Everything you ever wanted to know about Pinterest
(but were afraid to ask)

Update: We've distilled the Pinterest wisdom from this series of blog posts into one handy downloadable eBook. We hope it's useful.

Pinterest is emerging to be one of the hottest social networks of 2012. A recent report found that Pinterest drives more referral traffic than Google+, YouTube and LinkedIn (some analyisis by Brian Solis here).

You might be wondering if your brand is a fit with Pinterest.  There is no harm is registering your brand's name, and that will help stake your claim against brandjackers.  Some industries have obvious curation tie-ins that make joining Pinterest a natural fit (retail, design, beauty.)  Other industries will need to be creative to find a way to make use of Pinterest's visual curation emphasis to benefit their overall community efforts.

Pinterest has identified the following “best practices" for brands:

- Pinning from various sources rather than one specific site.


- Repinning from within the site to engage with others – repinning is one of the most social activities on Pinterest and it’s how any user really builds his/her network of followers.


- Creating at least a few boards that cover a broad range of interests, rather than maintaining a single board devoted to one topic.

In working with Pinterest, it is evident that the platform in its current state has been built with individuals in mind, not brand curators.  It takes some creativity to bend a profile to suit a brand's needs.  Likewise, Pinterest's internal search delivers nebulous results.

It can be difficult to find examples of how brands are currently using Pinterest, as Pinterest's search will not always surface relevant content and many of the current articles on the web rehash the same case studies (West Elm, Whole Foods, Mashable, etc.)  In thinking about your brand's direction on Pinterest, you may find helpful the following index and loose categorization of 100+ brands currently participating on Pinterest.

100+ Brands on Pinterest 
Cabot Cheese's genuine appreciation for the company's roots
makes it one of our favorite brand curator examples.
Food and Cooking
Cooking Light devotes a pinboard to Blogs they love.
Cooking Magazines
Television
HGTV and Pinterst are a natural fit.
Journalism
USA Today segments its brand voice by using
different brand accounts for different topics.
Fashion and Lifestyle Magazines
The Seattle Seahawks football team experiments with Pinterest.
Sports
Apparel
Threadless curates its own content on Pinterest
by sorting t-shirt designs by theme.
Anthropologie claims its name without curating content.
Retailers
Etsy's early adoption and intense use
pays off in number of followers.
Beauty and Fashion
Tarte Cosmetics shows staff photos and product picks.
Celebrities/Tastemakers
Nina Garcia (and staff) embraces her role as tastemaker.
Travel
Blogher curates from member blog content.
Publishing
 
Home Goods and Services
Benjamin Moore Paints curates for both the design
professional and the home DIY hobbiest.
Non-Profits 
Texas A&M University keeps its students and alums in mind
when adding content.
Colleges and Universities
Miscellaneous
Verizon participates on Pinterest ... perhaps unwisely?
Pinterest Boards about Brands
Many thanks to the Pinners who are curating boards about brands on Pinterest:
Previous posts in our Everything Pinterest series include -

 

Post by Bliss Hanlin, Community Manager at eModeration