What is Pinterest and why you should (probably) be marketing on it

Despite its astronomical growth in the past year, Pinterest is still seen as insignificant for most marketers, shadowed by the giants of Facebook and Twitter. Digital account executive Matt Pepper dispels this idea and discusses why you should be incorporating this online pin-board phenomenon into your digital marketing strategy

What is Pinterest?

Pinterest is an online pin-board and a portmanteau of, you guessed it, 'pin' and 'interest'.

While a traditional pin-board may hold a myriad of things such as to-do lists, save the dates and visual content, Pinterest focuses exclusively on the latter.

How does Pinterest work?

You can create as many boards, with as many pins, on as many topics as you wish.

Pins are visual bookmarks, making them apt for conversions. Like other social media platforms, Pinterest users, or 'pinners', interact by 'liking', 'commenting' and 're-pinning' each other’s content.

Pinners find new content from 'feeds' in two separate tabs: ‘explore’ and ‘following’.

The explore tab works on an artificial intelligence algorithm that pushes content towards the user based on pins viewed, their own pin-board and the users they are following.

The following tab is a recent addition to Pinterest. This works on the traditional social media algorithm of a feed generated exclusively from a following base. Only content from pinners being followed by the user will appear in this space.

Who uses Pinterest?

Globally, users are overwhelmingly female (70-80%). However, in the UK it has been reported that the numbers are slightly more balanced. 

Out of Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, Pinterest also has the oldest median age, with the average user being 40 years of age. This being so, the largest age group remains 18-29-year-olds.

Pinterest is the fastest growing social media platform ever, and the fastest growing market in 2018 in the UK.

It announced in late 2017 that it broke 200 million users worldwide, which is impressive enough in itself but even more so when 40% of that growth occurred in just one year.

As far as conversions go, Pinterest revealed in a blog post that 87% of pinners have bought something because of content on the site, with 55% of those users having been found to shop directly on the site.

Amy Vener, retail vertical strategy lead at Pinterest, wrote: “People are more likely to shop on Pinterest that on other platforms. That’s because Pinterest guides people through the shopping journey, from that first moment of inspiration to the final purchase.”

Pinterest conversion rate statistics:


So, you should definitely join the bandwagon, right?

Perhaps not. The phenomena surrounding Pinterest seems to have arisen simultaneously to the interrogation Facebook endured, as customers – and the US senate – discovered how easy their algorithms could be manipulated by hostile sources.

Pinterest hasn’t directly stated that it released the 'following' tab as a reaction to this, but the timing implies some level of causation.

At least then by offering users more freedom over the ways in which they interact with the platform, Pinterest is demonstrating a willingness to react quickly to the pitfalls of social media as it grows in size.

In nuce

When it comes to deciding whether you can benefit from the rising star of social media platforms, it depends whether your industry lends itself to visual content.

If your business fits into one of the following categories it is undoubtable that, with the right strategy, you and your business can benefit from using Pinterest.

If it doesn’t, then it could be a matter of executing a new niche on the platform.

1. Food and drink
2. DIY and crafts
3. Home decor
4. Fashion
5. Health and fitness
6. Travel
7. Hair and beauty
8. Technology

The new age of social media is a lot more complicated than its stone-age predecessor.

There’s going to be a rough transition period where users and social media corporates in the like cooperate to find the sweet spot between tailored advertising and rights to privacy.

However, abstaining from this tricky period is not an option, as businesses from village bakeries to multinational telecommunications companies will tell you: improvise, adapt, overcome.

Pinterest is a breath of fresh air for your digital marketing strategy. If you need any help or advice with your digital marketing strategy, contact Cartwright Communications on 0115 853 2110.

Matt Pepper comes from an e-commerce background and now works in-agency across both consumer and B2B accounts aiding in devising digital strategies, SEO and content marketing, graphic creation and e-mail marketing. To contact Matt send him an email or call 0115 853 2110.