Top 5 Pinterest Takeaways from Bank of America and The Container Store

Pinterest is super hot these days. How hot? More than 50 billion Pins and 70 million active users hot. And it’s growing fast. What’s more, Pinterest is unlike any other social channel in ways that really make a difference to brands. 

To help you develop smart social strategies for reaching the Pinterest user,  Spredfast recently sponsored an Adweek webinar titled “Powerful Pins: How Brands Succeed on Pinterest.”  Our speakers included Amy Vener, Market Developer at Pinterest; Kristin Steed, Social Media Manager at The Container Store; and Christopher Smith,  Senior Vice President/Enterprise Social Media Executive at Bank Of America.

Together with Gemma Craven,  Spredfast’s Executive Director of Strategic Markets, these Pinterest experts shared real-world examples and deep insights that can shape your strategy and content discussions. There was also a lot of great perspective shared in the #powerfulpins conversation.

Here are our Top 5 Takeaways:

#5. More than any other platform, Pinterest is all about the future.

Pinners typically don’t come to the platform to broadcast or share with a large group of people. A Pin is something the user likes and wants to reference later or show to someone else. In the Pinning experience, a user is expressing who he or she wants to be, or what he or she wants to do down the road. And oftentimes, Pinners are planning for big life moments.

In developing Pin content, Brands may want to consider the aspirational and intention-focused nature of the Pinterest experience. With smart planning, social teams can develop content that enables Pinner goals or addresses future needs—thereby “being there” for the consumer with helpful information at just the right time.

#4: The Pinner’s Journey goes from Discover to Save to Do.

Pinterest’s Amy Vener shared this example with us. Suppose someone’s just looking around on Pinterest and discovering different elements of fashion that speak to her personally. This “maybe I could” thinking piques her interest and moves her further into casual chic clothing for more inspiration. From there, she narrows her choices down to different types of blazers, from which she finds the exact blazer she never knew she was going to buy.

For brands, the key to success is understanding where each user is on the journey and engaging accordingly.

#3. Top Pinterest Categories and trends are valuable content clues.

Popular Pinterest Categories and trends can tell you a lot about Pinner intentions and plans. The overlap between those user intentions and your brand messages is fertile ground for content development.

For example, Bank of America’s social team looks at the top Pinterest categories and identifies those that have a significant financial element  — education, family/kids, home, travel/vacation, and weddings. To help drive the brands microsite, the social team develops Pins and Boards that provide financial insights for these popular topics.

For example, money is a big part of wedding planning, so Bank of America maintains a Weddings Board that features multiple Pins about wedding budgets, travel costs, merging finances, etc.

#2:  Quality content can come from many different sources.

Kristin Steed told us that The Container Store’s social team utilizes their catalog and direct mail as primary sources of content, because they feature such fantastic imagery. Container Stories, the brand’s new lifestyle blog, has been another great content source. A recent blog post about dorm decor was directly translated into multiple Pins.

Additionally, The Container Store’s social team Pins product images from the brand’s website—especially products that solve unique consumer problems. As Kristin says, “You’d be surprised how many people are looking for a solution to banana storage.”

The Container Store even repurposes videos by turning stills into step-by-step Pins. And they’re not afraid to leverage content from bloggers and preferred partners. Kristin told us, “We feel that to be part of the Pinterest community, it isn’t about pinning just your own content, but pinning the most valuable content.” Therein lies a good guideline for externally sourced content — quality is everything.

This is particularly true when it comes to user-generated content. Consumers’ Pins and images may fit within your strategy, but only if the quality is appropriate to your brand and the content is truly relevant.

#1.  Above all else, Pins should be helpful.

Pinners are looking to brands for proven solutions, smart suggestions, and practical ideas. So, what makes a Pin helpful? Here are a few tips from Pinterest’s Amy Vener: 

  • A detailed description: This is key for ALL Pins. Maximize the 500-character limit to give Pinners everything they need to decide whether your Pin is meaningful for them. Detailed descriptions also provide the keywords that will make the Pin more likely to show up in relevant search results.
  • Step-by-step instructions and tutorials:  Remembering that Pinners are planning for something they want to do in the future, use how-tos to make it easier to bring their ideas to life.
  • Curated lists:  A good list can help Pinners find what they’re looking for more quickly, whether that’s a recipe, how-to, recommendations, or a product. Lists are also a good way to create Pins around different audiences and content types, so you can see which ones are resonating most.
  • Text overlays:  It’s a good idea to provide Pinners a clear takeaway from each Pin, especially when the Pin’s purpose isn’t obvious from the image alone. When it comes to text overlays, be as brief as possible and make the text part of the design.
  • Readability: Remember, 80% of Pinterest usage is mobile.  All text and logos should be clearly readable on smartphones and tablets.
  • Rich Pin data:  If you’re looking to drive sales or website conversions, the easier you make it for Pinners, the better. Rich Pin data enables automatic updating of Pin content such as pricing, availability and where to buy, so users can see the most up-to-date information at a glance. 
  • Strategic branding: Logos and a branded look and feel can add credibility to your Pins. They also communicate useful information such as expectations around quality, price, availability, style, etc. However, avoid being overly commercial or distracting, especially in your descriptions.

We hope these Top 5 Takeaways help drive your content and strategy discussions, and ultimately help you develop more relevant and engaging Boards and Pins for the Pinterest user.

You can view the full webinar at “Powerful Pins: How Brands Succeed on Pinterest.” 

Austin Lytle's picture

Austin Lytle

Austin Lytle is a Senior Product Marketing Manager at Spredfast where he works with customers and the Spredfast product team to make sure we are delivering the world's best social software platform. Austin spent three years running political campaigns in Texas and Louisiana. A New Orleans native, he is avid cyclist and lover of music and wine.