38418 Pin This. Adding Pinterest to Your Social Strategy

Sjonna Paulson, APR, Oklahoma Tobacco Settlement Endowment Trust, Oklahoma City, OK and Rachel Merritt, Bachelor of Arts, Social Media Department, VI Marketing and Branding, Oklahoma City, OK

Background:  The Tobacco Settlement Endowment Trust (TSET) has focused funding on reducing Oklahoma’s leading risk factors for preventable death – tobacco use and obesity – in order to reduce cancer and heart disease in the state.

Program background:  TSET’s "Shape Your Future" (SYF) campaign supports Oklahomans’ efforts to eat better, move more and be tobacco free. This public education intervention employs informative, aspirational and motivational messaging, as well as free online tips and tools. It's designed to help Oklahomans embrace health where they live, work, learn and play. SYF utilizes a variety of social platforms, but with 45% of women online using Pinterest, it is an important tool for SYF to reach its target audience of Oklahoma women, ages 18 – 49. The strategy for Pinterest converges with Paid Search and Search Engine Optimize (SEO) efforts. SYF optimizes all posts to ensure its Pinterest strategy aligns with these tactics and supports all keyword development. Additionally, each post is developed into a “rich pin,” providing users context and additional information directly under the pin. The rich pin metadata is pulled from the SYF website and lives independently from the pin description. This ensures no matter how a user describes or saves a SYF pin, the brand has quality control over keywords. In turn, rich pins rank higher in search results and receive higher engagement. According to Pinterest, 93% of active users on the platform are planning for a purchase. Additionally, 42% of users report using Pinterest to search instead of a search engine. SYF intends to capture this audience through engaging content and encourage them to make the healthy choice next time they’re shopping for their family. 

Evaluation Methods and Results:  The platform consistently delivers positive results for SYF through website actions and on platform metrics. For example, with 3% of total social traffic in Q1 2017 originating from Pinterest, the platform delivered 20.96% of all social website actions and maintained an 18% action rate, higher than any other social platform. This demonstrates traffic that derives from the platform is highly qualified and are likely to perform desired website actions, such as watching video content, downloading recipes and engaging with healthy resources. 

Conclusions:  The Pinterest audience is highly active and motivated. The public health communication team is maximizing efforts on a social platform that does not require a high level of management, but consistently provides high-level results. There are cost-efficient ways to extend your campaign by thinking about how to format work you are already doing, and creating a Pinterest strategy for that work. 

Implications for research and/or practice:  Pinterest can provide stand-alone results for any initiative, but added value is available to brands that are able to integrate efforts ensuring keywords align across digital tactics.