Social Media

Pinterest Makes a Brand Play with New Business Toolkit

November 14, 2012

Following a wave of consumer enthusiasm for Pinterest – which reached its apex earlier this year – many brands have followed suit, using the highly visual social network as a key pillar to their content strategies. Up until now, brands were granted the same toolbox as consumers when it came to their own Pinterest presences. Yet this week, the platform has unveiled new tools for businesses, including business pages – a move some say represents a “march to monetization.”

Pinterest’s own motives aside, the update marks a significant first step toward understanding the power this platform holds for marketers. In a blog post, Pinterest notes that “thousands” of business have found a home on the platform – and these range from small mom-and-pop shops to some of the biggest brands in the world (our clients Oreo and Smirnoff are among this group). Now, Pinterest wants to help these brands continue to provide “great content.”

Here’s how they’re doing it—

Business pages. Pinterest has unveiled new business pages, and is encouraging marketers to sign up for them in lieu of the standard profile pages brands have been using up until now. For brands with an established following and presence, they’ve made transitioning your account fairly painless.

The new business pages allow marketers to specify a business name (in place of the first name/last name format seen with individual profiles), verify their account, add buttons and widgets to generate more engagement and receive access to future product updates. This last bit indicates that, not surprisingly, Pinterest is investing significantly in creating even more opportunities for marketers in the coming months.

New TOS for brands. Pinterest has also released new terms for businesses, which establish some new provisions specific to businesses that are not found in the terms for people. This is substantial, as better-defined parameters around sweepstakes and promotions might alleviate marketer concerns and convince more large brands to run contests via Pinterest. Without the previous rules, larger companies were reluctant to participate in what was a “wild west” of engagement and activation.

A library of resources. Since Pinterest is relatively new terrain for some marketers, the platform is astutely sharing a wealth of information and learnings for how businesses can optimize their experience there. As noted in their blog post, Pinterest wants to “help businesses interact with people the right way.” To educate marketers, Pinterest is sharing several case studies and best practices to follow.

As Matt Wurst, Director of Communities at 360i, told Adweek’s Chris Heine, this announcement marks “a symbolic first step” toward understanding the value of Pinterest in connecting brands with consumers. With the update, it’s not unreasonable to assume that we’ll soon see an introduction of promoted experiences within the platform expressly designed to help marketers rise above the clutter – similar to the respective ad product roll-outs we saw at Facebook and Twitter during their own maturation.

Matt Wurst contributed to this article.