06. July 2020, Editorial

Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Tik Tok: There are a lot of social media channels out there and marketing departments are working overtime to keep them all fed and up to date. But what really matters is picking the platforms that fit your business best and adding tailored content to them.


integrate a shop
intent to buy
passion for collecting
Social Media
visual content

Since the algorithms shifted – away from fan pages to increasingly prioritising content posted by friends and groups – it has been trickier to acquire customers via Facebook and other channels. In response, lots of companies are looking elsewhere, in many cases ignoring Pinterest completely. But with over 335 million users worldwide, it is one of the biggest social media platforms of them all.

Although Pinterest has an impressive reach here in Austria with more than a million users, only a handful of domestic companies and brands are exploiting the true potential of its online pin boards. Since its launch, Pinterest has focused exclusively on images – a stroke of genius really, given that visual content has a more instantaneous appeal than text-based posts. This enables companies to reach out to consumers at every stage of the customer journey. But how can businesses use these tools to make money?

Let’s take a closer look at the platform itself.


What is Pinterest?

Coins, stamps or just inspirational images. Collecting is hard-wired in the human psyche, and it’s no different in the virtual world and on social media platforms. Pinterest now has more than 55 billion pins to its credit, which are usually images pinned to multiple pin boards and shared with other users – from favourite recipes to fashion ideas and furniture. But unlike Instagram or Facebook, Pinterest is not about self-promotion. Instead, people use it as a source of inspiration and a place to find ideas. These pins are basically bookmarks that link to the website which the content comes from. Another click and users are taken there directly.

Selecting the ‘pin it’ feature adds the content to the user’s own pin board so that they can find and access it again more easily. Interestingly, around 80% of traffic is accounted for by mobile devices.

Which companies is Pinterest a good fit for?

Here in Austria, furniture stores lead the way, with Ikea, XXXLutz and their peers using the site to outstanding effect. “On Pinterest, average monthly viewers is a good indicator of how well a company is doing. On this metric, Ikea Austria is clocking up more than 2.4 million users a month on its Pinterest site alone. XXXLutz and Mömax are each looking at an average of 800,000 views,” explained Markus Zimmer, CEO of BuzzValue.

But all of this needs to be seen in the context of the current record-breaking popularity of online retail. Pinterest is using the corona crisis to its advantage and looking to position itself as a digital shopping centre, launching a number of new functions for retailers in response. These functions are designed to make it easier for ‘pinners’ to find products and let companies measure the success of their products on Pinterest more efficiently. They also enhance discoverability for small and medium-sized businesses.

Buy as you browse

On Pinterest, users create pin boards on specific subjects for inspiration and to bookmark things like interior designs and tips to use at a later date. But rather than only serving as a visualisation, the boards now have a new area where pinners can see products for sale associated with their pins. A catalogue function lets retailers upload complete catalogues and turn individual items into product pins. These can then be used to create ads.

If someone is looking for a specific subject, the site displays a new section where users can buy in-stock goods. What’s shown is aligned to the search terms, and can also be filtered by price and brand. A new ‘Shop’ tab lets users make purchases using their Pinterest profile, while generating traffic for the retailer’s site.

A bright future aheas

So in conclusion, Pinterest offers a number of advantages over other social media platforms for companies looking to advertise, particularly due to the way that shopping functionality has now been integrated. After all, the users who flock to the site looking for inspiration (also from products) already have the idea of making a purchase in the back of their minds to a certain extent.

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