that was ran by Sony, we need something more of that.

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  • David Blackshaw

    Some good tips and advice there, thank you. I love Pinterest!

  • http://blog.tianakai.com/ Tiana Kai

    I created a ‘Life in Italy’ board where I invited fellow expats and experts of Italy to contribute to. It is now my most popular board. Creating unique boards is very fun for me and I have some interesting ones for some clients. Thanks for the great ideas!

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