Pinterest is on the Manhunt

A lot of big news has been coming from the popular social bookmarking site Pinterest recently, including their updated “guided search” feature and their venture into advertising with Promoted Pins.

Plagued by the stereotype that Pinterest is only for women, many men have been “afraid” to join the site, causing the site’s visitors to skew 80% female since its inception four years ago.

The San Francisco-based company is looking to change that.

In an effort to attract males to the prominently female-driven site, Pinterest is trying to make the site more gender neutral. The pinning powerhouse has been making changes in an attempt to attract the opposite sex, and their first step was to add more categories that men would be interested in. Since then, male-focused content has increased, specifically in the following categories: “Geek” increased by 175%, “Cars and Motorcycles” by 134% and “Men’s Fashion” by 122%.

Pinterest is also targeting search queries based on gender. Before this change, if you typed in “Shoes,” a variety of shoe images would appear, mostly female with some male shoes tossed in. Now, if a man searches for “Shoes” men’s shoes will appear, and if a female searches for “Shoes,” women’s shoes will appear.

Female shoes Pinterest Male shoes Pinterest

Pinterest has also modified the site sign-up process. On sign-up, a list of “suggested interests” recommended by the site is now generated based on gender.

Further, Pinterest has been pushing gender neutral content when introducing the site to new markets, including Japan, Korea and India, and they have seen a sign-up ratio of 1-1, men and women. In the U.S., however, the sign-up ratio remains at 3-1.

comScore estimates that 71% of the 72.5 million visitors the site saw in December were women, making it the most female-skewed social network, while most social networking sites are closer to a 50/50 split on gender. However, with the recent changes, those numbers are beginning to change. According to a recent Pew survey, 13% of online men in the U.S. use Pinterest, up from 8% last year.

With the fastest growth rate of any social networking site, there is no doubt that Pinterest is successful. The executives at Pinterest state that they want to do for discovery what Google did for search, and that is in part why they are reaching out to new target markets.  If you have an interest, Pinterest has something for you to discover. So far, there have been 30 billion unique entries pinned to the site. Not only does this speak for the growth of the website, but it also provides marketers with valuable information about what users may be interested in. With all of these changes still in their infancy, our attention will be pinned to Pinterest to see how the site evolves over the next year.

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Pinterest Now Offers Advertising Units – Promoted Pins

Promoted Pins

Back in May, Pinterest announced the release of their first advertising unit—Promoted Pins—for select brands. The first rollout was not geared toward small- or medium-sized businesses. According to AdAge, Pinterest was seeking a sizable commitment of over $1 million from participating advertisers. Promoted Pins are a form of native advertising within the site for tasteful, transparent and relevant ads.

But, after a successful beta launch, the popular image-bookmarking website announced its decision to give all users ability to use the Promoted Pins ad unit. Access to the ads opened up on January 1, 2015, and they are on a “reservation-based” availability.

Since the full rollout happened so recently, it is presently unknown what the current rates are and if “all users” truly means all users or if there are certain business stipulations that apply. We do know that the ads are based on CPM (cost per 1,000 impressions/views) and some of the benefits discovered during the eight months of beta testing are as follows:

  • Promoted Pins perform as good or better than organic/unpromoted pins.
  • Brand advertisers achieved an approximate 30% bump in earned media from people who saw a Promoted Pin and saved it to one of their boards.
  • Promoted Pins are repinned an average of 11 times or more versus unpromoted pins.
  • Promoted Pins continue to draw engagement from users even after a campaign has ended.
  • Businesses outside of Pinterest’s core categories, which are Food and Drink, Crafts, Home Décor and Women’s Fashion, were successful with Promoted Pins.

For the first few years, Pinterest was focused on building a user base—or audience—rather than on earning revenue, but it has become obvious in several ways that their focus has evolved with businesses and advertising in mind. For one, in addition to the new advertising units, Pinterest has introduced a useful marketing tool for businesses—Pinstitute. With Pinstitute, businesses can learn how to connect with users and see an even greater return on investment. Only certain businesses will be invited to Pinstitute workshops, but webinars and other online learning tools will be available to smaller businesses. Currently there are roughly 500,000 business accounts on Pinterest, but with these new marketing opportunities, we could see this number increase over the next few years, especially if the price of ads drops and the ad options increase.

Pinterest was the fastest standalone website to surpass the 10-million visitor mark, ever. Now with 70 million users, the site is a powerhouse at driving referral traffic and ecommerce sales. In fact, Pinterest referrals spend 70% more money than visitors referred from non-social channels. Pinterest now joins Facebook, Twitter and Instagram on the list of popular social media sites to rollout advertising opportunities. It’s been apparent that having active accounts on social media is an important marketing tactic, but now advertising on these media platforms is the easiest way to cut through the noise.

Are you interested in putting your business on social media or revamping your current social strategy? Robertson & Markowitz Advertising and Public Relations can help you by creating and implementing a plan that is tailored to your business. Call R&M today, 912-921-1040.

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