More Interest in Pinterest – but where are the Brands?

It comes as no surprise that interest in Pinterest is increasing exponentially. As the web (and water coolers across America) becomes ablaze with buzz about the latest social media tool, new visitors to the site are increasing at alarming rates.

Visitors to the site was nearly 18 million in February, up from 12 million in January and 5 million in November. Even more, visitors are spending time on the site, many spending over ten minutes per day pinning, commenting, and liking photographs shared from friends, family, and new online connections.

This explosion to the site and huge user engagement begs the question: what are brands doing with the site? With such amazing stats and buzz, it is the right place for the right brands to be right now. A few weeks ago, I posted a brand that was using the tool in a great way- Nordstrom. There are other brands using the tool in great ways, but the question remains: where are all of the brands?

There are a few reasons brands have been “slow” to adopt this tool:

1. Visitors are increasing faster than brands can handle.

A few months ago, mention Pinterest and you get a blank stare. Now, mention Pinterest and you get a ten minute conversation about a recipe someone made. Pinterest caught on too quickly. Big brands use agencies. Agencies need time to hire and time to formulate strategy. Going blindly into a new social media outlet can be scary and disastrous for brands without one.

2. Lack of ROI

Brands what to know what their ROI will be. Right now, what would that be? What does the number of shares, likes, or comments mean on a picture if it’s not linked to an ecommerce site? How do you know your brand is gaining anything from the tool? This is an “age-old” question for many brands on social media.

3. Lack of understanding

Brands simply do not understand how they could fit on the tool. And many are rightfully so! The context of Pinterest is only right for select brands. In healthcare? In manufacturing? Pinterest probably isn’t the right place to be. Brands must work with thought leaders to create a clear strategy and roadmap to succeed on Pinterest.

4. Lack of advertising opportunities

Brand may be behind, but Pinterest is even further. The company has publicly stated they don’t have a clear revenue model, and thus, have no plans yet for advertising. The longer they wait, the longer brands steer away from Pinterest since typical advertising can easily give them insight into ROI. If they see ROI from paid advertising opportunities, they’ll likely invest themselves into content within Pinterest, like creating a profile.

It really is quite an exciting time to work in marketing, and I really think Pinterest will be a super star in the future. If you’re a small brand, don’t be scared to use the tool. Make a personal profile yourself to get used to its capabilities. Then, create a strategy. Model it after another brand if you like. Become dedicated to the tool and see what it can do for your business.

-Bryan Nagy




At a time when most new forms of tech and social media are dominated by men, women are flocking to the site for recipes, crafts, home ideas, and outfit inspirations.