10 Amazing Pinterest Board Examples Critiqued (with Best Practices)

Are you struggling with Pinterest, wondering how big brands are having so much success?

In this article you’ll learn how the top businesses use Pinterest Boards in ways you may not have even thought of. I’ll break down their strategies for success and give you 10 concrete examples of how you can do the same.  


1. ELLE Creates Boards During Live Events


ELLE’s strategy, of using their Live Pinning Board to post pictures live at their events, saw a fantastic increase on their Pinterest pages. Perhaps more importantly, however, it improved cross-platform referral traffic to their website.


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Elle’s Pinterest Profile Stats: 41 Boards, 10,995 Pins, 58 Likes, 158,376 Followers, 68 Following

What I like:

  • Boosting referral traffic: ELLE’s Live Pinning Board created a significant boost in number of pins as well as traffic to and from their website.
  • The stats: Their Runway Trends board saw seven times the activity as their other boards, with more than 16,000 repins and nearly 4,000 likes during 2013’s New York Fashion Week alone.
  • Keeping Followers in their seats: Using Pinterest as, essentially, a video, kept Followers engaged as they waited to see what would come out next.

How to make it work for you:

  • Take live shots of a new product being delivered and revealed or a 5-course dinner as it comes out of your restaurant’s kitchen.
  • Pin to your ‘Extracurricular Activities’ board with live pictures of your office baseball game or weekend barbecue.


2. ArchDaily Uses Boards to Mine Customer Insights


Boards can be used for so much more than pretty pictures. AchDaily used them to get an insight into their customer base: what they liked, why they liked it, and how they thought about architecture. They used their findings to create their Interiors Board, their most successful.


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ArchDaily’s Pinterest Profile Stats: 56 Boards, 5,980 Pins, 240 Likes, 46,136 Followers, 651 Following

What I Like:

  • Following their Followers: ArchDaily followed many of their readers on Pinterest and began to understand what was most important to them.
  • Acting on their findings: They created their Interiors Boardbased on what they found, choosing photos they knew their followers would like.
  • Following themselves: ArchDaily pays close attention to the pins and shares of their your own boards and changes their profile based on what’s popular.

How to make it work for you:

Take a selection of your most active Pinterest followers and spend some time following them. See what else they like or care about to give you development, product, and campaign ideas. See how they organize their collections to give you insight how to organize yours.


Top Tip - Rich Pins

Pinterest’s rich product pins are a new development great for businesses. They allow you to show real-time pricing and availability information on each pin. You can also attach a link back to your company’s website - basically all the information a customer needs before they buy. Find out the specifics (and maybe call over your company’s web developer)

Also remember, Pinterest pins with prices get 36% more likes than those without!


3. Sephora Stays Current with 'Trending Now’ Boards


Sephora uses 'Trending Now and ‘Most Popular Pins’ boards to keep their customers informed about their most recent, exciting, and successful products. Rather than having to scroll through boards of products they’ve already seen, Fans know where to go for what’s hot coming out of Sephora.


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Sephora’s Pinterest ProfileStats: 51 Boards, 4,718 Pins, 83 Likes, 185,640 Followers, 73 Following

What I like:

  • Keeping Current:  Sephora’s 'Trending Now’ or ‘New Arrivals’ boards keep Sephora at the top of follower’s time-lines (provided they actually add to those boards often).
  • Keeping Consistent: Sephora updates their boards consistently, as updating often keeps their content read, and updating in one chunk keeps it buried.
  • Keeping Current!: Given that 67% of Pinterest users are there to keep up with the latest trends, I thought it worth mentioning twice that keeping boards current and exciting is more important on Pinterest than any other social media site.

How to Make it Work for You:

  • It should be pretty easy to find those products you sell that are your hottest buys, and ‘New-Arrivals’ is as straightforward as they come. Remember to put a little effort into your board titles and your picture choices to help you stand out from the crowd.
  • Do you have a new item on your menu, a new campaign, or a newly designed home? Include it in your ‘New Arrivals’ board as well as your theme-based boards.

Top Tip:

Keep your best content above the fold. Only the top two rows (and first ten boards) will show above the fold, and only the top five completely. Make sure you’re displaying your best.


4. Etsy Stays Fresh with Guest Pinners


Etsy’s Guest Pinner project brings fresh perspective to their boards. This is a great way to avoid a boring Pinterest account. Bringing in guest pinners also makes the Etsy brand appear more approachable and focused on its customers.


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Etsy’s Pinterest ProfileStats: 86 Boards, 8,074 Pins, 55 Likes, 316,630 Followers, 684 Following

What I like:

  • Switching it up: Etsy’s Guest Pinner Board brings in different points of view and engages their community in content-sharing.
  • Keeping it Updated: Guest Pinners also bring fresh perspectives to Etsy’s boards and keep them updated consistently, taking the load off their social media executives.

How to make it work for you:

  • Ask your followers to take inspired or creative pictures of your products (based on a theme, perhaps): a sexy high-heel against a grungy downtown club, a romantic dinner for two on your restaurant’s terrace*.* Reward your favorites with a coupon and use the runners-up as great content.
  • Bring in a colleague, a former co-worker, your old college roommate who now owns a law firm, even a follower. Have them create a board based on your business and advertise the fresh perspective on your other social media platforms.


5. Whole Foods uses How-to Boards to Become a Trusted Brand


Whole Foods has done a great job of becoming one of the go-to companies on Pinterest for Food-Tips and Tricks. This strategy not only provides great content on Pinterest, it also creates all-important brand trust.


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Whole Foods Pinterest Profile Stats: 56 Boards, 2,382 Pins, 19 Likes, 140,002 Followers, 1,478 Following

What I like:

  • The Stats: Whole Foods’ Food-Tips and Tricks Board has almost 4000 pins and 13,600 followers, making it far and away their most successful.
  • Ensuring their Reputation: Tips and recipes are a great way for Whole Foods to subtly promote its brand. The next time Pinterest users think of making dinner for friends or how to keep apples from going brown in the fridge, they’ll think WholeFoods by association.

How to make it work for you:

  • Whether it’s fashion tips, healthy recipes or weekly coupons, your business has something to offer. Establish yourself through Pinterest as a go-to source for advice and something beneficial and see your sales go up as well.
  • You’re an expert in your own field, or someone in your office is. Have them write some business-related tips and release them daily over a week or a month. Remember to hype them up on your Facebook and Twitter pages.

Top Tip from blogger Shaylee Perez:

Updating Pinterest consistently and often is key in captivating existing followers and generating new ones. It keeps your products and brand name at the top of your follower’s minds and feeds. This makes it more likely that when they are ready to complete a purchase, they will think of you first.


6. Groupon Uses Boards to Inspire their Followers


It’s tempting on Pinterest to post only your own products on your business’ boards. Groupon’s found success in boards like their Urban Retreat Board in another way: posting photos of things that inspire people to buy their products.


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Groupon’s Pinterest Profile Stats: 30 Boards, 2,055 Pins, 1,565 Likes, 1,706 Followers, 659 Following

What I like:

  • Knowing the Stats: Groupon has read the statistic that 70% of people use Pinterest to get inspiration for what to buy (compared to only 17% with Facebook). This is a very different statistic from “70% of people use Pinterest to buy things”.
  • Great pictures: Instead of their actual products, in their Boards you’ll find craft beers, funky modes of transportation, and a woman in a spacesuit in downtown LA. Not because Groupon sells these deals, but because they inspire their customers to engage in those deals Groupon does sell.

How to make it work for you:

Remember your Pinterest pictures don’t have to necessarily be your own products. Inspire them with the coolest 10 million dollar hot tub in the world, and they’ll be more likely to buy a 2000 dollar hot tub from you.


7. Jetsetter Uses Competitions Boards to Engage their Fans


Pinterest is a great place to run a photo contest or competition - it’s built for it! Jetsetter started their Jetsetter Curator Boards in which they asked their Fans to submit theme-based photos, brought in a celebrity judge, and watched the engagement roll in.


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Jetsetter’s Pinterest Profile Stats: 48 Boards, 3,108 Pins, 287 Likes, 4,599,097 Followers, 1,140 Following

What I Like

  • Engaging with their Followers: Jetsetter created their Jetsetter Curator Boards in order to engage with their online community.
  • Going Big: They invited over a million of their members (from all platforms) to create and submit boards reflecting travel destinations based on four categories: escape, adventure, style and cosmopolitan
  • Guest involvement: Jetsetter invited Arianna Huffington and the editor-in-chief of Harper’s Bazaar to judge the winning boards.

How to make it work for you:

Pinterest is a great place to base a photo-competition. Promote the competition across all your platforms as well as your website. Invite guests (or your company’s CEO) to judge the competition.

  • Perhaps I’m a little biased here, but Wishpond’s Pinterest Contest App is a great way to up your company’s engagement: beautiful and customizable layouts, mobile-compatibility and a great analytic system to make sure you’re getting the most out of your contest.


Top Tip: Make sure all your Pinterest business profiles are optimized for search engines. Having a great set of boards and content doesn’t mean a whole lot if no one can ever find them. Go to your Pinterest account settings. In the ‘Search Privacy’ tab you will notice that you can hide your business profile from search engines like Google. If this is on, you’re going to need to turn it off.


8. Lush Promotes their Persona with Theme Boards


Lush’s CSR work is well known, and they haven’t neglected that facet of their business on Pinterest. In fact, they’ve used it, in boards like We heart Charity Pot, to set their company apart from other cosmetic companies. Find something in your own organization that makes you a little different, and pin it!


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Lush’s Pinterest Profile Stats: 24 Boards, 1,122 Pins, 2 Likes, 15,614 Followers, 9 Following

What I like:

  • Using Pinterest to promote their corporate social responsibility campaigns: Sharing images of charity work they’re doing can only increase their reputation as an ethical and responsible corporation.
  • Using Pinterest to promote their brand persona: Boards like Vegan Recipes engage with their followers on an individual basis, which social media users love.

How to make it work for you:

Pick your pinterest boards and photos with your brand persona in mind. Offering a gluten-free option at your restaurant or cafe? Be sure to hype it with a recipe and a picture. Sponsoring a t-ball team this season? Why not include some photos of the sponsored uniforms or a team photo?


9. London Drugs Uses Great Images to Focus on Families


London Drugs uses Pinterest, in boards like Kids First , to emphasize their family-friendly brand. (And goodness knows pictures of adorable kids never hurt in marketing).


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London Drugs Pinterest Profile Stats: 20 Boards, 758 Pins, 4 Likes, 428 Followers, 53 Following

What I Like:

  • Pictures of Food and Kids:  London Drugs created their Kids First Board, not only to show off their products, but because they know pictures of food and kids are the #1 and #2 most shared images on social media sites.
  • Knowing the Stats: London Drugs knows that 80% of Pinterest followers are women, and more than 50% have children. They’ll cater to this demographic more on Pinterest than they would on, say, LinkedIn, which has a 70% male demographic.

How to make it work for you:

  • The themes and pictures you choose say a lot about your business. If you’re not a family-centric company you can still accentuate the most appealing and valuable characteristics of your business:
  • Organize your boards based on the season and your most exciting new products (back-to-school, summer fun etc)
  • Organize your boards by different departments, projects and campaigns. This helps your followers find the information they need quickly and easily

 


Top Tip from the master (Robert Anthony - journalist w/ 1.2 million Pinterest followers): “Think vertical. Tall photos look better on Pinterest than fat ones. That’s just the way the site is set up. Cropping photos to make them taller if possible helps.”


10. Home Depot Makes it Easy to Navigate


Home Depot organizes their Pinterest profile like they do their stores. Their board titles, like All About Paint, are straight-forward and Fans know exactly where to find the product, or idea, they’re interested in.


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Home Depot’s Pinterest Profile Stats: 41 Boards, 3,441 Pins, 115 Likes, 7,943 Followers, 578 Following

What I like:

  • Making it Easy: Home Depot keeps each of their boards focused on a single theme.
  • Directing Traffic: Keeping their boards simple and to the point directs traffic towards the board that best targets Follower’s needs.
  • More Boards: Theme-based boards are great as they allow you to create a new board whenever you come up with a new theme.

How to make it work for you:

7 Top Board Theme Ideas

  • Holidays
  • Back-to-school
  • About Us/The Team
  • Corporate Social Responsibility
  • A night on the town
  • Extra-curricular activities
  • For the kids


Conclusion


I hope you found this article useful, and you have a little more confidence using Pinterest for business. Remember to pay close attention to which of your pins (and also which pins _like _yours) are liked and which are re-pinned to inform your content strategy. If it’s hot on Pinterest it will probably resonate with your business community.

Now that you know how to get your boards optimized, you’ll want to learn more about marketing on Pinterest. Read these articles and resources to ensure you’re taking full advantage of all Pinterest has to offer for businesses:

Top 9 Most Common Pinterest Marketing Mistakes

How to Use Pinterest to Increase Sales

Pinterest SEO: A guide for Business

[Infographic] Why Pinterest is Good for Business

Pinterest Contest App

What do you think? Do you use Pinterest to promote your business? Are there any techniques you have found especially useful?

By James Scherer