Why Companies Should ‘Pin-It’ to Win It with Pinterest

Peter Roesler, President - Web Marketing Pros

By Peter Roesler

President, Web Marketing Pros

handwritten-social-mediaThough it’s one of the newer social media networks on the web, Pinterest has grown exponentially in just a few short years. More than 28 percent of Pinterest users have annual household income greater than $100,000 and in the UK, about a third of Pinterest users are in the highest income bracket. The fact that the site has gained a large following of wealthy users has not gone unnoticed by researchers and marketers. More than 25 percent of the Fortune Global 100 companies have Pinterest accounts.  This article will look at some of the statistics and research about Pinterest to see why organizations may want to ‘Pin-It’ to win it.

The stats on the rise of Pinterest are compelling evidence of the value of the platform. In the three years since the website’s launch, Pinterest has gained more than 70 million users who tally about 2.5 billion page views per month. The average user spends more than an hour and a half each month on the site, with the average visit lasting about 14.2 minutes. The visual content on the platform also spreads very easily. Repins account for more than 80 percent of the content on Pinterest, which means users are greatly spreading the content they find.

A study from late 2012 by Bizrate showed that more Pinterest users report using the site for reasons that are good for businesses than Facebook users. About 40 percent of Pinterest users said they used the platform to get special offers from brands they follow, compared to 26 percent  of Facebook users. Most telling is that Pinterest users were more than four times as likely to respond that they were using Pinterest to get inspiration on what to buy than Facebook users (70% vs. 17%). According to the Bizrate study,  Pinterest users were almost twice as likely to to report using Pinterest to associate with retailers and brands they identify with. So even for brand awareness, Pinterest appears to have a lot of potential for businesses looking to reach customers.

For those who want more concrete evidence, there are some retailers who have reported amazing results from Pinterest. In 2012, Sony reported that Pinterest drove more than twice the traffic to its homepage than Twitter. Similarly, on individual items on the site, the ‘Pin-it’ button was clicked 10 times as much as the ‘Tweet This’ button. The beauty supplies manufacturer, Sephora, reported that their Pinterest fans spent more than 15 times as much as their Facebook fans. In an interview with VentureBeat, the head of Sephora’s digital efforts, Julie Bornstein, said she believed that there was a difference in the mindset of people on Pinterest and those on Facebook.

“The reality is that when you’re in the Pinterest mindset, you’re actually interested in acquiring items, which is not what people go to Facebook for,” Bornstein said in the VentureBeat article.. “Facebook continues to be just a great customer interaction tool that gives us the real-time ability to dialog with our customer; it’s a big customer-service venue for us.”

Lest business owners begin abandoning their Facebook and Twitter accounts, there are a few things to keep in mind about Pinterest. More than 70 percent of Pinterest users are women, which means that for organizations that need to target men or a more mixed audience, Pinterest alone is not the way to go. Additionally, because the platform requires every Pin to have an image, Pinterest is less attractive to companies that don’t have a wide selection of easily photographed products. Many Pinterest users make infographics as a way to create imagery, but it should be noted that it takes time, effort, and expertise to create a truly visually appealing infographic. This means that using a Pinterest strategy often requires more effort than other social media channel, because it’s impossible to just write a post; everything an organization wants to say on Pinterest must have an image attached. For organizations without a dedicated social media person or an art department to create imagery, this can be problematic or costly.

Challenges aside, the data on Pinterest is beyond promising. Rather, the data paints a very clear picture of a social media platform that has risen because it has managed to engage users in ways that are beneficially for users and businesses. Every social media platform is slightly different, and content from Facebook and Twitter can’t be copied by rote into Pinterest. Still, the numbers show that it is worth it for organizations to make the effort. Pinterest is on the rise, and for company’s that are willing to take the challenge, they can rise with it.

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