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Luxury brands need a search and social strategy for Pinterest

March 6, 2014

Thomas Stern is senior vice president of client services for ZOG Digital


By Thomas Stern

Having a digital marketing strategy is now a must for luxury brands looking to boost their customer base in an increasingly competitive field.

Luxury Interactive reports that 63 percent of luxury marketers think that digital spending will move in front of other marketing avenues such as print, television and loyalty programs by 2015.

Luxury customers are online and using social media at an ever-expanding pace.

Abrahams Research reports that 80 percent of affluent households, which is measured by incomes of at least $240,000, have at least one social media profile.

A case study from Morspace found households of $100,000 or more spend on average 23 hours a week on the Web.

A report from the L2 ThinkTank showed that luxury brands that invested in their digital presence increased their Web site traffic by 52 percent.

Compare that to just an 8 percent gain for luxury brands that did not improve their digital footprint. Some luxury brands are already finding success on Pinterest, specifically.

It is clear that any luxury brand ignoring social media marketing is missing out on reaching existing customers and forgetting about one of the largest avenues to reach potential consumers who have the ability to purchase luxury items, which when combined, means missing out on potential revenue.

Securing social status with Pinterest
One of the best ways for luxury brands to attract affluent women using social media is Pinterest.

Pew’s research puts Pinterest as the fastest-growing social network right now, with more than a fifth of Americans signed up.

One third of all women in the U.S. use Pinterest.

Pinterest users are also more affluent than other social networking bases, with 28.1 percent of users making more than $100,000 a year.

Pinterest best practices for luxury brands
Optimization for Pinterest is essential for any luxury brand looking to drive sales through the image-based social networking site.

Before starting a Pinterest page, luxury brands should first invest time into planning so as to secure the best possible results when the plans are executed at a high level.

Best practice tip #1: Board organization
Luxury brands have the ability to create Pinterest boards that can not only be found through searches on the social media site, but also through Google searches as well.

While subject to change, we have found that Google views Pinterest as an authority for search queries that include the term “ideas.”

Organic search results include Pinterest in position #2 for the query, “Interior Decorating Ideas.”

Some other luxury-specific Google search queries that index Pinterest results include “luxury watch ideas” and “luxury car ideas.”

Instead of organizing pins by collection, luxury brands should organize them through a board theme or idea.

Each board also has its own description field that should be used.

Also, boards should be grouped by the appropriate category within Pinterest. The more targeted and optimized the board, the more likely it can be found by both users search on Pinterest and Google.

Best practice tip #2: Image selection
Use high-quality images

● Pinterest is a visually based social networking site, so luxury brands should show off their goods through high-resolution images.

Luxury brands work hard to build and maintain strong reputations for both the company and the products. That branding should carry over into all social media marketing strategies.

Use action-oriented images

● Eye-catching images that are professionally taken entice users to view any given pin and eventually make the purchase.

Instead of just having the image of a watch, use one of the watch being worn. Instead of using a picture of a car on lot, use one of the car being driven.

Best practice tip #3: Pin creation for visibility and action
Include well-written descriptions of the item, including the price

● Inside Pinterest, pins are searchable through their descriptions. So, luxury brands should create the most detailed description possible so that users can find it through a variety of keyword searches.

When a dollar amount is included, it is showcased directly on the pinned image.

Brands that include the price of items on the pin are 36 percent more likely to entice users to click the link and purchase the item, according to a study from Shopify.

Link from the image directly to the appropriate Webpage

● Many brands forget the link entirely or only link to a homepage when creating pins.

Users who click on links are specifically looking for that product and may want to even purchase immediately.

Therefore, brands should link to Webpages where that product can be bought, and not force potential customers to search for it again on the company’s Web site.

SEARCH ENGINES and social networks are the two most common ways for consumers to research and discover brands and products.

When combined, search and social marketing strategies applied to Pinterest have the ability to increase visibility and sales for luxury-based businesses in a cost-effective way.

Thomas Stern is senior vice president of client services for ZOG Digital, an independent digital marketing company in Scottsdale, AZ. Reach him at