This article was originally published on Multichannel Merchant.
By now most brands are aware they need to be on social media, but many never get beyond Facebook and Twitter. By limiting yourself you could be missing out on huge marketing opportunities presented by other social media sites. Pinterest, for example, has emerged as a valuable social network for many brands. Here are five reasons your brand should consider joining the growing community of pinners.
Connect with Key Demographics
Pinterest has seen explosive growth over the past few years and now ranks as the fourth most popular social network behind Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. The site’s 70 million users have created a staggering one billion boards and fifty billion pins.
There are also several important demographics that are disproportionately represented on Pinterest. Women make up 85% of the Pinterest audience, with 55% of women 18-54 using the platform. One third of millennials are on Pinterest and the visual platform is easy to use on any device. is a great way to reach them. Pinterest also appeals to people who are on the go, with 80 percent of usage occurring on a mobile device.
If you’re brand appeals to women or young people, Pinterest could be a huge channel for you.
Boards Make Niche Marketing Easy
Not only are there important broad demographics on Pinterest, but the platform is uniquely suited for connecting with niche audiences, people who may only be interested in specific products you offer and wouldn’t want to follow your entire brand.
Individual images, known as pins, are organized into boards, which tend to be focused on very specific topics. Some people choose to follow an entire company, but most people pick and choose boards that are relevant to them. Every pin doesn’t have to appeal to every person. As a result, you run less of a risk of overwhelming followers with updates that aren’t relevant to them.
Pinterest Is Action-Oriented
Pinterest is more than a place where people passively look at pictures. Most pins are action-oriented. Recipe pins help people figure out what to cook for dinner. Home decorating pins help people keep their homes looking great. And fashion pins help people figure out what to buy. Pinterest is as much a catalogue and guidebook as it is a social network.
For many it serves as a mechanism of discovery, and not just their feeds. Because boards are organized by topic, it’s easy to search, browse, and discover pins from brands they’ve never even heard of. When people share something on Facebook or Twitter, it has a fairly short lifespan, as other updates fill in on top of it. But because pins are organized into easily browsable boards they can be discovered for months or years into the future.
It’s also easy for users to pin something to their own boards and save it for later. Pinterest functions as an easy way to bookmark products. A bride planning a wedding, for example, can save everything she likes and review all her options before making a decision. Most Pinterest users are looking to do more than browse; they want to make a purchase.
Not surprisingly, Pinterest users tend to spend money. They are 10% more likely to make a purchase on an e-commerce site than visitors referred from other social networks and they spend twice as much as visitors referred from Facebook. This can make Pinterest incredibly lucrative for brands that fit into its demographic. If you’re skeptical about the ROI of other social networking sites, Pinterest might be the place for you.
Pinterest Could Become a Major Advertising Platform
Pinterest has started wading into advertising. They have rolled out promoted pins to certain brands and are expected to make them public within the next year or two. Promoted pins look very similar to regular pins, and show up in people’s home Pinterest feed. While we wait for promoted pins to become available, this is a good time to maximize your organic use of Pinterest. This will put you in the best position to maximize Pinterest advertising when it becomes available.
It Can Give You an Insight into What People Want
Pinterest can be a sounding board for what’s resonating with your customers. If you find that certain products are getting pinned much more than others, those might be products you should feature on the homepage of your site or do a special promotion around. A few years ago Nordstrom started using Pinterest to decide which products to feature in its brick-and-mortar stores.
Wayfair: A Case Study in Pinterest Success
One company that has achieved success with Pinterest is Wayfair, the largest online retailer of home furnishings and decor. They are a natural fit for Pinterest and have embraced the platform. They have thousands of pins on more than 150 boards and they work with bloggers who have strong Pinterest followings to provide them with great content. They have also integrated Pinterest into their website, adding a Pin It button to products and featuring their most pinned products.
The result was an influx of visitors who also converted well. They found that visitors referred from Pinterest were just as likely to buy as visitors from other social networks, but spent 50 percent more on average. They also spent 20 percent more than visitors referred from non-social channels.
Ultimately, Pinterest isn’t relevant for every brand. But for those whose customers are on the social network, it’s an absolute must. With a little creativity it could turn into a very valuable channel.
Are there other valuable marketing channels your site is missing out on? Request a free digital marketing strategy audit to find out.