5 Engaging Pinterest Strategies for Merchants

Allison Howen
by Allison Howen 17 Mar, 2014

Pinterest isn't a social network that retailers should overlook.

In fact, recent Piqora data shows that total revenue driven from Pinterest has increased by more than 78 percent year over year. The challenge many retailers have when it comes to Pinterest, however, is implementing a content strategy that does more than just advertises their products. Just like other social networks, Pinterest is a place where conversations happen and content gets shared, which means that pins need to be engaging in order for retailers to see a positive ROI.

For some help sprucing up your content strategy for the social network, take a look at five Pinterest strategies for merchants that are sure to increase fan engagement with your brand's virtual pinboards.


Followers: 2,213,561
Takeaway: Stay in the Conversation with Non-Promotional Content

Brands are inclined to promote their own content on social networks, and rightfully so. To make sure social networks stay "social", however, brands also need to contribute to conversations rather than only promoting their own products. ModCloth does this by creating a variety of boards on its Pinterest page that contain not only ModCloth inventory, but other types of engaging content. The retailer's "Cute, Cuter, Cutest!" board, for example, is a repin hub for anyone looking for - you guessed it - cute images. Although the board is mostly made up of cute animal-related photos and gifs, the retailer's social media team also sprinkles in "cute" inventory that links back to the ModCloth website, such as a panda bean bag chair and cat earrings.


Followers: 4,419,019
Takeaway: Highlight Top Products

Although it is important to keep your Pinterest page from looking like an advertisement, retailers can still create some boards that are solely dedicated to their inventory, especially best-selling items. Nordstrom does this through a pinboard that highlights the company's top pins on Nordstrom.com. Not only is this strategy a good way to show customers what items are trending, but it also pushes them through to Nordstrom's website rather than a competitor's site, such as Sephora.


Followers: 368,513
Takeaway: Keep Boards Searchable

It can be tempting to be witty when titling Pinterest boards, but it is typically not a good idea. This is because creative titles can make your board more difficult for consumers to find, both on the search engines and Pinterest search results. Instead, focus on titling boards with basic headings that contain keywords, like craft retailer Michael's does with its "Easter & Spring," "DIY & Crafts" and "Mason Jars" boards. After all, you can always be more creative when posting descriptions to the actual images being pinned. It should be noted, Michael's has a limited ecommerce site (in terms of what is available to purchase online), but Pinterest likely helps the craft company drive traffic to the Projects section of its website and its local storefronts (as crafts require supplies). 


Followers: 400,733
Takeaway: Shake up Content with Guest Pinning

Etsy takes guest blogging to the next level with its "Guest Pinner" program. Through the program, Etsy featured a variety of boards that were created by chosen "guests," which range from Etsy sellers to companies like Whole Foods. This type of strategy not only incorporates different points of views into a retailer's Pinterest Page, but can also increase visibility as the guest pinner is likely to promote their board, just as guest bloggers promote the articles they write.

Urban Decay

Followers: 50,765
Takeaway: Win Engagement with Contests

Pinterest may have tightened up its contest rules back in October, but that doesn't mean brands still can't leverage this strategy. Urban Decay, for example, launched a "Get Electric" contest earlier this year to promote its new, vibrant eyeshadow palette. The contest, which was created through social marketing platform Piqora, awarded the winner tickets to a summer music festival. To enter, consumers were simply required to follow Urban Decay on Pinterest, create their own board called "Get Electric with UD" and pin their favorite summer festival looks. At the end of the contest, the beauty retailer's board had more than 46,000 followers.