Today, Pinterest debuted advertising on the platform in the form of “Promoted Pins,” which we believe will be extremely effective for a range of e-commerce companies, retailers and brands:
- Pinterest users already love sharing images, and unlike Facebook — where photo-sharing revolves around family, friends, or funny pics — pinners already tend to share photos of products and objects.
- Retailers and brands are already a well-known part of the Pinterest landscape, and many host popular pinboards.
- Pinterest already is a top referrer to e-commerce sites and drives high-value orders.
Here’s what a Promoted Pin, currently only shown on search result or category pages, looks like:
In a recent report from BI Intelligence, we review each of the top social media platforms , including Pinterest, analyse the considerations and potential benefits for brands working on each platform, and explore what brands and companies would benefit most from focusing their efforts on certain channels. Subscribers also gain full access to our ongoing coverage of Pinterest, social commerce, showrooming, and in-depth data on all the top social media platforms.
Here’s an overview of what to consider when deciding whether to be on Pinterest:
- Pinterest has a few clear advantages: It is undoubtedly the best social media platform for showcasing products and driving commerce, because of its focus on “things,” rather than relationships and messaging. At BI Intelligence, we’ve likened Pinterest to a multi-platform digital catalogue. A Georgia Tech study of June 2012 activity on Pinterest found that the most common verbs on the social network were “use,” “look,” “want,” and “need,” highlighting its potential as a shopping tool. It can be particularly effective for brands that target women. Pinterest users are five times more likely to be women than men. They also tend to be well-educated and have high income.
- But reach and gender tilt are issues: Pinterest has a relatively small audience of 48.7 million users globally (admittedly it is continuing to expand at a rapid rate). Its clear gender tilt is an advantage from one angle, since women tend to control household spending decisions, but plenty of gender-balanced and male-focused brands will need to focus on platforms where men aren’t significantly outnumbered.
- As is a lack of flexibility: There’s also some lack of flexibility on Pinterest. The image-centered pin format is a bit more rigid than Facebook posts, or tweets. There are fewer features available to pinners.
- So, is Pinterest right for your brand? Design-forward and women-focused large brands, as well as major apparel brands and retailers, should have a Pinterest presence. For smaller brands in these same niches, Pinterest might also be a good place to focus their efforts. But smaller brands and brands focused on services should not prioritise Pinterest.