Has your financial institution taken the plunge into Pinterest yet? Industry wide, the jury is still out on whether or not this social media platform is the right choice for financial institutions. Many consultants and industry experts are saying financial institutions should steer clear of Pinterest, because it values visual imagery over conversation and because Pinterest’s predominant audience is women.

“Our answer to that has always been, ‘that’s okay,’ said Lori Ho, digital marketing manager at Boeing Employees Credit Union (BECU) ($11.4 billion) in Washington state.  “Females make a lot of the financial decisions in the house and they pay the bills. We feel like that’s a pretty good fit.”

BECU has had a presence on Pinterest for a year and has proven it can work when executed properly. When just posting financial content didn’t generate traffic, the credit union launched a Pinterest promotion in conjunction with the Seattle How Show. They pinned content live from the show, then followed it up after the home show with consistent, quality content that focused on home improvements. The final component of the promotion was an “Unflattering Room” contest. Members were invited to create a pinboard on their own Pinterest pages, title it BECU HOME and load five pictures of one unflattering room in their homes. BECU promoted the contest on Pinterest, Twitter, Facebook, in their newsletter and on their website.

“Everything we did tied to home equity or home improvement, with the idea that you can redo any room in your house,” said Ho. “Our goal was to have fun and start engaging with our audience.”

Followership on BECU’s Pinterest page increased by more than 200 percent (nearly 400 additional followers) as a result of the promotion. Home equity line-of-credit usage went through the roof with more than 500 new home equity transactions from people who could be tracked through various marketing channels.

There are several reasons why BECU’s Pinterest campaign was successful. Read all of them in the June 2013 issue of our monthly e-newsletter. You’ll also find tips on how your financial institution might be successful on Pinterest.