Although Pinterest is younger than most of its social media peers, the site's referral traffic is already equal to that of Twitter, according to research from Shopify. Further, its users are 10 percent more likely to buy than people visiting retail pages from other social sites.
(Read more: Twitter tests a new look)
That's a step toward tying e-commerce sales to social media, a practice that has been slow to take off.
Because it's comfortable with experimenting, Target has been a pioneering retailer in the social sphere, experts said. The company promotes gift cards on Facebook, encouraging users to give their friends Target credit on their birthdays, and operates the Cartwheel couponing app. In December, it launched The Awesome Shop, where it aggregated the most-pinned items from Target.com.
That initiative was in a way a precursor to the new collaboration, Madden said. But the latest iteration should prove more successful, as it's better curated—bedding won't be positioned next to bathing suits, for example—and has a central voice.
(Read more: Shoppers less wary of retail spying)
"Today's top pinners are truly tastemakers when it comes to style and design, and we're excited to bring their inspiration to life," said Target spokeswoman Angie Thompson.
Just looking at the numbers indicates that the collaboration could have a significant impact on Target's social presence. According to comScore, Pinterest had 52.2 million unique visitors in December; the three pinners have more than 13.6 million, 8.3 million and 2.6 million Pinterest followers, respectively. Target's following on the network is about 145,000.