Does Pinterest have a future in marketing brands?

pintrestPinterest is a fast-growing social bookmarking site that allows users to very visually store and share bookmarks on digital pin boards. The site has grown so much in popularity that it is said that it now drives more traffic than Google+, YouTube and LinkedIn combined.

There is a huge amount of discussion recently regarding the use of Pinterest by companies and brands. The predominantly female audience of the site seems to have made this a popular marketing tool for a number of consumer focused brands, especially within the fashion retail sector.

Companies can create their own profile on the site, although there is no separate account type, so these must be setup in the same way as an individual would create an account. All accounts must also be linked to wither a Facebook or Twitter account, but as they cannot be linked to a Facebook page rather than individual account, a company Twitter account is an essential. The site’s ‘Pin Etiquette’ states that you should avoid self-promotion, therefore simply creating pins to your own company content and/or products is frowned upon – even a company profile must be used in much the same way as an individual, with pins and follows around other relevant content. There are also Pin and Follow buttons that can be integrated into company websites.

Based on the trends we have seen so far, we have begun trialling the ‘Pin’ buttons within some of our more female-orientated brand websites such as and These buttons are provided for users on individual product or article pages to enable them to ‘pin’ (or bookmark) the page for future reference.

At present, however, we have not actively encouraged any of clients to create their own company or brand accounts and begin to interact directly with Pinterest themselves. To do this requires a commitment of quite a lot of time to be invested by a company in order to effectively build and maintain a presence and engagement with users on the website. And with little data yet available about conversion rates and with search engine referrals still dominating, is it really worth such a large investment?