Brands Using Pinterest Right – Lowe’s

It’s been nearly six months since Pinterest became a media sensation. Though growth has slowed down slightly, users are still flocking to the site. Over 20 million unique users visited the site in May, and users continue to spend nearly ten minutes per visit on the site, signaling that they are engaged with its content.

With the Facebook IPO controversy taking place last month, some users were wondering if the additional of advertising will become a part of Pinterest in the near future as the social network looks to gain revenues from its huge win with users. While this question probably won’t be answered for several more months, many brands are still using the site as a means for brand exposure and consumer engagements something that I hope Pinterest can see and somehow develop a revenue method around rather than sole display ad placements. It just makes more sense- users will see the units as more “organic” and engaging than typical ads.

Lowe’s is a great example of a brand using Pinterest very well. Since creating their profile on Pinterest last  holiday season, Lowe’s has received nearly 12,000 followers, created over 39 board, and pinned nearly 900 photos and videos. Not bad for a new social network that many brands are too nervous or confused about to use. Lowe’s develops boards around specific ideas, such as photos about fathers for Father’s Day, spring ideas, projects for outside the home, projects under $50, and even vintage Lowe’s ads.

For a majority of their pins, Lowe’s takes photographs directly from their Creative Ideas website. As a user clicks on one of these pins, they’re taken to the respective page on the website. This helps generate web traffic for Lowe’s and gives users a how-to guide on how to complete the project in the photograph. Users can then create a list of items they’ll need and head over to their local Lowe’s stores to purchase the supplies.

Lowe’s also pins items from other websites, a move that some might see as risky considering copyright questions circling around Pinterest. However, the photos Lowe’s is pinning from others links directly to the original pin or website, so credit can be given to the appropriate party. Mixing these pins in with pins from Lowe’s Creative Ideas makes Lowe’s seem more transparent and friendly towards users. The pins become more “real”  and less sales-oriented, making users more responsive to their posts.

What Lowe’s is doing is really the core of social media. For brands, social media is about engaging customers and becoming a part of their conversation. The conversation on social media is already there- brands don’t need to start it. Lowe’s is tying their pins into the pins users would see in their Pinterest newsfeed from their friends. As a result, users are clicking on the pins organically and clicking through to the Lowe’s Creative Ideas website because they want to. As more and more people like and repin pins posted by Lowe’s, the conversation Lowe’s has with its users grows, and more and more users get that brand messaging. It’s the “waterfall effect” of good social media.

For your brand or small business, think about what Lowes’ is doing with their consumers and see what you could be doing to become a part of your consumers’ conversations on Pinterest.

-Bryan Nagy