Salmon Council’s award-nominated Pinterest campaign shines light on best practices for the platform

By Elizabeth Crawford

- Last updated on GMT

Salmon Council’s award-nominated Pinterest campaign shines light on best practices for the platform
With more than 250 million people using Pinterest monthly and 90% of them making purchase decisions weekly based on what they see on their feed or have pinned to their boards, the platform can be a very powerful marketing tool when used correctly.

Unfortunately, executing a strong Pinterest campaign as a brand isn’t as always easy, which makes The National Fisheries Institute’s Salmon Council’s wildly successful, and now award-nominated, Pinterest campaign particularly notable.

In 2018, the Salmon Council launched a multi-faceted Pinterest campaign that generated more than 2.3 million impressions and earned the group nearly a million new followers in less than a year. The rapid success of the organization’s page and status as a powerful “Pinfluencer” also earned the Salmon Council a coveted spot on the short list for the national Platinum PR Awards alongside big names such as Aflac, IBM and Firestone.

Brandon Phillips, senior director of communications and advocacy for the National Fisheries Institute, attributed the campaign’s success in part to its multi-prong approach, which focused on search optimization, group board access, shared content and promoted pins.

He also gave credit to the agency’s partner, Butin Integration Communications, which he said, “spent a significant amount of time combing through Pinterest and gaining insights from the most popular recipe and food pins and influencers on the platform,”​ and using them to “identify trends and similarities from the popular content and then [applying] these learnings to all pins created on behalf of the council.”

Winning strategies

Of these strategies, one of the most successful for the Salmon Council was leveraging Pinterest’s group boards, which Phillips noted are “historically challenging to gain access to as a brand.”

He explained the Salmon Council was able to, however, “because the Butin Integrated Communications team had established relationships with a network of influencers,”​ which meant they “were successfully granted access to multiple group boards.”

He added, “This access increased the Council’s organic visibility by nearly 1 million people, allowing its pins to be featured alongside other popular creators on the platform.”

Strategic use of promoted pins also helped the campaign gain traction with the social media platform’s users.

“During National Seafood Month (October), we promoted certain recipe pins that were created as part of the Council’s influencer campaign. The Council targeted Pinterest users searching for similar-type recipes,”​ Phillips explained.

Not everything worked as initially planned

While Phillips noted that the Council saw a lot of success with its campaign, not everything it tried worked well.

“We measured our performance on a monthly basis to find out what’s working and what’s not. We’re always optimizing. For instance, we found that hashtag usage did not have a major effect on the reach of our content,”​ he said.

The Council also was able to overcome some common challenges by virtue of how it is organized, Phillips said.

“One of the common challenges other brands might face on Pinterest is content curation. But because the Salmon Council is a member organization promoting the consumption of salmon, no matter the type or the brand, we are uniquely poised for Pinterest success,”​ he said, adding, “This non-branded approach is a strategy that other brands my not be able to employ.”

Connecting with consumers in a ‘cooking mindset’

Nonetheless, he said he would recommend the platform to food brands in particular because “Pinterest offers access to users when they are in a cooking mindset, which bodes well for recipe and food-related content overall.”

He added, “the Council has taken advantage of this hungry audience,”​ to promote the mission of the Council to increase consumption of salmon and grow awareness of the fish’s taste and health benefits, connect with consumers when they are in a cooking mindset and influence tastemakers and recipe creators.

The Council will find out Sept. 17 if its hard work won it a national Platinum PR Award, but even if it didn’t, the campaign is clearly a winner among pinners.

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