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Is Pinterest a Good Social Media Marketing Investment?

Joel Rothman
Senior Product Consultant

In the words of Mugatu: “Pinterest, so hot right now”.

But, is all the hype warranted? I scoured the web looking for statistics on Pinterest, and I came up with some pretty interesting stuff, which I have pinned right here.

Recently, Pinterest has seen its growth skyrocket. There is no shortage of stats showing that it is not just one of the fastest growing Social Networks, but one of the fastest growing sites on the internet. There is also analyses showing that the majority of users (at least in the US) are women, aged 25-34, that they spend more time on Pinterest then other sites, and that are very loyal. All interesting, especially for a site that is still in beta.

But, I wanted to zoom in on 2 interesting data points:

1 - A study by Shareaholic.com states that, for Q1 2012, Pinterest was responsible for 0.9% of referal traffic to sites, greater than Twitter’s 0.85% and 1/7 of Facebook’s 6.46%

2 - Publicly released information says that number of active users for each site is as follows:
Facebook - 901 million
Twitter - 140 million
Pinterest - 10 million

In essence, Pinterest user count is only 7% that of Twitter, but sends more absolute referral traffic than Twitter. Also, with only 1% of Facebook’s user count, Pinterest sends 13% of the traffic that Facebook does.

So, why does Pinterest drive so much traffic per user? On other social networks, people might read the headline that is shared, and move to the next. On Pinterest, the “Pin” really acts as a visual bookmark. As a user, if you want the context behind the image, you often need to click on it. As well (and this is just conjecture), Facebook and Twitter content is shared in a linear fashion; and once shared it slowly expires. On Pinterest, content is discoverable for a longer time. For example, I have never looked backwards and read all of someone’s tweets.  On the other hand, when I find an interesting Pinterest page, I usually devour all the content they share.

On another note, in the UK, Pinterest is used mostly by men. I expect the shape of the network to change as they move out of private beta and into general availability. I do expect there will still be a female bias though it will probably be less extreme.

I expect to see a lot of interesting things happen with Pinterest over the next several months. Many brands already have a presence on the site, and many more will start. Do you have a plan for Pinterest?

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