Pinterest has without a doubt made a name for itself within the industry over the past couple of years. Between record-breaking referral traffic and its highly visual nature, the digital scrapbooking site has become a fan (and marketer) favorite. But despite launching Pinterest for Business, it looks like consumers are still out-performing companies on the platform.

According to a recent study, approximately 70 percent of brand engagement on Pinterest is generated by its members — meaning consumers are pinning brand content outside of your Pinterest accounts. That’s compared to only 30 percent generated by brands pinning something that users repin, comment on, or otherwise interact with.

Two companies, Digitas and Curalate analyzed nearly 10 million pins, repins, comments, likes, and keywords across more than 120 automotive, electronics, and fashion/retail brands. The study found that brands are having a hard time “igniting” interest on the platform.

According to the study, more than 75 percent of Pinterest engagement for the automotive industry is driven by members. More repins were made on community postings than brand pins. In fact, brands received only three repins, on average, while individuals posting about auto products received about 10. Similarly, only 18 percent of fashion retail brands pin items on Pinterest, despite the average retail fashion pin by a brand receiving about 46 repins.

If you want to join the conversation, consider the images you’re sharing. A photo is an extremely powerful marketing tool; choose wisely to tell compelling visual stories that create emotional connections with consumers. Despite its low pinning rate, the fashion industry is doing particularly well here. “Fashion brands have always understood storytelling in a way other brand haven’t,” according to Jordan Bitterman, SVP of Curalate.

As a brand, you shouldn’t look at this as a bad thing. Instead, treat it as an opportunity for growth. The audience is there and they’re engaging with your content — but instead of interacting with the pins you share, they’re finding it on their own. Maybe this means you should pin more, and maybe it means that you’re doing something right with your website and/or blog.

What’s important is that you use tools like Pinterest Analytics to monitor these metrics and determine whether they equal success for the goals you’ve put in place for your brand. If the two don’t align then it’s time to readjust. Check out the resources Pinterest has provided and learn from your peers. Discover what other brands are doing on the platform, and see how you can apply some of the same zest to your Pinterest strategy.

[Via: Mashable, Adweek, Image credit: mkhmarketing]