Michael Kors is a luxury women’s and men’s fashion brand with high-quality clothing, bags, shoes, watches, and accessories. Michael Kors has 14 boards, 2500+ pins, and over 150k Pinterest followers! In comparison to their followers, Michael Kors is dominating with over 3x more followers than their highest-followed competitor Ralph Lauren with 50k followers. Some others include Coach, Inc. with 40k followers, Guess with 15k Pinterest followers, dkny pr girl has 16k, and Calvin Klein doesn’t have a Pinterest account. The following case study shares what Michael Kors is doing right, what could be improved on, and pros and cons to their overall Pinterest strategy.
What Michael Kors is doing right
Michael Kors’ boards have a great aesthetic that accurately match the brand’s image and lifestyle. By mixing products and inspiration seamlessly, MK’s team has been able to do a great job at painting the picture to what their customers interests are, where they travel, their taste, how they’re living, and their overall style.
Their boards also each have custom board covers which shows they’re taking the time to make their Pinterest look well put-together and memorable to fans. I am a big fan of their boards as well. Most of their boards nicely balance products and inspiration and organize pins by color and seasonal theme. Their All Access Kors board is my favorite. It shows new and upcoming styles with coordinating inspirational images to match the color schemes nicely.
MK had an online campaign for Mother’s Day last year, “What She Wants,” which asked consumers (aimed at daughters in need of a last-minute gift) to select products they’d like to win for their mom (with the option to buy). It mostly lived on Facebook but also asked fans to hashtag #WhatSheWants on Twitter and featured a Pinterest board called What She Wants (now called Gift Me) with a Pinterest contest for two pinners to randomly be chosen to each get a $500 MK gift card. Nice concept and creative!
One of MK’s greatest accomplishments on the platform has been their great job at sticking to the 80/20 rule (80% inspiration, 20% their products). This rule particularly applies to images with white backgrounds, aka: product shots. In the screenshot below you can an example of how well MK pins just one white background brand pin for every 5 pins across.
An example of the great color themes MK is curating onto their The Color Edit board with the 80/20 rule integrated well.
What Michael Kors could improve on
Michael Kors has 16 million Facebook likes, 2.3 million Twitter followers, and 3 million Instagram followers. So although 150k Pinterest followers sounds impressive, their potential to reach a million Pinterest followers is very likely and their current following falls way below their potential. From this perspective their Pinterest strategy actually has a lot of room for improvement.
Their website has a pin it button if you click their share button first (seen below). This is fine but requires an extra step for people to pin. Having the share buttons already displayed promotes more shares!
Example of using the pin it button on their site.
When a brand has a very high social following on every main platform except Pinterest, the first thing I suggest the brand do is make it a routine to share a pin link, board link, or even just a link to their Pinterest page to their other highly-followed social pages regularly, letting their existing followers know that YES we have a Pinterest and YES you should follow it if you’re a true MK fan.
After doing a little digging, Michael Kors hasn’t posted about their Pinterest on their Facebook or Twitter accounts for months. This is a HUGE missed opportunity. With their large and loyal fan base, the opportunity to convert many of those fans to MK Pinterest followers shouldn’t be ignored. It doesn’t have to be spammy or affect your current social strategy. Just aim to post one to two links a week on a different social platform or two.
Their Street Style board also shares a lot of horizontal and Instagram-sized images which aren’t necessarily going to perform as well as they could. I recommend they attach more location-based pins and try to stick to pinning vertical images at least 80% of the time.
Their Jet Set Place Pins board is a nice idea but they’ve only shared a few pins that are actually attached to a location on the map. Out of 164 pins total, only 37 have places attached. That leaves most of the map bare. Never make a board mapped unless you’re going to attach locations to at least 2/3rds of pins.
Last Valentine’s Day MK had an Instagram contest called #FallingInLoveWith. This could have been amplified on Pinterest asking fans to pin what they really want. These are especially effective during the holidays (aka: now) where a brand asks fans to pin their favorite products to a holiday wish list board for a chance to win. Obviously chances are 99% won’t win… but from their hopes of winning, many who enter may just buy it for themselves anyway as a treat or ask a family member to buy! The trick is to make the contest end in late November or early December so when fans realize they didn’t win, they can still ask a family member to buy it for them for the holidays and it won’t be too late.
Another loss? They don’t have Rich Pins! A big missed opportunity for higher repins and sales since none of their product pins will have eye-catching bold headings and additional information, like if the product is in stock, the price, if it’s on sale, and the brand name.
– Good number of boards (although an even 15 is ideal).
– Nice variety of board themes. (food, travel, fashion, products, color theme, celebrities)
– Nice board covers (although colors could be better evenly spaced out).
– Simple board names like ‘Street Style’ are a smart idea for higher Pinterest search results.
– Pin It/share button on their site promotes pinning of their products by fans.
– Although their In The Bag board is 95% products, they share products in batches of colors making it pleasing to the eye. Creative! Nice job MK.
– Their boards aren’t just a million products, with the exception of a few which are either organized by color or somewhat spaced out amongst inspirational pins.
– Images are fairly nice sizes for Pinterest (although should be a little longer).
– Their Twitter account is attached to their Pinterest profile.
– Social Icons on their site include Pinterest.
– They definitely DON’T pin as often as they should! (Ideally, 15-25 pins/day).
~ They’ve only pinned 20 pins in the last 6 weeks. They should be pinning that much per day.
– No Rich Pins (big loss!)
– Their watch board could use more inspirational images. They could tweak the theme to be around a location or style so it’s not just products shared. (ie: NYC, Jetsetters, Businessman, London, etc…)
– They very rarely tweet about Pinterest.
– They never post about Pinterest on Facebook.
By pinning on point with their customers’ tastes, Michael Kors has been able to capture the life behind their products on Pinterest. Their boards share inspiration behind upcoming clothing lines in such a beautiful way, I commend their social team for being able to visually recreate the patterns with pins so creatively. Instead of just pinning a ton of products, MK follows the 80/20 rule while both sharing their favorite products and inspiring their fans. Their one main downfall? They don’t support their Pinterest on their other, very-successful social accounts. Even just by adding a widget to their fan emails or tweeting about one of their boards weekly, their following would grow a lot faster. For now, I recommend they keep pinning with creativity and uphold the aesthetic they’ve had thus far. Who knows, maybe by the end of 2015 their main focus on social will be Pinterest, the ‘Kor’ driver behind their online sales.
The All Access Kors board shares inspiration for the 2015 Spring Collection. Beautiful & creative!
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