If you’ve clicked on this blog, you’re probably asking yourself the question right in the title: Does my business need a presence on Pinterest? We wish you could give you a “yes or no” answer, but when it comes to a unique platform like Pinterest, the answer is probably the one you’ve been dreading the most: maybe.
But don’t worry! We’re not going to just say “maybe” to Pinterest and then leave you hanging. In this article we’ll break down what Pinterest is, who is on the platform, and whether or not you need it in your social media strategy based on your industry and target audience.
Ready? Let’s start pinning.
What Is Pinterest?
Launched in 2010, Pinterest quickly carved out a signature style completely diverging from the other major platforms of the time. Whereas Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter were all about sharing videos, photos, and text posts with friends and family, Pinterest took social media in a broader direction.
As Pinterest says themselves, “Pinterest is a visual discovery engine for finding ideas like recipes, home and style inspiration, and more.” That’s right, Pinterest identifies as a social media search engine, and about 66% of users are actively using Pinterest as a search engine, just like the way one might use Google, to find products or services (according to 2021 research from Sprout Social).
Diverting from other social media algorithms (which often focus on interest and previous engagement), Pinterest’s algorithm is a “Smart Feed.” Pinterest shows you new content based on the terms you type into their search bar. Based on the keywords you used, Pinterest pulls up related pins it thinks you might find interesting based on your previous engagements and searches. (If you’re being reminded of Google here, that’s because Pinterest works in a very similar fashion, but instead of showing you articles, it shows you pins.)
Due to these unique search-based properties, Pinterest has become a platform that attracts artists, designers, creatives, and your everyday shopper looking for content to help them navigate creative projects such as home improvement, holiday decorations, office inspiration, cooking, and so much more. Like Instagram, Pinterest is an aesthetic, aspirational platform focused on beautiful imagery and engaging with the creative community it attracts.
Sounds fun, right? Well, here’s some fun facts you should be aware of when considering using Pinterest as a business (as reported on by Sprout Social):
- Pinterest has 459 million active monthly users.
- Pinterest has a 35% year-over-year increase in board creation, meaning the app continues to grow in popularity even today.
- With US shoppers, 50% use Pinterest frequently to shop.
- 89% of overall users use Pinterest to plan purchases (such as with apparel or home decor).
- For the average user, about 25% of their time on the app is spent shopping.
- 98% of overall users have reported trying something they saw on Pinterest (a number that includes everything from products to DIY projects).
- Out of overall users, 85% have reported buying something they have seen from pins from brands.
- Users are three times more likely to click over to a brand’s website when on Pinterest than when they are on any other social platform.
If you’re a business, those numbers may seem exactly like what you’ve been looking for in a social media app. But hang on—there’s still more to consider before you launch your company Pinterest.
Who is On Pinterest?
While Pinterest has some powerful statistics in terms of shopping and actually engaging users with products and services on the app, Pinterest is still not for every business.
As we covered in our Do You Need to be on Every Social Media Platform blog post, the audiences and interests each app attracts changes what kinds of industries and businesses will succeed on the given social media platform.
So, is your target audience on Pinterest? In a 2020 report from HootSuite, it was found that:
- More than 60% of Pinterest’s global users identify as female.
- 53% of internet users who identify as female in the US access Pinterest while 18% of internet users who identify as male in the US access Pinterest.
- Eight out of 10 people who identify as mothers in the US use Pinterest (according to Pinterest themselves).
- The largest demographic of Pinterest users in the US are between the ages of 30 to 49 (making up 35% of overall users).
- Gen Z’s presence is steadily growing on the app, with Gen Z pinners up 50% year-over-year.
- Out of any country, the US has the most Pinterest users by far at almost 100 million users (which is almost one fourth of its total user base).
Additional information from Sprout Social states:
- Nearly 80% of millennials who identify as female are on Pinterest and 40% of millennials who identify as male are on Pinterest, making millennials a truly engaged age group on the app.
Lastly, as we mentioned previously, Pinterest is what’s called an “aspirational platform.” This means users are attracted to the platform to find aspirational and inspirational content. Content such as art, art inspiration, writing, home decor, office decor, DIY projects, home improvement, crafting, building, recipes, how-to’s, and fashion inspiration thrive on aspirational platforms. In fact, Pinterest has reported that 85% of overall users say they use Pinterest to start a new project, and Pinterest reports that users come to Pinterest to “plan for the future.”
Simply put, Pinterest is for creatives and creators, whether they be professional artists or home DIY enthusiasts.
Should My Business be on Pinterest?
And here is where we finally break down that “maybe.”
If your target audience is on Pinterest (as broken down above), and you have a product or service that fits the aesthetic and aspirational nature of Pinterest itself, then yes, you should be on Pinterest.
Here are a few examples of business types that could do well on Pinterest:
- Independent Artists (drawing, painting, photography, etc)
- Graphic Design, Print, or Branding Services
- Website Design & Development Services
- Wedding Services (florists, photographers, destinations, etc)
- Event Planning
- Entertainment (movies, shows, music, etc)
- Crafting & DIY (yarn, jewelry, metal working, etc)
- Fashion & Makeup
- Education (teacher resources, literature, sciences, etc)
- Home Decor & Furniture
- Office Decor & Furniture
- Architecture & Home Improvement
- Travel & Hospitality
- Food & Beverage
- Publishing (magazines, comics, books, etc)
- Outdoor Adventure (hiking, camping, etc)
While that is a simplified list, hopefully it gives you an idea of what Pinterest perceives as the “average” Pinterest user based on their interests.
That being said, Pinterest users will always use the app to discover niche areas (as they will on any app). For example, we use Pinterest to find content inspiration for our Eternity social media posts (especially for our Instagram and TikTok). Some of our crew members have used Pinterest to help them find parts to build personal projects like tables and desks, and some people on our team use Pinterest to find content and products related to shows and video games they enjoy.
Yet, as a business, you have to ask yourself is there enough of my community on Pinterest to justify a Pinterest account? If you’re in an industry such as law, medicine, insurance, industrial manufacturing, and the like, Pinterest may just not have enough of your target audience to justify dedicating the time and resources to building a presence on the app (when your valuable time and resources could be dedicated to the apps where your audience is already converging in larger numbers).
All in all, if your audience is on Pinterest—and there’s enough of them converging there to dedicate the energy to making pins—then yes, yes, yes, it’s time to start making your Pinterest boards today.
Now that you have your “yes or no” answer, you might be looking for an example of how you can build your Pinterest business hub. You can always view Eternity’s Pinterest for inspiration. We post social media and digital marketing inspiration every weekday. We can’t wait to see you there!