Pinterest, “the out-of-nowhere social network” as CNN writer John D. Sutter dubbed it, is on many people’s minds this holiday season. And it’s not just consumers scheming how to stealthily pin gift ideas for friends and family on (gasp!) only three secret boards who are utilizing the photo centric social media platform. Big brand marketers, too, are scrambling to build Pinterest brand pages in time for holiday shopping.
Why? Shoppers referred by Pinterest are 10 percent more likely to make a purchase than visitors who arrive from other social networks, including Facebook and Twitter. They’ll also spend 10 percent more on average. A study by RichRelevance confirms the numbers, showing the average retail order from shoppers coming from Pinterest is $169, compared to the $95 people spend when they come from Facebook and the $71 they spend when coming from Twitter.
Full disclaimer here: While my job involves social media strategy and daily posting and monitoring, I’m not a social media manager, and I don’t oversee Pinterest accounts on behalf of any big brand clients. However, I am your typical Pinterest user. According to recent data, I fall into the largest demographic percentage of users for age, gender and household income.
So while I’m not actually creating a strategic Pinterest holiday shopping plan, I’ve had my feelers out to see what others are doing. Here’s what I’ve noticed:
Brands have been using “pin it to win it” contests as a way to increase engagement and followers pretty much since they jumped on the Pinterest bandwagon. This holiday season, it seems just about every brand is encouraging people to repin for swag. “Pin it to win it” contests range from the relatively simple to the downright involved. Agloves, maker of touch screen gloves and number one on our list of holiday tech tools on inbound marketers’ wish lists, just wants users to follow and repin to win, where HuffPo Taste wants users to navigate a myriad of rules for their chance at a Williams-Sonoma Cuisine Electric Pressure cooker.
While secret boards are great for planning gifts to get others, big brands want you to share your holiday wish list with the world. After all, other people can’t see what you do on your secret boards until you invite them to collaborate. Gap wants your followers to see your wish list so badly, they’re offering a $50 gift card for followers to share its products. Other brands like Macy’s are simply populating gift idea boards and encouraging users to “Be Santa.”
Men may only make up roughly 20 percent of Pinterest users, but recent data shows men’s purchasing power is steadily increasing. Forty percent of men are now the primary grocery shopper in the home, and men have actually surpassed women as the chief buyer in the American household. While I haven’t seen too many brands targeting men this holiday season, Pinterest-like sites such as Manteresting and Dudepins lead me to believe brands will be spending more time targeting men in 2013.
Do you share my enthusiasm for Pinterest? What brand marketing holiday shopping Pinterest trends have you noticed?
Lisa Gulasy is a young public relations professional highly interested in social media brand management, copywriting and grammar. Lisa works as an Associate Consultant at Kuno Creative where she creates content and assists senior consultants. Find her on Twitter and LinkedIn.
Photo credit: Macy's "Be Santa" board