If Facebook is still at the top of your list of social channels for your marketing efforts, you may want to rethink your priorities, or at least make sure that Pinterest has a prominent spot on the list.
Granted, Facebook is still a giant among social networks, with 1bn active users to Pinterest’s 70m. Facebook has also steadily added features that appeal to marketers, such as autoplay videos in news feeds, so brands will still be showcasing themselves on Facebook for a long time to come.
But Pinterest may have the advantage over Facebook in terms of passion. The image-based social network, where users ‘pin’ content to their walls and then share their pins with other Pinterest users, is still being discovered by marketers as a place to promote brands.
Pinterest is well on the way to dramatically increasing its audience: In October 2013, it received a $225m funding round, and it’s also rapidly gaining followers beyond its American home base.
Beyond audience size, Pinterest has certain elements that make it very appealing to marketers. For instance, content has a much longer life on Pinterest. Content on Facebook becomes old fast – as members’ posts are pushed down the news feed by fresh news, old posts are overlooked.
On Pinterest, content-sharing happens in different ways. Pins are always in circulation, since users can share their pins and rearrange them, keeping content fresh.
A recent study from Piquora found that brands’ pins on Pinterest garner 70% of their clicks in the first two days after they appear, but the last 30% of clicks can happen over the course of the next month.
This is a sure sign that interest in Pinterest content lingers for quite a while after a pin is created.
Videos, which are gaining traction on Pinterest, also have the potential to hold interest longer than they would on Facebook or Twitter, which are driven by news feeds.
Pinterest seems far friendlier to brand content such as product videos. It’s built into the site’s DNA, in a way.
People who browse Pinterest like to see product content even as they are sharing pins with their friends. They’re on Pinterest to pull together ideas for home decorating, parties, or crafts, for example, so products fit well in these searches.
In fact, for users, Pinterest mimics browsing a magazine, with both ads and editorial content.
Pinterest also encourages users to go viral and share content they love – another reason why brands should push more video content onto their Pinterest boards.
More than 80% of Pinterest pins are repins – this means users are likely to re-pin content they find fun and watchable.
Pinterest has begun making it easier for users to find and pin videos, and it’s also adding more merchant-friendly tools that help highlight content. Pinterest users can choose to limit the content they see to just videos – this is one of the bolded options in the top-left corner menu, which shows that Pinterest believes its members want to watch more video content.
Other features such as ‘rich pins‘, which Pinterest introduced last year, help marketers attract attention for their videos. Marketers can add pricing, availability, and where to buy information to their pins to drive traffic to a website or to retail partners.
Also useful is the real-time pricing feature for rich pins. If a Pinterest user pins a product video, and the price of the product drops, the user can opt to receive an email from Pinterest about the new price.
Pinterest’s trending products widget, also launched last fall, should be another boon to marketers.
The widget lets retailers create lists of frequently pinned items in their online stores, and show this widget on their online storefronts. It’s a shopper-friendly way to let customers know that you have a brand presence on Pinterest.
As Pinterest becomes more brand-friendly, marketers should position themselves as early adopters of this young but growing social network. It will send a message to both customers and competitors that you’re embracing the pinning trend.