Pinterest launched at a time when text updates dominated social media, but it wasn’t long before the image-centric service skyrocketed to the top of the charts. Only two years after its debut, Pinterest was named the third most popular social network in the U.S., directly behind social giants Facebook and Twitter — an incredible achievement for a relatively unknown player.
Since then, Pinterest has grown into a marketing powerhouse with new features like profile pages, Rich Pins, enhanced search, and Promoted Pins. Now approaching its fifth year, the popular discovery, sharing, and storage tool is a social staple for consumers and brands alike. But despite its success, there are still a lot of things you might not know about the platform.
Here are eight Pinterest statistics that serve to inspire and strengthen your ongoing marketing efforts.
1. One-Third of All Pinterest Sign-Ups Come From Men
Pinterest is notoriously known for attracting a female-dominated user base — according to comScore, 71 percent of Pinterest’s 72.5 million users are women — but usage demographics are slowly changing.
In 2014, the number of men using Pinterest doubled. In fact, according to the company, more men use the platform in the U.S. every month than read Sports Illustrated and GQ combined. There’s even a 50-50 split between male and female Pinners in emerging markets like India, Korea, and Japan.
This creates a new opportunity for brands looking to reach both male and female consumers. With this in mind, Pinterest has made several product improvements so that no matter who is searching for Pins, they’ll find things that they’re interested in. Most recently, the company tweaked its Guided Search system to serve results that differ depending on whether the user is male or female.
As a marketer, you’ll need to be mindful of who makes up your Pinterest audience. For some brands — such as beauty and fashion — consumers will more likely skew predominantly female. Others will want to bear in mind that Pinterest’s demographics are now mixed, so don’t alienate audiences with tunnel-vision content.
2. 75% of Pinterest Usage Takes Place on Mobile Devices
People are spending more time on their mobile devices than ever before, and Pinterest is no exception. The company announced in 2014 that 75 percent of all daily traffic comes from native mobile apps via phones and tablets. Mobile usage is especially high in the evenings and on weekends.
For this reason, it’s imperative that your mobile website is functioning properly. This could make the difference between someone making a purchase and giving up. Even if you primarily use Pinterest on desktop, get a feel for the service’s phone and tablet apps to understand how Pinners will experience your content.
When you create Pins, think about how they’ll appear on mobile devices, and consider what your landing pages will look like as well. If it’s not mobile-friendly, it’s time for a revamp. If you want to take your mobile integration one step further, especially if you have a mobile app of your own, use Pinterest’s SDKs for iOS and Android to add Pin It buttons to images in your app.
3. 93% of Pinners Shopped Online in the Past Six Months
An older study found that women tend to use Pinterest as a wish list while men use the platform as a shopping cart. We don’t have an updated breakdown, but it appears that both men and women are making purchases.
According to Pinterest, 93 percent of Pinners (male and female) shopped online in the past six months. Another look at Shopify’s study showed that people referred by Pinterest are 10 percent more likely to make purchase on e-commerce sites than users of other social networks, and they tend to spend twice as much as those referred by Facebook.
How can you take advantage of this? In addition to incorporating Product Pins, we recommend that you double check your Pins’ link locations. There’s nothing worse that a Pinner who wants to buy something immediately only to click on a broken link or be taken to an unrelated page. Make sure that your Pins lead to pages where buyers can get more information and take action.
4. The Number of People Who See Your Pins Is Greater Than Your Number of Followers
Acquiring likes and followers has become an important part of how businesses measure their success on social media. But followers on Pinterest don’t play the same roles as they do on other social services.
Kevin Knight, brand and agency strategist at Pinterest, explained that people use the platform to discover, save, and do things that inspire them. While people’s main motivation to Pin is to save things for themselves, anything they repin actually spreads to their own followers who are looking to discover things from people with similar interests.
“That means the number of people who actually see your Pins is often far greater than your number of followers.” – Kevin Knight
Some of the ways that you can spread your content further is by adding the Pin It button to your website, including the Follow button in your email campaigns, and curating interesting and inspiring Pins on a regular basis. Pinterest recommends a minimum of 20-30 Pins per board for best results.
5. Pins With Prices Get 36% More Likes Than Those Without
Rich Pins provide viewers with more details than standard Pins, making them an especially valuable option for retailers using Pinterest. There are currently five types of Rich Pins:
Product Pins make it easy for people to buy your goods. They include real-time pricing, availability, and where to buy. Pinners will also receive notifications when product Pins they’ve added drop in price.
According to a study by Shopify, Pinterest Pins with prices averaged 1.5 likes while those without averaged only 1.1 likes. While a difference of 0.4 might not be a game-changer, it’s notable when you consider that nearly two million people save Product Pins to one of their boards every day.
If you’re a retailer using Pinterest, not using Product Pins is a missed opportunity. Read this overview to learn more about how to prepare your site for Rich Pins.
6. Images Without Faces Receive 23% More Repins
Curalate examined more than 500,000 images posted by brands to Pinterest and found that those without faces were more popular with viewers. While this isn’t always the case with visual content in social media, the theory holds true for Pinterest. Facebook, for example, is a network of people and Foursquare is a network of places.
“I would have thought that faces make an image more relatable — it’s a human seeing a human,” said Curalate CEO Apu Gupta. “Pinterest is a network of things … and it seems like on a network of things, faces are actually a distraction.” At the time of the study, less than one-fifth of images on Pinterest include faces.
Other visual findings from the Curalate study are as follows:
- Images with multiple dominant colors have 3.25 times more repins than single dominant color images.
- Images with medium lightness are repinned 20 times more than very dark images.
- Images that are 50 percent saturated have 10 times more repins than very desaturated images.
- Vertical images with an aspect ratio between 2:3 and 4:5 get 60 percent more repins than very tall images.
- Images with a smooth texture are repinned 17 times more than images with a touch texture.
7. The Words “DIY,” “Cup,” and “Recipe,” Resonate Most
Although these specific terms aren’t applicable for every business or industry, it’s a good reminder to optimize every Pinterest post for your audience. One of the easiest ways to do that is through your Pins’ descriptions. Add descriptions to your Pins to enhance your Pinterest presence, and do the same for content that’s pinned directly from your website.
By pre-filling your description, people can create Pins from your site faster and you can increase the visibility of your Pins by having an accurate description in Pinterest search. The company recommends using a four-to-seven-word description of what’s shown in the image for best results.
You might consider using some of the words that were highlighted in a Georgia Tech University study if and when they are relevant.
The institution collected data on more than 2.9 million Pins and 989,000 Pinners to learn about what drives activity on Pinterest. The table above features the words most common and identifiable for Pinterest users. We realize that it may be difficult to organically work these terms into your descriptions so we recommend taking a look at your Pinterest Analytics to get a better understanding of your audience and their likes.
Your audience analytics breaks down interests, boards with your Pins on them, and other interesting tidbits that you can extract information from to influence future Pin descriptions. Keep in mind, however, that Pins have a long half-life. Be mindful when creating your descriptions and avoid adding details that might not be accurate later.
8. Promoted Pins Perform Long After Campaigns End
Promoted Pins, much like Twitter’s Promoted Tweets and Facebook’s Promoted Posts, enable businesses to pay to show certain Pins at the top of search results and category feeds. Launched in early 2014, results have been so promising that the company has made them available to all U.S.-based partners at the start of this year.
One of the key takeaways from Pinterest’s nearly year-long beta is that Promoted Pins perform just as well as, and sometimes better than, organic Pins. Advertisers’ Promoted Pins were repinned an average of 11 times per advertisement. That’s about a 30 percent bump in earned media from their campaigns. That earned media often saw an additional 5 percent bump in the month following the end of a campaign.
This is another reason to be mindful when crafting your Pins. Their evergreen nature requires you to publish content that’ll stay fresh and valuable for months at a time.
Now that you know more, talk to your social team about these Pinterest statistics and how they’ll impact your strategy.
Jennifer Beese: Jennifer Beese has worked as a community manager and social media strategist. When she’s not writing, you can find her studying anatomy and physiology—she literally has a skeleton in her closet—or under the stars with her telescope.