Meredith Farley

At Brafton our social media strategies and packages generally focus on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter or (increasingly) Instagram. But, in recent months, we’ve been paying special attention to – and getting a lot more questions around – the growing benefits of Pinterest.

At first I was like – you mean that cute little platform for fashion bloggers? Ok, I guess I can look into it … and then I got obsessed with Pinterest. What I perceive to be the untapped power of Pinterest, specifically.

Right now Brafton social is getting very interested in how one can effectively generate a proportionately high volume of click throughs via well-designed and thoughtfully planned evergreen pins. Maybe – just maybe – even for B2B brands.

Below are 13 questions we had as we began to more fully explore Pinterest for marketing, and their often surprising (or delighting!) answers. (Note: This is the first in a series of forthcoming blog posts about Pinterest.)

1. Wait – what’s happening? Is Pinterest growing?

Yes. As of April 2020, Pinterest has approx 366 million users. While that’s the lowest user base of the five major social networks, it’s hot on Twitter’s heels and outpacing Twitter in daily active user (DAU) growth. Pinterest’s DAU base grew 26% in 2019.

2. How does that compare to other networks?

Here are the international user base stats for all five major social networks as of April 2020:

  • Facebook: 2.498 billion.
  • Instagram: 1 billion.
  • LinkedIn: 620 million.
  • Twitter: 386 million.
  • Pinterest: 366 million.

3. Who are those users?

Most are female and about 41% are from high-income households.

4. I’d like to know more about how these women use Pinterest. What can you tell me?

Glad you asked. Pinterest users have the highest purchase intent of any social network. And, these users have a lot of buying power, so their user intent is important to understand when creating social strategies. Here are some of the most helpful user stats, pulled from a great article about Pinterest on the Sprout Social blog:

  • 85% of women on Pinterest use it to plan life moments, compared to 44% for Instagram and 53% for Facebook.
  • 43% of Pinterest users plan on getting their ideal home within the next 5 years.
  • 58% of users say Pinterest helps them make shopping and purchasing decisions.
  • 52% use the platform to develop their knowledge of great food and drinks.
  • 70% use Pinterest to find accessories, watches and jewelry.
  • 52% of Pinterest users spent $500 or more on beauty products within 6 months.

5. What does that demographic information mean?

If you’re targeting women in the age groups of 25-54, your brand should be on Pinterest.

6. Can new brands get traction on Pinterest?

According to Pinterest – yes, big time. The brand touts the stat that users on the platform are 47% more likely to be introduced to a new brand on Pinterest than any other social network. But, important(!), the longer your account has existed, the more “trustworthy” Pinterest considers it to be, and pins for more trustworthy accounts are likely to receive more visibility. From what I can gather, trustworthiness is the on-platform Pinterest version of Domain Authority.

So, in conclusion: The best time for a brand to start a Pinterest account is 20 years ago. And the next best time is today.

7. What is the “lifespan” of a pin?

Long! Pins live in the blue zone of social media post lifecycles. The lifespan of a pin (lifespan being the period of time during which a social post is generating engagement or clicks) is 7 days. Compare that to the average lifespan of a tweet – generally considered to be 5-20 minutes, or a Facebook post, 80-90 minutes. Whoa, Nelly!

8. Not wholly Pinterest-related, but how important is the “lifespan” of a post?

Super important! Generally speaking, the longer the “lifespan” of a post, the more time it’s working for you – by generating impressions, engagements or clicks.  A post with a really long lifespan is akin to passive income – you already did all the work and now it’s humming along in the background, generating some results. Each network moves at a different rate. For the numbers below I used this Green Umbrella source for FB, LI, Twitter and Instagram, and this article for data on the lifespan of a pin.

LinkedIn 48 HOURS
Facebook 6 HOURS
Instagram 48 HOURS
Pinterest 7 DAYS
Twitter 18 MINUTES

9. I’m sick of these stats. Can you give me, like, a personal anecdote to take my mind off numbers?

Totally! I would be delighted to. Sam Dame, Brafton’s Social Media Manager, runs her own blog (shout out to Sam’s blog here). Since COVID-19 came into our collective lives, Sam has been doing exactly zero work to promote the blog but her traffic has remained fairly steady. Where is it all coming from? Guess, I’ll wait.

Yes! Pinterest!

  • Pinterest referred 27% more traffic than Facebook and Instagram combined.
  • And, more than 96% of all social referral traffic came from Pinterest.

10. What kind of content performs best on Pinterest?

To generate re-pins and traffic your content will need to be all of the following:

  • Useful or educational. Didactic, how-to and information-rich content (especially lists) perform best.
  • Evergreen. Per #8 above, pins can generate engagement and clicks for a long period of time. Take advantage of that by focusing on evergreen content rather than topical or trending titles.
  • Pretty. Pinterest is a happy space in which only the well-designed pin survives. Colors, fonts and graphics should be consistent and on-brand. (If you’re not a designer, don’t despair – a workable knowledge of Canva will be enough to get it done right. Check out their infographic options in particular for list articles, or grab gifs, videos or photos from their image bank.)
  • Video. There were 6x more videos viewed on the platform in 2019 than in 2018.

11. What kind of content will NOT perform on Pinterest?

Don’t waste a pin on timely or trending content that is better served by newscycle-focused platforms (like twitter or FB). Avoid:

  • Business, personnel or personal announcements
  • Public statements
  • Press releases
  • News articles
  • Political content

12. Can you advertise on Pinterest?

Yes. If you have a business account you can advertise. (Side-note: Don’t make these common mistakes when you set up your biz account.) The main goals for Pinterest ads are generally bucketed as follower growth, traffic or sales.

13. What about keywords and hashtags – and how do backlinks work? And also how do you select your exact topics and images?

These are all great questions that I had, too! If you’re still with me here 1) thank you, and 2) stay tuned here or follow me on LinkedIn for a separate article on how to create an effective Pinterest account and strategy.