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Lessons From Sony on Pinterest

Do you think a big budget and a team of social media and marketing pros could guarantees success in social media? Unfortunately, even that doesn’t guarantee success but we can learn a lot from those that have those resources.

Lessons From Sony on Pinterest

In the video below, Callan Green, Senior Social Media Specialist at Sony Electronics, reveals Pinterest strategies and tactics used by Sony that even those with the smallest budgets can use.

Callen discusses how and why Sony launched a Pinterest account, what they have done to grow their following and how they have grown their presence.

I’ve noted key points in the video that we can incorporate into our own Pinterest accounts.



Notable moments


Launching the account

1:03 The Sony social media team was inspired to launch their Pinterest account not only because of all of the buzz and popularity surrounding the site but because each member had a personal experience with Pinterest. According to Callen, each of them had purchased something that they discovered through Pinterest. There they realized Pinterest’s “power for purchase.”


1:27 There was some hesitation to launching a Pinterest account because Sony isn’t considered a “girly brand” but they went to the basics of marketing and started listening. They looked at what people were already pinning from Sony to Pinterest and they were surprised at what they found.

Sony is a large business with a long history but this doesn’t mean that smaller businesses can’t learn from Sony’s approach. You can listen on Pinterest by observing what is being pinned to Pinterest in your industry. For example, you might have just launched a new business but a simple search for related product or services on Pinterest can tell you if the users of Pinterest are pinning it. It can also tell you what kinds of images and topics they find pin-worthy related to your product or service.


2:15 Even though they had done some research and had a good indication that Pinterest would be appropriate to dedicate time and resources to, it wasn’t a sure bet. They launched a 3 month test period where they really were really engaged and active on Pinterest. They knew it would take time to experiment and test before they could really tell if Pinterest was a good place for them. Give your account some time to grow and then evaluate.


2:53 During the initial launch of the account Sony first reached out to their existing audience. They encouraged their employees to engage with them on Pinterest. Even if you don’t have thousands of employees like Sony, you can invite your friends, family and people you have a business relationship with to your Pinterest account.


Sony on Pinterest


4:08 They wrote a blog post about their account to let people know why they launched their Pinterest account what they intended to do with it. They also asked what their readers would like to see them pin. It seems that Sony didn’t get a huge response right away. Despite that, the continued with their account, they understood that on Pinterest they would be reaching a different audience that what was reading their blog at the time.


4:50 The Sony team realized that they needed “a strategy for maintaining momentum.” they collaborated with their email team to reach out to their audience beyond social media. The included images and Pin it buttons in their emails, you can do the same.


6:48 Soon after launching their account, Sony realized that creativity with images on Pinterest can go along way. Callen states it “doesn’t matter how small your brand is” you can create content, get creative.  Use what you have, you probably have a smart phone with a camera and there are many free resources available online for image creating.


8:15 Once the Pinterest account was up and running, they used community (group) boards to maintain the momentum of the account. They created their own and joined others. To minimize the risk of spam or other inappropriate activity, they gave a clear description of what was to be pinned to that board and closely monitored it. They also engaged with those who were pinning  good content and encouraged them to pin more.


Sony's Pinterest group board with American Airlines
Sony’s Pinterest group board with American Airlines


Best practices

10:50 They learn from their pins. Sony looks at “what is getting the most repinned and why.” They learned that timing of their pins in relation to what’s happening offline could impact their success. Pin content that’s relevant to what’s happening offline, movie releases, holidays and seasons.

11:46 “Time and time again, we’ve been proven wrong.” Even with a big budget and team of professionals, Sony is still experimenting and learning. We should do the same. However, we can monitor their account and learn from their success and failures.

12:21 Use short Pin descriptions. Give a useful and searchable piece of information but just enough to spark their curiosity. This encourages a click through to their site for more information.

13:53 Some of the most popular categories on Pinterest are food, fashion, and home decor. Sony wanted to leverage the popularity these categories and did so by aligning these categories with their brand and their audience. Though not clear from their board’s description, Callen states that they teamed up with food bloggers who use Sony products for images to pin to their ‘Get in My Belly’  recipe board to attract new followers. Go ahead and venture in to categories outside of your industry but do so in way that makes sense and make it clear to your followers.


Will you be using any of these tips or strategies in your pinning? Let us know in the comments below.


  1. Avatar

    I love incorporating the pin it button into email. I think that is such a good idea!

  2. Avatar

    Great video. I really like the concept of expanding your audience and brand awareness by getting into categories in a creative way that are outside your brand.

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