Marketing to Women: Pinterest vs. Facebook Smackdown!

November 5, 2012 § Leave a comment

Have you ever created a book of inspirations?  For a wedding, wardrobe, home or entertaining?  Well, I have cabinets full of ideas that I tore out of magazines, pictures I took and products that I like.  Well, it seems that is what Pinterest is for women.  And what Facebook is not.In a Bizrate study among online shoppers using Pinterest, 70% said they do so to get inspiration on what to buy – that compares with just 17% of Facebook users who report the same.  So here’s the deal – Pinterest is about ideas and inspirations and Facebook is about relationships. That is why Pinterest users say they are more likely to use the site (43%) to engage with retailers and brands versus Facebook (24%).   Pinterest is definitely a discovery tool.  And Facebook is a relationship tool.  So it is no surprise that Pinterest users actually follow more brands than Facebook users do.

Engagement by Platform

Some interesting information has come out of this study that shows the differences in the user activity.  Facebook users are more passive  than Pinterest users.  I think this really gets at the purposes of the sites – Facebook is about connecting in a window shopping way (Participators and Observers) versus Pinterest (Creators) putting together ideas for a real shopping experience.  Marketing Charts summed it up this way:

For example, online shoppers who use Facebook are more than twice as likely as those who use Pinterest (55% vs. 26%) to say they’ve liked or followed a retailer or brand. They’re also more likely to have searched for a specific retailer or brand (30% vs. 23%), browsed photos or pinboards created by retailers or brands (44% vs. 36%), viewed or claimed coupons or sales (30% vs. 9%), and participated in contests or promotions (30% vs. 9%).

But while Facebook users appear more engaged in these observational activities, Pinterest users are more apt to be “creators,” as Bizrate Insights calls them. That means that Pinterest users are more likely to repin an item (55%) than Facebook users are to post or share one (37%). They’re also more likely to pin an item they saw on a retailer or brand’s website (37%) than are Facebook users to post or share such an item (27%).

Bottom Line

Facebook is still the gorilla.  Latest research from September 2012 shows that 63% of online consumers have a Facebook account, and only 15% of online consumers have a Pinterest account.  But as we know, things change quickly in social media.  Right now, marketers are not sure how to use Pinterest, while Facebook advertising has matured a bit.

Oh, and don’t forget, Pinterest recently surpassed Yahoo to become the fourth largest driver of traffic in the world.

What to do? Make sure you have a Pinterest page.  Have a Pinterest button on your website.  And start experimenting.  Remember that 10% of your budget should be used for new touch points – knowing that some will work and others won’t.


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