Visit Chobani Greek Yogurt's Pinterest "pins" page
, and you'll see a lot more than what you might have for breakfast. Next to a picture of pasta with vodka sauce, you'll see a diagram for how to do step exercises. Next to that is a painting of a Paris walkway. A little further down the page, there's a letterpress image explaining what creativity is.
"For any brand that really promotes a lifestyle, I think it makes perfect sense," says Emily Schildt, digital communications manager for Chobani. "There's really a larger story to tell on Pinterest."
Yogurt certainly plays a big role in Chobani's Pinterest presence—two of the company's 17 boards focus on creating recipes using Chobani products—but many of the boards aren't about selling more cups, she says. They offer an extension of the brand, in terms of its personality and philosophy.
It's been working. In just a few months on the site, Chobani has racked up nearly 1,900 followers and a lot of interest.
Chobani's Pinterest presence started at home, Schildt says. "I started playing around with it on a personal level and just immediately became obsessed with it."
Schildt noticed that a good number of Pinterest users liked to post recipes and pictures of products, so she started looking to find whether folks were posting photos of Chobani cups and recipes. "I found that a lot of people were," she says.
Schildt saw an opportunity to tie a Chobani Pinterest page to the company's Chobani Kitchen website, a recently launched site where the company works with bloggers to create and promote recipes. So the company launched its Pinterest presence in October with Chobani Kitchen as one of its boards.
"We just started with a couple of boards, and it just kind of evolved into what we have now," Schildt says.
Given Chobani's established presences on Twitter and Facebook, convincing the bosses wasn't too difficult, she says. "Social media's really at the core of our company. We're still a relatively small company, so we don't really have those strict processes and stiff rules that other companies have."
Almost immediately, Pinterest users started repinning the photos and videos that Chobani was sharing Schildt says. The company got a big response from Twitter and Facebook fans who were glad to see the company expand to Pinterest. The only negative feedback, she says, came from people who didn't have invitations to the site yet.
Since joining Pinterest a few months ago, Schildt has noticed some major differences between it and other social media sites. "What's unique about Pinterest," she says, "in comparison to some of the other social networks we're a part of, is that the users can really choose the content they want to see from us."
Chobani's biggest board is its Chobaniac Creations board, where folks share their kitchen concoctions, though the Nothing But Good board, where the company's team repins inspirational statements, isn't far behind. Then there's the Chobani Fit board, the nutrition board, the travel board, and the "sans yogurt" board.
There's even a "flavor inspiration" board where people can visually suggest new yogurt flavors. People often suggest flavors on Twitter and elsewhere, says Schildt. "We thought it'd be cool if some of those contributions could actually be visually represented somewhere," she says.
Some of the content on Chobani's Pinterest page—particularly the Chobani Kitchen recipes—is original, but much of it is user-generated content that Schildt's team shares with followers via repins. "We follow a great group of folks," she says. Many of the people Chobani follows on Pinterest are the same folks it follows on Twitter.
The company uses a monitoring system to find many of the items that end up on the Chobaniac Creations board, and the team keeps an eye on the popular pins to see what fits their boards. "We have a very good gut check for what's on brand," Schildt says.
Two months after launching Chobani's Pinterest page—she's been managing the company's social media accounts solo—Schildt was provided a team of three additional people.
Most of that manpower isn't going toward Pinterest, however, because that site is all about sharing and liking rather than commenting, a difference Schildt calls "very refreshing." Rather than taking time to compose the perfectly worded tweet or carefully respond on Facebook, Pinterest users will simply have a feeling about something and then share it.
"It's sort of the social network you can interact with between managing your other social networks," she says.
Even so, you can end up doing too much on Pinterest, Schildt says. "You definitely can have too many boards. We're already thinking about readjusting our strategy."
Ideally, a company should have around 10 boards, she says. "If you find yourself not pinning to a certain board, you should get rid of it."
Matt Wilson is a staff writer for Ragan.com.