Pinterest: Are Women Driving Its Explosive Growth?

Women and Pinterest

We know that women are the gateway to sales, making 85 percent of all purchasing decisions in the American household. Well over half of all female shoppers are using online social networks to find the newest and best products for themselves and their families.

The latest online social network is Pinterest.  Launched in 2010, the site is a runaway hit, growing from 1.6 million visitors in September 2011 to 11.1 million visitors as of February 2012.

I’ve been an active member of Pinterest for a while now. The greatest thing about Pinterest is that I can selectively choose what I want to follow. I use Pinterest much like I would use any notebook where I would keep clippings of things that inspire me, recipes, books I want to read, or anything else I can think of.

Currently women make up about 82 percent of Pinterest active users, according to Google Ad Planner.  Whether that’s because women are already using social networks 30 percent more than men, or simply because they’re earlier to the party remains to be seen. Pinterest may be attracting women because of its storytelling aspect that women relate to – women are attracted to the feel of a brand and to the “why” behind every company. Whatever the answer, the real question remains: How will businesses start using Pinterest as a marketing tool to speak to their customers?

One of the most straightforward ways for brands to use the platform is to exhibit items or services that traditional appeal to women. Companies like Lilly Pulitzer and Chobani Yogurt are showing ways to use their products. Nordstrom, Lands’ End and Better Homes & Garden magazine have added buttons on their websites to let visitors easily pin photos on Pinterest. Virgin America airlines, Gilt Group and Barneys New York have started their own Pinterest pages.

Whether women continue to dominate Pinterest remains to be seen, but as marketers review site user demographics they will continue to tailor their messages to the primary Pinterest users.  As a result, Pinterest may become a haven for women on the Internet, with products, content and images tailored specifically for them. Because, as with all marketing to women, building relationships is the key to long-term brand commitment and loyalty.