Some people say Pinterest isn’t really a social media community. After all, pinners browse and pin content shared by others, but rarely comment or interact with the person originating the content. Essentially, it is a giant wish book where users collect images of things they want to buy, do, or make and with only 175 million users it is a fairly small community compared to Facebook, Instagram, or even Twitter.

It isn’t really social and it isn’t very big, so why do I think Pinterest is a potential powerhouse? Let’s start with the numbers: 81% of all users are women76% of all Pinterest users have at least a college degree, millennials use Pinterest as much as they use Instagram, and the majority of active pinners are under 40.

These young, educated women come to Pinterest browsing for products and ideas.The browsing format makes it significantly more likely for them to be introduced to new brands and products. That’s why 75% of content pinners save actually originates from businesses. And when they are done browsing, they are likely to buy.

Pins Last Longer

Social media is disposable media. If you spend any time on any of the platforms you know that the lifespan of a tweet is a few minutes. After that, it is buried in the timeline under a sea of new information. Facebook content has a slightly longer lifespan. A viral update may last a few hours or even a few days. But eventually, the buzz around the latest internet celebrity will die off.

But Pinterest is different. The lifespan of a pin can be several months. Each new pin is associated with a board. Pinners who appreciate a new pin may come to the board to explore others in the collection. Every time it is repinned, it is reintroduced into the timeline and the cycle begins again. The longer lifespan of a pin makes it reasonable to invest in high-quality design and photography.

People Come to Shop

This is a shopping platform. 93% of pinners come to Pinterest to plan purchases.  While sites like Shopify record significant traffic and sales from Pinterest it is not just an online buying tool. 72% of pinners also use it to decide what to buy offline. 87% of pinners say they have purchased a product because of something they saw on Pinterest.

While your customers fast-forward through your ads on television or skip over or hide the sponsored posts which show up in the timeline of Facebook or Twitter, they are more likely to browse those pins on Pinterest. Why? Because ads aren’t seen as ads on this platform. They simply look like relevant content.

With the addition of the “buy now” button, you can transform every pin into a sales opportunity.

Pinterest isn’t for every business. But if you are in retail, with a strong e-commerce component and a target audience comprised of educated young women, it is for you.

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