When you look at the stats, it’s clear that Pinterest is focused on eCommerce, more so than being a social network.

Case in point – recently, when talking about social in Australia, somebody noted that no one cares about Pinterest in the local market. And while it’s definitely true that Pinterest doesn’t have a huge audience down under, there are still some 4.5 million Australian users on the platform.

No where near the 15.5 million Aussies on Facebook, for sure, but 4.5 million is still a huge number – there’s a lot of people Pinning and searching for products in our region.

How can we be sure they’re searching for products? Because that’s what Pinners do – according to research, some 93% of active Pinners (those who visit the platform regularly) use the platform to plan for purchases, while 87% of Pinners have indicated that Pinterest engagement has helped them decide what to purchase.

That’s a lot of purchase intent – in fact, the recent Mary Meeker Internet Trends report highlighted that Pinterest has the highest percentage of users who utilize the platform to find and shop for products, coming in at 55%. The next closest? Facebook and Instagram tied on a comparatively tiny 12%.

When you look at the stats, it’s clear that Pinterest is focused on eCommerce, more so than being a social network. Pinterest has even said as much – they describe their platform as “the world’s catalog of ideas” and aspire to do for product discovery what Google has done for search, matching users with the most relevant products based on their individual tastes from their expanding catalog of items.

Make no mistake, Pinterest is a valuable network, particularly if your brand has anything to do with food & drink, DIY & crafts, home décor, holidays & events and/or fashion. These are the top categories of interest on the platform – if you work in any of these areas and you’re not using Pinterest, you’re likely missing out. And yes, that even relates to the Australian market.

In terms of how to succeed on Pinterest, the some key elements to keep in mind are:

  • You need to Pin consistently to gain traction – look to be active on the platform every day
  • You should schedule your Pins for maximum impact, when your target audience is also active
  • Apply for Rich Pins which enable you to include extra information on your Pin content
  • ‘Taller’ Pins work better, so optimize for larger images on the site
  • Include relevant keywords in your descriptions to ensure you’re found in searches (there are more than 2 billion searches conducted on Pinterest monthly)

It may not be the most popular social platform, nor one that generates a lot of hype, but Pinterest could be an amazingly powerful platform for your brand, if used well, and if your target audience is active on the platform.

You need to conduct your own research, and you need to experiment and see what works, but don’t dismiss any social network out of hand because of overall demographic and audience data. Those smaller platforms may be more niche, but that may also be where your most passionate fans are active.

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