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What can cosmetics and personal care brands do to use Pinterest more effectively?

It is pretty much acknowledged that Pinterest’s main audience is female, with clothing, cosmetics and beauty being some of the main categories found on the site.

I have to say I was a little disappointed that I didn’t see a strong presence from the major cosmetics and personal care companies on Pinterest. some of which are even difficult to find.

Cosmetics and Personal companies exist to make you more beautiful, they are selling beauty, happiness, success, attractiveness, desire, self-esteem, relationships and more through beautiful images.   Thus Pinterest would seem a good choice for cosmetics and personal care brands to be present and share images and information through Pinterest boards.

What can brands do to use Pinterest more effectively?

  • Add a Pinterest “follow” or “pin it” button to their website.
  • Crowdsource – ask fans of your brand to pin pictures of themselves with their favorite product and tag you. After that repin those photos into a VIP board.  Good example:

L’Occitane   593 followers

From my point of view they are running a very successful Pinterest account out of New York. In addition to the lifestyle boards (home, culture & fashion, hand made, nature, food, events, vintage posters, etc), they are doing a great job of repining content from Pinterest and linking it to their online store

  • Focus Group. Glean insights about your target market by looking at the Pinners who follow your brand, what they are pinning, who they are following and who their followers are.
  • Expand your Boards. Get inspiration and ideas of the type of content the Pinterest community favor and expand your boards and pins accordingly. Good example:

Bergdorf Goodman  18240 followers

Retailer Bergdorf Goodman – in addition to regular brands boards, like “Louboutin”, “Tom Ford” and product focused boards, like “Safe Sun”, “Earrings”, “5F Denim Refined”,  “Gifts for Kids”, lifestyle pins like “My life’s work” , “Dec Home Inspiration”,  has very creative and inspiring pinboards, like: “ I never forget..”, “I have a weakness for…”, “If you had $300 to spend…”, “Sundays are made for…”

  • Enhance your brand image. Think about the type of pinboards that will enhance your brand image and use theme-based pinboards to support it.  Good example:

Weleda  a very small account with 49 followers

I like the boards: “our beautiful world”, “fair trade”, “plants leading the world”. My advice is to have more inspiring lifestyle boards and less product boards.

  • Keywords and Hashtags. Optimise each pin by adding keywords that users may be likely to search for. Use multiple hashtags, however bear in mind that too many can look like spam.
  •  Link back to your website. Add a URL in the pin description to bring users to your website/pages. Good example:

L’Oréal Paris (small French account) 294 followers

It is not easy to find the official L’Oreal Pinterest channel and the company will clearly have to do a better job of separating their international accounts for users and followers. The French account I found does have just a few regular boards (Make-up eyes, make-up lips, hair, nails, etc) and one very interesting board: – the brands ambassadors. Many beautiful color and black and white photos are linked back to the company’s website.

  • Comment. Comment by typing @username. People like to know that their pin was helpful.
  • Add Tips. Put tips on a visually appealing slide with a short phrase and link it back to your website /blog.
  • See what is being pinned about your company. Substitute your company URL ( YOUR URL HERE) to see what’s been shared from your website or blog. Example:
  • Encourage comments. Use your new pins and boards as opportunities to converse with users on Pinterest. Create interest by asking a questions (for ex. “Tell us what you think of our new product?”, “Guess where was this photo taken? “.
  • Create a contest. Contests represent one of the new and very popular trends on social media: gamification. Contests will engage your audience, help to build followers and create brand ambassadors. Good example:

Sephora  14130 followers

Sephora has created a new competition called ‘Sephora Color Wash ‘ which keeps things simple and involving.

To participate, users must create a new board titled ‘Sephora Color Wash’ in the Hair & Beauty category, pin the competition page on their board and begin pinning five images featuring their favourite colour, all for the chance to win one of ten $250 Sephora gift cards. All images have to be Sephora products meaning that the brand and its products are not only shared on individual profiles, but also in the categories which more people would view on a daily basis, meaning further exposure for the brand.  Very smart!

  • Video.  Encourage your community to post videos. Good example:

Birchbox  11599 followers

Birchbox stands out as a brand using Pinterest in its creative pinboards. Birchbox pinboards offer seasonal content and content by product-type, as you’d expect from a beauty brand. It’s a great mix of audience segmented content, cross-promotion, and direct and indirect marketing. A special board Birchbox has is “un-boxing” where community members can post videos to see what they got in their Birchboxes. It also directs clients to the Youtube channel. It’s a great example of how to cross-promote content to give a wider audience exposure to the brand.

  • Pin it to unlock.  Good example – GILT, a retailer, who are placing “pin it” buttons next to items for sale as a sharing mechanism. They are taking the whole Pinning trend to another level by allowing users to access special deals on pinned items. The new social commerce feature, “Pin it to Unlock” allows shoppers to unlock a special deal on a GILT Kids products by re-pinning. For example, if a product’s image from Gilt’s site on Pinterest has been pinned 50 times the pin will link to a hidden sale on where shoppers will have the opportunity to purchase the special item.

Infographics source : Mashable Pinterest 

With Pinterest’s continued growth and function, it is the perfect media tool for the beauty industry.

As outlined above there are clearly some early adopters who are already benefiting from having a Pinterest account.  There are, however, many companies who have not even begun to utilise Pinterest.

What are your predictions?

Will we see more and more beauty brands creating accounts and boards?

Which company do you think has used Pinterest the best so far?  And who do you think the beauty brands can learn from?

Please comment on this blog below or join GlobalCosmeticsCommunity to discuss it with your peers.