Pinning Down the Impact of Pinterest

Pinterest Food

Image from: Pinterest

Pinterest’s rapid ascent in traffic growth has sent marketers scrambling to understand the impact the site is having on its brand.   To put the growth in context, Pinterest has grown from 700K to almost 20M unique visitors in the last year – or about half the number of Twitter’s unique visitors.

UVs to Pinterest and Twitter

The surge in Pinterest traffic has gotten the attention of brand marketers who need to understand how yet another social platform fits into its digital strategy – does Pinterest take the place of other social networks or is it additional place that consumers spend time?

New research from Compete’s Online Shopper Intelligence Survey suggests that Pinterest is succeeding in disrupting the social media landscape.  About 1 in 4 consumers reports that they are spending less time on other social media sites in favor of Pinterest.  Compete has observed some evidence of this change in behavior – there has been 3% decline in time spent on Facebook over the last month.

Pinterest is also attracting consumers who have not previously interacted with a social media.  15% of Pinterest users reported that they do not use any other social media sites.  That number climbed to 23% amongst consumers with income less than 30K.

How does your use of Pinterest impact your use of other social media websites

Marketers will likely need to evolve their digital strategies given the above finding that 39% of the market has changed their social networking behavior in some way due to Pinterest.

Anyone who has interacted with Pinterest is aware of just how diverse the content is – ranging from recipies to vacation destinations.  We asked consumers about the types of content they are most likely to engage with on Pinterest to help provide some perspective on the highest potential areas of opportunities for marketers.

Food related content was the most overwhelmingly popular content that consumers interacted with on Pinterest – 57% of consumers interacted with food related content according to our Online Shopper Intelligence survey.

Which of the following types of items do you interact with on Pinterest

We took a look at traffic to recipe sites and noted that outbound traffic from Pinterest to was up 16%.  CPG grocery manufacturers should also take note –Kraft’s recipe sites captured an additional 4% share of Pinterest’s outbound traffic in May 2012 according to Compete online behavioral data.

Have you ever purchased a product or service after discovering it on a Pinterest

Pinterest is not just raising brand awareness but is also driving purchase behavior.   About 25% of consumers reported purchasing a product or service after discovering it on Pinterest – that number jumped to 37% amongst males.

Potential actions for brand marketers to take

  • Quantify the difference in consumer engagement and purchase behavior before and after being exposed to specific categories, brands and/or products on Pinterest
  • Isolate differences in consumer purchase and engagement behavior across different demographics – age, income and gender
  • Compare how engagement and purchase behavior of consumers interacting with Pinterest compares with Facebook
  • Quantify the impact that exposure to Pinterest has on brand / product loyalty