Retail Marketers Alert: Pinterest Now the No. 3 Social Media Site

New York—Have you pinned lately? If not, then you may be missing out on the latest phenomenon in social media: Pinterest.

In its recently released report, 2012 Digital Marketer: Benchmark and Trend Report, Experian Marketing Services, a digital media research company, found that Pinterest is now the third most popular social network on the web, behind Facebook and Twitter and ahead of LinkedIn.

What’s more Pinterest is gaining followers faster than other websites. TechCrunch reported earlier this year that Pinterest reached 10 million monthly unique U.S. visitors faster than any other website ever. Experian noted that nearly 21.5 million visits the site received during the week ending January 28, was nearly 30 times the amount it received just six months earlier, during the week ending July 30, 2011.

Pinterest, which is available to “invited” members, is an online pin board to organize and share images of things the user loves–from vacation photos to the latest footwear.

When a user pins an image using the Pinterest shortcut, it links back to the referring source, creating links to the original content. If a Pinterest user finds something they are interested in, they can like it, pin it to their own board, and visit the site directly.

Interest in the site is soaring, too, given its demographics: most of Pinterest users are women, some 60% and 55% are between the ages of 25 and 44. By region, California and Texas have the largest share of visits to the site, and its users overindex in visits from Midwestern, Northwestern, and Southeastern states.

Opportunity for Retail Brands

“This data indicates that Pinterest visitors have a different profile versus their counterparts visiting other social networking sites such as Facebook and YouTube,” Experian says.

Moreover there’s opportunity to market retail on Pinterest, too. Interest in “fashion curious” topics has grown 2300%, Experian says. (See Accessories magazine’s Pinterest page at: http://pinterest.com/accessoriesmag)

“As communities become less about friends and more about common interests, retail brands in particular need to take note if they want to make more meaningful connections with their customers,” the report notes.

Experian reports that some 90% of adults online use social media regularly, yet marketing through social media remains a challenge in most businesses. Indeed, 46% of marketers cite multichannel coordination as their biggest challenge over the past 12 to 18 months.

According to Experian’s report, retail brands may fare better than other industries in social media marketing. Retail brands that ran at least four ad campaigns on Facebook in 2011 drew some of the highest conversion rates. Retail Facebook ads resulted in a 49% conversion rate, compared to 40% for travel advertisers and 58% for consumer goods brands. In contrast, auto brand ads on Facebook generated only 18% conversion.

Facebook ads can be a “significant source” of company site traffic, added the report.

“The pace of change in today’s digital world is faster than most marketers can keep up with. Technology and media proliferation are presenting both challenges and opportunities for chief marketing officers and their brands, making it even more important to have access to an industry diagnostic of this kind,” says Matt Seeley, president at Experian.

 

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