If you’ve thought of Pinterest as a platform for food and fashion brands, type in the word “fungicide” and see what pops up.

Granted, fungicide doesn’t automatically come to mind when most people think about the popular picture-sharing site. But when you need to identify the white powdery substance that is taking over your prize rose bushes, a “Pin” is worth a thousand words.

Rose fungus is just one example among thousands of plant and garden-related topics on Pinterest. I learned this while developing a content strategy plan for a client that manufactures and markets an all-natural soil amendment made of crushed volcanic rock that is approved for organic use. Dark gray and gritty, it’s a decidedly “unsexy” product—at least in terms of visual appeal. But the results speak for themselves, including healthier soil and stronger, more vigorous plants and blooms.

Still, backyard gardeners and household decision makers (a predominantly female target audience) need to be convinced of the product’s benefits. Pinterest has been one of the most effective social media platforms in this regard.

If you manage an unsexy brand, consider the benefits of Pinterest to connect with new customers and inspire the ones that you already have.

Drives SEO

After just a few weeks of “pinning,” our client’s Pinterest page and boards appeared on the first page of search results for top category keywords. Every single pin, or picture, contains relevant and specific keywords and hashtags that help contribute to high rankings. Don’t stop there, however. When you are setting up your profile, think strategically about your user name and profile, as well as the “about” section and the title names and descriptions of your boards.

From the statistics, it’s not hard to understand why 45% of Fortune 500 companies have at least one corporate Pinterest account:

  • There are over 70 million total Pinterest users
  • 23% of users use Pinterest at least once a day
  • 80% of Pinterest users are female (women make or influence 85% of all purchasing decisions and purchase over 50% of traditional “male” products, including cars and consumer electronics)
  • 18% of Pinterest users have household incomes above $75K

Inspires Creativity

Made of finely ground volcanic basalt, our client’s soil amendment product is difficult to photograph. You can’t see the essential nutrients and trace elements that help remineralize depleted soil and bring it back to health and fertility. What you can see, however, are dramatic “before” and “after” differences—both in the structure of the soil itself (unhealthy soil vs. healthy soil) and in what it yields (larger vegetables, juicier tomatoes and brighter blooms).

Through the power of pictures, Pinterest helps customers—and home and garden retailers—connect the dots between the science of soil and what to expect in their own gardens and farms. It also serves as an inspirational tool. People send in their photos (enormous pumpkins and gigantic zucchini, for example) which we post onto the company’s testimonial boards. In a sense, Pinterest helps gardeners make the mental transition between the application of the product and the harvesting of its rewards.

Supports Strategic Content

Nearly 60% of Pinterest users click on Pins that lead to content in the form of articles, blog posts and photographs while less than half click through to shopping sites. It may be the pictures that capture their attention, but it’s the content that gets them to engage.

This is great news for businesses that sell products that require education and explanation or seek to establish themselves as thought leaders in a specific niche. This has certainly been our client’s experience. The company has seen an increase in traffic to its blog from Pinterest, providing a valuable opportunity to educate home gardeners and organic growers on how to use the product and to discuss the global implications of soil demineralization.

Delivers Customer Insights

On Pinterest, the key to success is striking a balance between content creation and content curation. In other words, companies shouldn’t just self-promote. Actively following other Pinners and sharing content that is applicable to your brand and your beliefs is the way to build a relevant audience. The benefit of Pinterest over other social media channels is that it is easy to see what categories and topics your audience is interested in. Pinterest’s analytics function is also invaluable when thinking about future topics for pins and blog posts.

For example, our client’s Pinterest followers are concerned about a wide variety of topics, including the precipitous decline in pollinator populations. By sharing relevant findings and promoting the pins of well-respected organizations like the Xerces Society, our client is building awareness for its bee-friendly brand in a non-promotional, educational way.

Helps Organize and Categorize

Pinterest is a collector’s dream. Unlike Facebook and Twitter, Pinterest provides an easy and intuitive way to collect, categorize and retrieve images and ideas. For businesses, it serves as an important repository for information that is buried on other social media sites or deep within the pages of a company website.

For companies that regularly introduce new products or whose goods are driven by the seasons, Pinterest helps organize information to make it more accessible based on immediate consumer needs. Our client has sections dedicated to gardening in each of the four seasons (e.g., “What to do in the fall garden”). The company also attends dozens of events and home and garden shows throughout the year. Instead of just listing events on its website, the company posts photos of its sales team, its trade booth, special product offers and snapshots of smiling attendees. Pinterest provides the company with a logical way to upload keyword-optimized photos that might otherwise stay archived on a salesperson’s cell phone (and which help contribute to awareness and recognition within an industry niche).

Is Easy to Use

Last but not least, Pinterest is easy to use and easy to integrate with other social media platforms, helping to boost cross-promotion and promote social bonding. Used consistently, Pinterest not only inspires creative, visual thinking but also helps companies build new audiences and gain valuable exposure for their brands.