4 brands that don’t use Pinterest as a catalogue

Don’t think of Pinterest as another way to drive traffic to your website. Pinners want to stay on Pinterest. Learn from these four brands that have it right.

I recently had the opportunity to listen to a webinar from the Content Marketing Institute: “Understanding Context: Deliver the Right Content to the Right Channel.”

Joe Pulizzi of the Content Marketing Institute and Jason Thibault of Limelight Networks both dug into one important topic: Creating content channels that meet the right audience at the right time on the right device (and sometimes in the right geographic location).

While there were a lot of lessons packed in the webinar, one really hit home for me: Don’t try to pull your social media followers out of a platform.

In the early days of social media marketing, everyone tried to use Facebook as a way to get users to their websites. Twitter was nothing more than a vehicle to rocket users from the Twittersphere back to a blog.

Fortunately there are some brands on Pinterest that do not operate with this flawed content strategy.

Using Pinterest as a glorified catalogue is a bad move. I know it may be hard to believe, but people aren’t on Pinterest to find a way to your online catalogue. They’re more interested in, well, being on Pinterest.

These four brands get it:

1. Peugeot

A lot of social media marketing gurus love Peugeot. If someone has already directed you to its Pinterest page, I apologize. It’s just too good not to highlight.

Peugeot has five boards that feature its Boxer, and the first board contains nothing but the logo. The main attraction here is, of course, “the biggest things” board in which Peugeot offers comic suggestions about everything you might fit into the roomy interior of the Boxer. This board—which has nothing to do with Peugeot—has 43 pins. The “Peugeot Boxer features” board, on the other hand, only has 10 pins.

This is a great move. While people may not repin a picture of the Boxer’s driver’s seat, they will definitely repin a picture of the world’s largest dog. When Pinterest users repin these images, they get a little dose of Peugeot in their daily lives.

Peugeot has five more board series that function in a similar way. Look to this brand for more great content marketing strategies.

2 L.L. Bean

Who has nearly 4.8 million followers on Pinterest? L.L. Bean does. A little Pinterest homepage promotion helped the brand out, but that certainly doesn’t mean L.L. Bean’s success is unmerited.

L.L. Bean is a lifestyle brand if there ever was one. Some of its boards are titled “Made In the U.S.A.,” “Boots,” “Camping,” “Woodland Creatures” and “Rustic Living.” L.L. Bean fans love this kind of stuff (or at least pretend to).

The “Rustic Living” board pictured above is a great way to capture the interest of L.L. Bean fans and get them engaged in the brand without pushing a catalogue.

3. Benjamin Moore

How do you sell paint on Pinterest? If you’re Benjamin Moore, you definitely don’t create boards of paint swatches. You leave that to your website. Benjamin Moore gets Pinterest. It doesn’t link to its catalogue; instead, it creates beautiful boards anyone with an interest in design and style can appreciate.

Check out the “chalk it up!” board. This board is a great example of how your social media marketing team should meet customers where they are. Benjamin Moore is riding the Pinterest chalk paint wave for all it’s worth, and when you eventually decide to buy chalk paint, the name Benjamin Moore will already be in your head. This is much more effective than pinning a bucket of chalk paint with a link back to your online store, don’t you think?


HGTV is the kind of brand Pinterest was made for. No wonder it has a quarter of a million followers. However, you can tell the content marketing team behind HGTV works hard to produce those numbers. From do-it-yourself projects and tips to party food and cocktails, HGTV has boards that cover just about everything.

If I can find one fault with the brand, it’s that it can be a little too self-promotional with its pins. However, unlike other consumer goods companies, HGTV doesn’t link to a product—it links back to quality content on its own site(s).

The bottom line is this: People are on Pinterest to explore Pinterest. Don’t let your social media marketing team treat it like an interactive catalogue, because it’s not.

Explore creative ways to use the platform like these four brands, and keep telling yourself, “What happens on Pinterest stays on Pinterest.” Your efforts will pay off, and the results will ripple out into your revenue.

Ben Richardson is a freelance writer, poet and blogger in Nashville, Tenn. He blogs on these subjects and more at Man the Desk. When he isn’t writing for himself or Content Equals Money, he’s probably exploring Nashville or the trails of middle Tennessee. A version of this article first appeared on Content Equals Money. (Image via)


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