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3 Companies Winning on Pinterest

By Andrew Marder – Apr 2, 2013 at 7:30PM

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These brands have made Pinterest a part of their overall strategy, and the numbers speak for themselves.

For those of you not in the know, Pinterest is the up-and-coming social network where you interact by sharing pictures of desks that you'd like to build or workout routines that you'll never do but like the idea of. It's also a major source of inspiration for the resurgence in home crafting and DIY that's washing over the U.S. Users can share items by repinning them, and can follow brands and users that they love. The opportunity for consumer brands is massive, and Pinterest is looking to capitalize. The company recently started exploring ways to monetize its system, since it currently makes no money -- shocker. But it's helping other companies share their love, and here are three big ones.

Put a bird on it
Let's start out with a baseline reading with Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia (MSO.DL). The queen of domestic perfection in the U.S., Stewart has an impressive 150,000 followers of her personal Pinterest page, where she shares food, product, and vacation ideas. For Stewart, the system is a step removed from revenue generation, as most of her pinnings are ideas or recipes, which don't link directly to her websites. The goal is sharing the Stewart ideal of do-it-yourself perfection, instead of generating additional revenue.

That's too bad, because she could use a bit more revenue. Last quarter, revenue at Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia fell 9%. That fall was largely due to declines in broadcasting and publishing that stemmed from the ending of some shows and magazines. Merchandising picked up, though, and the company will continue to focus on that business to drive revenue. A closer tie-in with Stewart's followers would be a great -- and cheap -- place to start.

The yoga lifestyle
Putting Martha to shame, lululemon athletica (LULU 1.09%) has amassed about 2 million followers on Pinterest, making it one of the most popular brands out there. The company has made the most of the ability to interact with its fans by pinning items that link directly back to the company's site. On its Pinterest page, there are separate areas for different clothing lines, sports, and causes.

While the company's excellent online store has played a large role in driving e-commerce revenue, I'm sure Pinterest traffic has been helpful. The company generated 14% of its revenue online last year, earning $197 million. That was an 86% jump in revenue, and has paved the way for lululemon's push into international locations, using the online presence as a major tool. As of last year, Pinterest was making waves across the globe, and the following lululemon has built should help drive real sales.

Getting personal with everyone
At the top of the heap, Nordstrom (JWN 1.00%) is sitting back with more than 4 million Pinterest followers. The company has separate boards for its catalog, special events, current trends, and just about every kind of event you might buy clothes for. It even has a cat page, just for the YouTube addicts among us. Links move customers directly to the Nordstrom shop, allowing you to effectively shop from the Pinterest page. It is an excellent example of using the social Web to drive business.

It shouldn't be surprising that Nordstrom is at the leading edge of this technology. The company has been a leader in omnichannel selling, focusing on mobile and Web shopping experiences. Last year, Nordstrom was racking up 100,000 visits from mobile users every day. That resulted in mobile sales accounting for 20% of total sales in 2012. As it turns out, investing in a 112-year-old department store is one of the best ways to get in on cutting-edge technology. Who knew?

Fool contributor Andrew Marder has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends lululemon athletica. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

Stocks Mentioned

Lululemon Athletica Stock Quote
Lululemon Athletica
$385.99 (1.09%) $4.17
Nordstrom Stock Quote
$20.20 (1.00%) $0.20
Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, Inc. Stock Quote
Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, Inc.

*Average returns of all recommendations since inception. Cost basis and return based on previous market day close.

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