How can brands use Pinterest?

Pinterest is a hot topic right now following its IPO in April. But what is it, and why do so many people use it?

Pinterest is the 19th most used social media platform. Its size is restricted because it benefits special interest markets such as arts and crafts, travel, food and drink, health and self improvement, fashion and music, rather than all markets. It’s unlikely that financial services would benefit much from the platform, for example.

Pinterest is aspirational. It’s about plans, dreams, weddings and holidays – things that, for the most part, take money. As a result, its users are more likely to come from high-income and educated households, which limits its size.

But the thing that really sets it apart (and the most exciting thing to consider as a brand) is that Pinterest is a consumer-based platform: it relies heavily on consumers sharing, as opposed to brands engaging.

Who lives on Pinterest?

Pinterest is a platform for planning. Consumers on this platform are in ultimate ‘discovery mode.’ It is a place free from drama and politics, where consumers can browse and be inspired in peace, away from the polarisation of other networks. Consumers organise their ideas by categorising them on different boards – my dream holiday, house renovation ideas, the great outdoors, amazing cocktails, places I want to visit, planning a wedding. Their followers, in return, can be inspired by these boards, which allows organic exposure. Sponsored posts are (mostly) highly relevant and have to be visually appealing.

We’ve talked before about how to target millennials and the following generations. In 2019,  59% of millennials discovered products on Pinterest – that’s the same percentage as users on Instagram, just behind Facebook at 78%. Historically there has been a skew towards women: 80% of Pinterest users are women between the ages of 25-54; but 50% of new signups in 2018 were men.

How can your brand benefit from it?

The great thing about Pinterest is that it requires minimal maintenance. Pinterest users are known to be some of the most engaged and loyal users, who ‘engage’ by sharing (‘pinning’ or ‘repinning’) posts. This requires no interaction from the brand – but does mean the brand has to produce visual content worth pinning.

For retailers, Pinterest is rolling out a‘Buyable Pins’ program, allowing consumers to purchase a product right from the platform. This is an incredible opportunity for brands to catch consumers in-platform and convert without having to move through multiple screens.

For a liquor brand, for example, Pinterest could be used to showcase cocktail recipes as consumers search for them. An outdoor enthusiastic fashion retailer might show what their clothing looks like in action. Whole Foods has perfectly captured the use of the platform through an extensive profile, including content from ‘How to Cut a Pineapple’ to recipes featuring its whole and organic products. A consumer could treat their profile like a Google search in a landscape of all things food.

Pinterest is also a great way to improve a brand’s Google Search Rankings. Using popular and relevant keywords in boards and descriptions can rank a brand higher in Google.

All in all, Pinterest is well worth considering in a brand’s social media marketing strategy, if your product or service is visual, creative and compelling.

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