October 17, 2012

Pinterest for Brands: Where Are We Now?

With millions of new pins added every week, Pinterest is connecting people all over the world based on shared tastes and interests.

Despite reports in July and August that Pinterest’s growth rate has slowed more recent statistics show a return of its hockey stick growth, making it the fourth largest traffic source in the world.

Within two years the platform has reached 10.4 million users making it the fastest growing social media site in history. The graph below illustrates this phenomenal growth:

So does this make the platform a 'we must be there' for Fortune 500 brands? 

To answer - let's take a deeper dive on the platform: 

Demographics and Interests
  • Users by gender:
    • 80% Women, 20% Men
  • 50% of Pinterest users have kids
  • 30% of users are aged 23 - 34 years
  • 28.1% of users have an average household income of over $100,000
  • Top interests pinned in the USA:  Crafts, gifts, hobbies, leisure, interior designs, fashion collections 

The demographics suggest that brands best positioned to leverage the platform are those targeting middle-class women, aged 23 - 34 years and are interested in crafts, hobbies (such as cooking), design and fashion.

From a social commerce perspectiveshoppers referred by Pinterest are 10% more likely to make a purchase than visitors who arrive from other social networks - and spend 10% more! Together with top interests pinned these findings indicate that retail and e-commerce brands with tangible products sold through e-tailing will reap the most benefit from Pinterest.

Brands on Pinterest

Although there is no official brand infrastructure or offering - there are hundreds of brands on Pinterest. One user has even taken the time to create a pin board of brands on Pinterest! @Mashable also has two interesting articles on the ways brands are leveraging Pinterest: 

  1. 5 Interesting Pinterest Marketing Campaigns
  2. How Brands Are Using Promotions to Market on Pinterest

Reports indicate that 2-3% of Fortune 500 companies are on Pinterest, many of them with low follower counts. This is likely caused by a shortfall in Pinterest marketing know-how and/or fear of leveraging a platform that has no official brand pages.

Brand Opportunity

As with any social network, the key is to map the campaign and content strategy to the demographics and social commerce potential. This will ultimately drive engagement and has the potential to improve branding, sentiment and owned media growth.

From a measurement standpoint, although there is no public facing Pinterest API, vendors (e.g. PinLeague, Pinerly and Pinsights) are racing to measure Pinterest ROI via scraping public content.

Brand Obstacle

Notwithstanding the aforementioned opportunity, for brands the social network is currently, “enter at your own risk.” Pinterest has no official brand offering, brand-marketing infrastructure and no public API making it an exploratory marketing landscape. Furthermore there is no paid media opportunity to amplify content distribution.

From a user-experience perspective, the social architecture and search functionality make it difficult for consumers to find and navigate brand pages.

Like all owned media channels, brand pages on Pinterest need resources and nurturing. Creating, building and monitoring a Pinterest page requires strategy, content and community managers with a continuous level of input.

Michoel - @Twabbi

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