A Love Letter To Pinterest

If you’ve been reading our Daily Distractions (and we highly recommend that you do), you will have noticed that we’ve been caught dumbfounded on several occasions when it comes to Pinterest. For a long time Pinterest has been talked about as the home of “DIY fails” (which are of course, hilarious), or the over-curated shareables site that your mom is obsessed with. But consider for a moment the incredible fact that 40 per cent of Pinners have actually purchased something that they’ve found on the platform within the past 6 months. That makes Pinterest a 50 per cent more effective conversion tool than any other social media site. The statistics are staggering, and what’s more, is that they’ve expanded their toolbox to offer even further ability to optimize the platform for e-commerce.

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Pinterest is not only helping Pinners to plan their style, homes, diets, and tattoos, but encourages them to get out of their online bubble and try something new. While that could mean ordering a far-out bag they saw a blogger pin, or booking a trip to some exotic locale they’ve been dreaming up in a Board, it often comes down to the hard numbers: Pinners are very active shoppers. So what gives? How in the world did no one (especially us), not see this coming? We’ve got a few reasons below:

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Pinterest has rewarded early adopters.

When they announced Promoted Pins in 2014, no one was falling over themselves thinking it was the craziest thing ever. Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and more had already begun hosting advertisements or sponsored content on their sites for a long time. But when Pinterest quietly married Promoted Pins with their creator network Pin Collective, people took notice. Those who were already running Promoted Pins got access to a self-serve platform that would create optimal pins in 10-14 days with the help of Pinterest’s collective of experts on Pinterest advertising. It was a genius move that brought brands like Old Spice and Adidas Originals even higher on our radars.

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They know who their fans are.

Pinterest knows their audience, and they know it well. Not only are they unafraid of the feminization of their brand, but they embrace it, and encourage that brand to be as diverse as the women who associate themselves with it. Pinterest knows that it has become one of the major resources for women’s fashion, making them the top resource for women across all demographics in that nearly $829 billion industry. They’ve got a bigger chunk of the pie than Instagram and Facebook, who are yet to roll out a means of smoothly transitioning from visual content to shoppable content.

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They’re as transparent as cellophane.

If you have ever had any questions about what Pinterest is about, what’s trending on the site, or what’s happening on the platform, you need only to head to their Pinterest Blog. We’ve been impressed by their analyzation of current trends across their platform’s various demographics, as well as a good balance of content that would interest both advertisers and recreational Pinners, which leads us to our following point…

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Their blog rocks (for Pinners & advertisers).

We just said it, but we want to say it again: this thing is amazing. Just reading it makes you feel smarter, even though it’s not written in a condescending or overly-factual way (score!).

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Perfect integration of sponsored content.

Promoted Pins might show up more frequently than others, but Pinterest has remained loyal to their format and not given too much preference to those advertiser’s pins over those that might be more relevant to the actual search terms. It’s at times difficult to discern what pins are promoted and which are appearing in the feed as the most relevant/popular in relation to the search terms. This is something that other social media platforms’ algorithms have really changed by favoring the most active/highest promoted posts over others in their feed, sacrificing relevance in the process. With their new process for creating Promoted Pins, we can only expect that advertised pins will integrate even more smoothly into each topic.

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They’ve made themselves a direct resource for almost any information.

You can search just about anything on Pinterest. And better yet, you can create your own searches with content you’ve found somewhere else or on the platform, that essentially could help to make their algorithm even better for someone else down the line. The constant process of pinning, re-pinning, and adding to boards has made it so that Pinterest easily allows information to be added to the algorithm based on the actual activity of Pinners. It’s much more transparent in that sense and searchable than other platforms, making it much easier for you to find the information you are actually looking for. It doesn’t hurt of course that Pinterest pins surface pretty high in many Google searches (so much so that Google has developed their platform to more closely match the Pinterest format for shoppable content). Pinterest also has rolled out a beta version of Lenses, a reverse image search software which could create an incredible resource for any shoppable pins on the web.

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Their aesthetics are on point.

Seriously, have you ever seen something so beautiful as a Pinterest board theme? Images are always laid out flawlessly through their app and their desktop (without sacrificing function). Not only is it a visually-driven platform (which of course is totally in our wheelhouse), it has prized web design that somehow has married diverse functions without crowding our visual space. The content is clearly what drives the site, and when the content is beautiful, so is Pinterest.

This may seem like a love letter to the platform, and maybe that’s exactly what it is. But in a time when it seems that every other platform is nipping at each other heels, Pinterest is a refreshing change from the same-old-same-old, with some truly underrated features that we’re excited to utilize. Also, they’re a pretty badass company (just look at their first advertising campaign from June).

hunter mackinnon