Think All Pinners Are Alike? Think Again.
Pinners are crafty fashionista ladies, obsessed with chevron patterns and mason jars — right? Not so fast. Pinterest has been evolving quickly in recent years, and so has its user base. Drawn by the platform’s strong visual experience, as well as its focus on interests and ideas, people are flocking to Pinterest in droves. In fact, the company expects its active user base to grow to 329 million people by 2018.
All of these new users are shaping the Pinterest community to reflect their own different tastes, lifestyles, and activities. And marketers are definitely taking notice. Let’s look at two very significant changes in who uses Pinterest, what they use it for, and what it all means.
Pinners are increasingly male. That’s right — dudes.
According to Pew Research, the percentage of online men who use Pinterest has increased more than 300% since 2012. In fact, Pinterest recently reported that ⅓ of new members are male. “Men’s fashion” was one of the Top 10 Pinterest searches in the U.S. during 2015. In other words: the guys are there.
The growth in male Pinners is partly by design. Pinterest did substantial research to find out why men were not using the platform, then tweaked its user experience to address the issues. For example, the new guided search takes the user’s stated gender into account. So, if you’re a man searching for athletic gear on Pinterest, you’re no longer likely to see a bunch of sports bras in the results.
As Pinterest has expanded into new countries, the organization has also taken steps to ensure broad appeal from the start. For example, in the UK, Pinterest has partnered with the Manchester United soccer team as well as a men’s fashion retailer Mr. Porter to attract men. These efforts are definitely paying off — the mix of Pinner genders is much closer to 50/50 in non-U.S. countries.
Underneath it all, Pinterest is about interests. So what are men interested in? Well, we started with a 2015 list of 22 More Hobbies for Men from The Art of Manliness. Every single one of these interests is popular on Pinterest — from bicycling and motorcycling to coffee roasting, vinyl record collecting, beekeeping, and more. For marketers looking to engage with male audiences, the Pinterest sweet spot is where their interests overlap with your brand messages.
With 58 boards, 33.8k Pins and 93.8k followers, outdoor gear company REI has a very strong Pinterest presence. REI’s social team maintains multiple boards geared around interests — including cycling and rock climbing, two “manly” hobbies listed above. Interest boards feature a mix of product Pins from REI.com, along with links to how-to content from REI experts. Repurposed from the REI blog, this bike-commuting infographic is a great example of an ideal brand Pin. It features helpful information in a highly visual vertical format, with very subtle branding. The complete Pin includes valuable tips about the benefits of bike commuting and ways to make the ride easier.
Though of course, the outdoors is open to all, REI does use Pinterest to appeal specifically to men, directly and indirectly, across categories and Pins.
Pinners are business people too.
Don’t believe us?
1| Entrepreneur has 39 boards and 61k followers
2| Wired has 29 boards and almost 56k followers and its Business board has 34k followers
3| Forbes.com has 46 boards and 38k followers
B2B brands are starting to wake up to the potential on Pinterest. And really, it just makes sense. If you’re already generating visual content for other formats (web, brochures, presentations), it’s not that hard to repurpose them into helpful Pins. Think product shots, infographics, case studies, presentations, step-by-step tutorials, charts and graphs, etc. Share your ideas for using your products or services, your thoughts about your industry, your expertise and thought leadership. You can even use Pinterest to humanize your brand through sharing behind-the-scenes content, customer stories, details about your charitable efforts, and much more.
For example, Level 3 Communications is a global network company focused on managed security, network, voice, and data services. On Pinterest, Level 3’s team fosters connection with boards and Pins organized around follower interests. Some boards feature Pins on serious concerns such as Cyber Security, Cloud Computing, and All Things (Big) Data. Other boards are fun and quirky reflections of their target audience -— For All Nerdkind, The Innovators, and The Internet is Awesome.
For National Cyber Security Awareness Month, the brand Pinned a series of visually compelling snippets about the history of cyber security.
The Level 3 team does a great job of repurposing graphics from other materials and sharing striking infographics that speak to its industry. Here, the brand is checking off a lot of our Pinterest best practice boxes with a highly vertical pin, subtle branding, and a focus on useful information.
Level 3 also Pins content from its other social presences, such as this virtual tour
More than ever, Pinterest is for all interests, whether traditionally male or female, leisure or professional. If your brand hasn’t folded Pinterest into your social strategy, because you assumed your target audience wasn’t there, it may be time to bring this channel into your mix. There are communities for all kinds of shared interests — Goth culture, woodworking, astrophysics, parkour, and so much more. With a Pinterest strategy that focuses on topics your audience cares about, you’re likely to pinpoint incredible new opportunities for engagement and relevance. Want to go deeper? Download Ideas, Insight & Intent: How Pinterest Has Evolved & What It Means To Brands Today.