Pinterest…Where Are All The brands?

After having launched just over two years ago, Pinterest is increasingly becoming integrated into our social vocabulary. True, the demographic still skews older and female, and the launch might not have been as buzzed about as other social platforms such as Foursquare, but the growth rate and amount of time spent onsite is staggering. By now this isn’t a secret to consumers or brand advertisers, so why aren’t brands effectively leveraging Pinterest or incorporating the platform into their digital marketing strategy? In the 25 months since it’s inception, Pinterest has gone from generating 1% to 17% of social media revenue. This still pales in comparison to Facebook’s 82%, but it dwarfs Twitter’s 1% and if other social platforms have taught us anything, it will likely continue to grow at a rapid rate. This only further begs the question – “Where are all the brands?”

Currently the top brand on Pinterest is Perfect Palette, a wedding blog providing color palette recommendations for brides-to-be. Perfect Palette has almost 250,000 followers while the next brands are a distant second. Real Simple and HGTV have 100,000 and 50,000 brand followers respectively. This is a drop in the bucket when compared to the number of followers the top brands on Facebook had amassed after two years.

Take Procter and Gamble for example. With brands like Tide, Febreze, Pampers and Swiffer clearly targeting women as their core demographic, Pinterest presents the perfect platform through which to promote brand advocacy, grow affinity and inspire purchase. The potential to harness communal value, then using it to generate momentum behind a product is tremendous. Add to that, Facebook and Twitter integration points and you have the ability as a brand advertiser, to maximize impact and exposure across multiple social touchpoints.

Buyers referred from Pinterest are 10% more likely to buy something and spend 10% more on average than visitors who arrive from other social networks. Pinterest takes the best of Facebook and creates a simple amalgamation of social features. Sleek design and nice visuals coupled with brief captions, provide the ideal type of platform to host a variety of indirect advertising rarely used as effectively. To further validate this, a branded pin without price is twice as likely to be shared than the same pin with a price. Right now one of the most liked and re-pinnned items on Pinterest is a bra with iPhone pocket aptly named the Joey Bra.  An end user on Pinterest can not only like or repin the bra, but they can also click-through to purchase on the brand’s site.

JoeyBra featured on Pinterest
JoeyBra site, linked to from Pinterest
JoeyBra site, linked to from Pinterest

It’s only a matter of time before an influx of brands bombard Pinterest, similar to the way they did Facebook. With that in mind, it’s prime time for marketers to capitalize on the lack of clutter. A smart brand would make Pinterest a key component in its social strategy.  A highly visual integrated campaign, leveraging the connectivity with Facebook and Twitter to share out content from Pinterest and then link back to it, would be ideal. The way Pinterest lends itself to recommendations and the ease at which those recommendations can be shared while closing the loop to purchase, is an example of the functionality and UI so many other platforms are trying to create or evolve to. That said, at least for now we can appreciate Pinterest for what it is, while at the same time, preparing for what’s to come.