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Pinterest as a marketing tool – old news?

The thing with social media platforms is that they come and go.

Diane Hall


Pinterest On a laptop PC

Though they were once big players, sites such as MySpace, Google+ and Vine are just three examples of popular platforms that are either extinct today or which now only attract a small number of stoic fans.

Pinterest, however, could be the anomaly. The site has been around a long time in digital terms; founded in January 2010, it initially enjoyed huge popularity. Today, however, it’s arguably not as prominent as it once was.

Predating Instagram as a visual platform, Pinterest was the first social media site to enjoy 10 million users, back in 2012. Nowadays, it boasts 416 million users each month, which suggests its user base and popularity have not waned.

Stats show that it’s a viable tool for businesses to reach potential buyers. For instance, 52% of millennials use Pinterest, and 17% of these millennial users spend more money than their peers who don’t visit the site. You’re unlikely to face the same competition to capture buyer’s attention as you may on other platforms—your rivals will likely be too busy on Instagram or wrangling with TikTok, in a bid to ‘get down with the kids’.

Pinterest users, when considering the purchase of a certain product, will use the platform for research purposes. They will specifically look for the product itself or they’ll explore Pinterest’s many different categories for shopping inspiration. There is practically no discoverability on any other social platform anymore, as each one is flooded with content every second of the day. Pinterest, however, although carrying just as much content relative to its size, acts as an effective filter; rather than a company/Pinterest grouping products, users make their own ‘buying boards’ and shopping catalogues. 

If a user stumbles on someone else with similar tastes to theirs, they’ll probably want to snap up everything their new friend displays on their boards. Think of Amazon’s ‘Customers also bought’ feature and imagine this being user-driven and user-curated—much more powerful. Because Pinterest encourages passive scrolling and browsing, visitors spend a good deal of time on the site…which makes them sitting ducks for companies looking to advertise.

Using Pinterest on a PC

Pinterest had over 250 million users in 2018

Using Pinterest on a PC

As with most other platforms, Pinterest allows companies and brands to place adverts on the sites—something that users cite as useful, rather than intrusive or annoying. Lots of Pinterest users are passionate about their boards…not only can companies find niche audiences to target on the site, they will probably find everything their competitors are doing/promoting at the same time, all from one person’s board(s).

Pinterest is viewed as an upbeat, inspirational site, filled with would-like-to-haves and items that users covet. It doesn’t tend to fall foul of the trolling and negativity that other platforms have to endure. 

So, why wouldn’t any brand want to be active on, and associated with, such a site? It’s mobile friendly, and gathers lots of valuable user data, too, which offers even more scope for advertising.

On that note, it’s worth mentioning that 70% of Pinterest users are female. It could be argued that, in 2020 and beyond, woman have the biggest say when it comes to the family’s purse strings. If your product is aimed at women or children, Pinterest is one site that should be in your marketing mix.

Never forget that Pinterest is a social site. Users talk to each other and share ‘pins’. Stats show that a third of all users follow their favourite brands and companies via the site; these same users have the ability to spread the word about what you offer to their contacts. 

Though the site was founded in the US, more than half the people using Pinterest access the platform from elsewhere in the world, and the site’s demographics can help you pinpoint a location to which you can advertise. This means that location-specific businesses can be on a level playing field with global corporations.

There’s no denying that, despite its popularity amongst millions of people across the world, Pinterest doesn’t pull in the same user audience as Facebook, for example, which enjoys 2.7 billion active users each month. However, that doesn’t make it any less powerful for companies looking to use the site for marketing purposes—Pinterest drives 33% more traffic to shopping sites than Zuckenberg’s creation. 

Pinterest may be smaller, yes, but it’s perfectly formed. And whilst it may not currently appear to enjoy as much exposure as its social media rivals, after digesting the above, you’d have to agree that it’s one platform many businesses should not ignore.

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