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Since its launch in 2010 Pinterest has rapidly become the third most popular social media channel – after Facebook and Twitter. Within just two years it has attracted more than 20 million users[1] and been named as the most effective social network for driving traffic and sales to e-commerce sites.

Not surprisingly Pinterest is getting a great deal of interest among marketers, who find it a great tool to increase revenue and brand awareness among clients. Recent research conducted by Econsultancy revealed that Pinterest attracts more unique visits to websites than Facebook – 86% of viewers of Pinterest are likely to enter a website compared to 57% from Facebook[2]. What’s more, the study suggests that Pinterest users spend twice as much money as Facebook users – Pinterest generates average revenue of $180 per user and Facebook $85. Plus the research discovered that one in five users of Pinterest bought items they had pinned. Not surprisingly the user base of Pinterest is growing rapidly – 68,000 unique UK Pinterest visitors in August 2011 growing to 1,288,000 in August 2012, according to ComScore[3]. And data shows that Brits spend an average of nine minutes on the network per session, which is more time than users spend, on average, on Facebook and Twitter.

Great tool for increasing sales

Not surprisingly, companies find Pinterest an ideal network for increasing their sales. It is advantageous for them to find out important information about the hobbies and interests of their users and this can easily be discovered from user’s pinboards. For instance, marketers try to deliver the right message to the right person at the right stage in the buying process. Pinterest could be a very helpful tool to identifying the stage at which a customer currently is. Pinterest audiences often organise content by creating categories – boards, such as my dream home, appliances which I need at my home, etc. Marketers could use this knowledge and tailor messages accordingly to customers’ needs. Furthermore, Pinterest recently introduced a weekly wwwsletter called “pins you’ll love” that sends users pins, which might be interesting to them. The information is based on data Pinterest has gathered about an individual user.

Not only for retail and fashion brands

In a similar fashion, in the consumer world business decision–makers are now becoming more comfortable when searching visually. Between 200 – 300 words per minute can be read by the average individual, however usually it only takes 1/20th second to process an image. Pinterest accelerates the process by aggregating and organising images by category or theme, making it easy to search. Mashable’s eye tracking study shows that Pinterest is also changing viewing habits from left to right, to top down the centre, improving users’ ability to scan information quickly.

Digital list for Santa Claus

The traditional way of writings letters has dramatically fallen down in recent years.  Nowadays Santa Claus, instead of checking his letter–box, should rather look at Pinterest accounts to discover people’s gift wishes. Digital Christmas lists are mainly popular among American Pinterest fans, where approximately one in five women use the site. However, British, Dutch and French users are also using Pinterest to create the Christmas I want and Gifts boards, where they pin images and products with ideas of Christmas presents, decoration, food, etc. According to one survey of 3,000 Americans, two thirds of them would use the social network for gift ideas for the Christmas, with a quarter admitting they would use Pinterest to find presents for themselves. The “Women’s Buying Index”, produced by review site SheSpeaks in partnership with marketing agency Lippe Taylor, showed that women are likely to shop online for gifts more than ever before, with 60 per cent of respondents using Pinterest to collect ideas, according to Buzzfeed[4]. Not surprisingly, five of the top 10 UK online retailers have created Christmas themed pinboards containing ideas for gifts, decorations and food – this revealed by research done by Searchmetrics.  Argos at the forefront has six pinboards including gifts for him and her, Secret Santa and Top Toys. Tesco and John Lewis both have four Christmas boards, Www Look has two and ASOS has one.


Magda Legosz