I’ve always had a question mark over the relevance of Pinterest to UK brands and retailers, but that little punctuation symbol is shrinking more and more over recent months. Perhaps the time is now?
Let me position my historical scepticism first…
Pinterest launched in 2010, the same year as Instagram. Both offered an online experience that revolved around images yet Instagram today enjoys over half a billion users and Pinterest is still languishing around the 150 million active user mark. I say languishing, but when you consider that valuations of these online services is generally worked out by investors at $100 per user then it’s worth fifteen billion dollars! Not too shabby.
So the user growth hasn’t been exponential when compared to its social media peers. But there are other reasons I have swerved my snake-like hips around Pinterest. It has always been so…well…so American!
No matter what you search for, within a few seconds of scrolling a peanut butter & apple pie cookie recipe will appear. It’s all down to the user demographics. Pinterest have always verged on the secretive side when it comes to releasing statistics, but we do know that over 60% of users are American and around 80% of users are female. You can see how those cookie recipes get eyes on them now.
For baby, parenting and gift brands and retailers, it’s great that 80% of users are female. For UK businesses, not so great that they all live in the U S of A. But as Bob Dylan prophetically sang decades ago, the times they are a changing.
ComScore research has recently suggested that over 10 million people in the UK use Pinterest. Now, if we have a similar gender bias in that UK audience then there may actually be gold in them thar pins. Over 3 million pins occur every day on Pinterest in the UK so there is plenty happening on these shores.
Pinterest users spend over 15 minutes on average each time they use it. That’s big. Comprehensive research has also shown that 75% of Pinterest users either have purchased, or are planning to purchase something they have seen on Pinterest. That’s massive; no other social media service comes close to that.
The ‘sharing’ bubble will eventually burst, and it is likely to be Facebook’s fault. Too much dribble gets ‘shared’ by individuals. For businesses they have to pay through the nose to get their content shared with more than 2% of the people who actually clicked buttons because they want to see that very same content! Social media as it is and has been will burn out. It’s not new anymore, and will become just another thing, like phone calls and email (how cool and exciting was email when you first started using it and how much of a pain in the ass is it now?).
‘Keep’ is going to become a far more powerful action than ‘Share’ and the scrapbook will have more value than the megaphone. Pinterest is perfectly positioned for this next wave of behaviour and indeed they don’t really see themselves as a social media platform provider. They state that their business is a “catalogue of ideas” that inspire people to go and do or get something.
I think that is true. Pinterest is a great place for inspiration and users create their boards with projects and life events in mind. It’s the service that lets someone ‘keep’ the things they discover and build the plan for their next big moment.
For pregnancy and parenting this is a real opportunity. Pinterest is prime pregnancy and baby product planning territory. For every one new mum who shares a photo on Facebook or Twitter of the pushchair they have just bought I’m estimating there are thirty pregnant ladies building a Pinterest board to help them make a purchase decision further down the line. For gifts and homeware brands the same applies. The purchase of that dream present could be inspired by something seen on Pinterest, or the ideas for the bedroom overhaul might be being kept by getting pinned to a board. It feels like great consumer behaviour and it is a perfect environment for a brand to play in. It doesn’t feel like the sort of ’emotional’ involvement that Facebook et al can offer.
Forget the user number statistics and look at the services themselves. How many people do you know who actually LOVE Facebook any more?
Every Pinterest user I speak to smiles when they mention it.
‘Keep’ is coming, so get yourselves ready…
“The slowest now will later be fast, as the present now will later be past. The order is rapidly fading, and the first one now will later be last…Cause the times they are a-changing”.
Dylan called it…decades ago! No wonder they gave him a Nobel Prize last week.
If you have any questions about Pinterest and how you are or could be using it then please get in touch and we will be happy to chat about it with you. We can even train you up if you want to get started the right way…