I scream, you scream, we all scream… for optimized, well-attended to brand Pinterest accounts. Ben & Jerry’s is a well-loved brand that is excelling on all of its social media accounts…. except on Pinterest. In October of 2013, they had a little over 3k followers. Now they have a little over 5k followers… very slow growth! With over 7.5 million Facebook likes, over 225k Twitter followers, and over 400k Instagram followers, their potential to gain hundreds of thousands to millions of Pinterest followers is very promising… not to mention how food on Pinterest is a top category. With creative board themes, great general social media following, and the ideal product to promote on Pinterest, Ben & Jerry’s has the perfect ingredients for a successful Pinterest strategy… they just need to put in a little more effort to churn out a high following.
With 23 boards and only less than 800 pins, it’s clear that they don’t pin often (ideally 15-25 pins/day). They only pin a handful of pins every few weeks! Although their board themes are creative, if they never promote their Pinterest none of their fans will know they have one and if they never pin, their existing followers won’t engage. This case study explains how a solid brand with a struggling Pinterest presence can take hold of their Pinterest strategy and accumulate the following they should have.
What Ben & Jerry’s is doing right
In comparison to their main competitors on Pinterest, Ben & Jerry’s is at about the same level of followers, although a little ahead. Breyers, Dreyer’s, Baskin Robbins, Häagen-Dazs, Cold Stone Creamery, Blue Bunny, Ciao Bella Gelato, Dairy Queen, and Magnum Ice Cream all have profiles with less than 4k followers.
Ben & Jerry’s Pinterest’s best attribute? Creative board themes! Their Fan Photos Pinterest board establishes a fun community between their fans and the love of ice cream. It gets followers and customers excited to buy the product in hopes that their photos may make it onto the board. Their That’s what she said board share funny ice cream pictures, memes, and cartoons sure to make you smile! Their Ice Cream board is very branded-heavy but has fun content. Inspired Flavors shares other content with flavors and ingredients similar to Ben & Jerry’s ice creams. It’s always a great idea to highlight some other content on Pinterest to complement your own products – a great board!
What Ben & Jerry’s could improve on
With over 7.5 million Facebook Likes, how can Ben & Jerry’s only have 5k Pinterest followers, especially when food is one of top categories on Pinterest? #1 reason: Lack of promotion. If Ben & Jerry’s installed a Pinterest Facebook App and shared links to their pins and boards weekly – their followers would love to follow them on Pinterest if only they knew the account existed!
Negative: Ben & Jerry’s Facebook page does NOT have a Pinterest app (free!) Also, as far as I can tell, Ben & Jerry’s has NEVER posted on FB about its Pinterest or any pins. Fail!
So why else hasn’t Ben & Jerry’s accumulated more followers on Pinterest? 2) They don’t nearly pin as often as they should, 3) Their boards aren’t well-filled in, 4) Their images’ sizes aren’t optimized for Pinterest, and 5) Their website is not Pinterest friendly.
Ben & Jerry’s promotional pins aren’t optimized at all! It’s obvious these square-shaped images were taken from Instagram and Facebook posts. Optimizing for Pinterest would be a big plus! The ideal pin size is vertical at 730 x 1200 pixels – not a square.
The biggest issue I see with Ben & Jerry’s Pinterest is how rarely they pin. After looking at their latest pins now, their last pin was pinned 2 weeks ago and their 10th most recent pin was shared 7 weeks ago. This is so bad! They need to aim to pin a variety of 15-25 pins per DAY, not 15-25 every few months.
Ben & Jerry’s also does not have Rich Pins. Their images that pin off of their website look too small (colored bars on the sides) or they look strange with a black background due to PNG files.
In review, Ben & Jerry’s has not committed to a unique Pinterest strategy. Instead of optimizing their photos and creative content for Pinterest, they share Instagram-sized content. (No platform followers like being second or third choice!) Pinterest is such a well-followed an engaged platform, it deserves its own Pinterest strategy. Ben & Jerry’s needs to consider creating more seasonal boards, establishing a consistent daily pinning routine, optimizing their website images as JPEGs (not PNGs) and promoting their Pinterest on their other social media platforms. I’m sure a large amount of their combined 8 million+ followers would love to follow them on Pinterest after it’s more filled out.
This pin on ‘That’s what she said’ is cute and funny – yet the dimensions are not optimized for Pinterest. Using Instagram-sized images is fine, but if cropping is a possibility – always aim for vertical pins (730×1200 pixels is most ideal!)
- Creative board themes (like this Fan Photos board).
- 23 boards (although more ideal is 30 – 40).
- Nice pins with fun content; cute animals with ice cream? We’d love to follow that!
- Verified profile URL (checkmark next to URL).
- Twitter attached to profile.
- They are following a good amount of people (almost 1k).
- They share other blog and pinners’ content, like recipes.
- Great following on other social accounts (huge potential to increase followers quickly).
- Nice board names (simple names are best for accounts with lower followings).
A comparison to how their website’s ice cream pint images COULD pin from the website (left) to how they actually pin as a PNG (right) to show how light background color can make a major, positive difference in pin appeal!
- Board covers lack cohesiveness (change them weekly – it keeps things interesting!)
- Most boards have less than 50 pins.
- Group board (with their marketing manager?)
- Ben & Jerry’s website is not optimized for Pinterest.
- No Rich Pins.
- Facebook doesn’t promote Pinterest at all.
- Images are taken from other social media platforms.
- Very low following (they could easily get to 50k+ by the end of this year)
- They very rarely tweet about Pinterest (haven’t since Oct 2013!)
Ben & Jerry’s has very strong potential to be highly followed and the most-followed ice cream on Pinterest by far… even one of the top food brands on Pinterest. If their social team commits to pinning daily, promoting their Pinterest boards and pins on other social, making and managing seasonal boards regularly, and creating content that’s optimized for Pinterest specifically (not just reposted after going onto Facebook and Instagram), the results would speak for themselves.
By sharing their company history, a peek inside their factories, and brand values through Pinterest, they’re connecting with customers on a new level. Ben & Jerry’s should aim to inspire pinning customers to buy ice cream all while associating brand fun, values, and the love of ice cream. Ben & Jerry’s Vermont board is a creative connection focusing on where the brand originated from. I recommend they make this a place pins board! (See Lululemon’s Vancouver Place Pins board as a great example).
Ben & Jerry’s Fan Photos board shares cute and funny pins.
If Ben & Jerry’s created seasonal boards, they could pin to these themes in a relatable, easy, and fun way! I can think of a bunch of board topics they could create off of the top of my head right now: 4th of July, Summer Scoops, Music Festival Fashion, Tie Dye, Party Planning, Ice Cream and Baby Animals, and Ben & Jerry’s Around the World. By creating seasonal and popular board themes and integrating the product and brand into those boards, they can connect with people’s current interests on a deeper, more personal level!
Just by committing to sharing on their other social media platforms weekly and regularly pinning, their following would grow significantly. They have the power to inspire everyone’s summer mantra to be: Peace, Love, and Ice Cream. Until they fully commit to Pinterest, we’ll continue to enjoy eating ridiculous amounts of Phish Food and New York Super Fudge Chunk while pinning our dream lives.
Have questions about how you can optimize your content for Pinterest, increase your following, or improve your Pinterest account? Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org!
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