E010 How Pinterest is Different From Other Social Media
On today’s episode, Annette will help you explain to potential clients and businesses how Pinterest is different from other social media platforms (especially Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat), and why those differences matter. And don’t miss this week’s peculiar pin—Pinterventions! (it’s at the bottom)
First things first. If your potential clients aren’t even considering Pinterest, listen to Episode 1: “Is Pinterest a Good Fit for Your Business?” to determine if this is the right direction for them to go. It answers who should be on Pinterest, what you can expect, and how to evaluate.
How is Pinterest different?
As a Pinterest account manager, it’s important to help potential clients understand Pinterest’s unique audience, placement in the sales cycle, and long term value to their website. But you’ll need to break it down for them. They need to understand HOW Pinterest interacts with their content because it’s so different from other platforms, especially if they are familiar with marketing their content on those other platforms.
Clients need to have a clear understanding of how Pinterest is different so they can:
Get the best results
Have reasonable expectations
Work well with their Pinterest management company
Pinterest gets called a social media platform, but it’s not really the same as Instagram and Facebook—those are totally different places, and followers act differently there than they do on Pinterest.
Key Differences to Understand
Engagement vs seeking platforms
Different stage of shopping
Pace and longevity of content
Engagement vs Seeking Platforms
Before we dive into how they’re different, let’s talk about how they’re the same. One thing that Pinterest (a seeking platform) has in common with engagement platforms (like Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, etc.) is that it’s based on ad revenue. They all make their money by selling ads to sellers (any business with a product to sell) and content creators (bloggers, YouTubers, etc.).
An engagement platform is where you INTERACT with friends, brands, and influencers.
Seeking platforms are for finding information. YouTube and Pinterest are both seeking platforms, with the most popular search term starting with “how to…” Pinterest actually calls itself a Visual Discovery Engine. It’s really not for engagement, it’s to inspire and discover.
Facebook and Instagram are engagement platforms. It’s where people go to share about their lives and what they’re doing. If you host a party or go on a trip, you’ll share pictures of those events on these engagement platforms.
Twitter and Snapchat are for in-the-moment engagement. It’s what you are doing right now! That means you’d be posting about your party or trip during the party or trip, not afterward.
Pinterest is a seeking platform. You go there when you are planning your party or trip! The important thing to know about this is that it makes followers less important. Yes, followers matter, but they aren’t the most important thing about your account because your content will still be shown to people who are SEEKING information in the search categories! Check out Pinterest’s webinar Holiday Strategies CPG below for a visual explanation (14:21-15:11).
Different Stage of Shopping (and how Pinterest is actually used)
People go to Pinterest with unbranded searches. For example, if someone wanted to learn how to use Trello or Slack, they wouldn’t go to Pinterest for that, they’d go to Google to learn more about those brands. Help your clients understand that Pinterest isn’t the same as Google, it’s used BEFORE Google.
This also means that Pinterest users are in a different stage in their shopping and brand relationship. For a great explanation, watch Getting started with Pinterest Ads (1:00 to 2:17) below
It shows where Pinterest users are in their path to purchase, and it’s always early in the game. This is actually true whether they’re buying something OR just planning something. This is the most influential stage, but they are COLD in terms of how close they are to making a purchase. They are not ready to purchase or subscribe (yet) because they don’t have a relationship or any specific brand or decision in mind—but they are easy to influence at this stage.
Once a Pinterest user discovers you, most of the interaction will move away from Pinterest and happen through email, website, or even Facebook! This means the last click before they buy often falls to other platforms, but they were INTRODUCED to the brand on Pinterest.
Clients need to understand WHERE pinners are in their search. Some pinners will use the content they pin right away, but those are typically recipes searches. This is still a general search even though they might be looking for a certain recipe. They aren’t typically looking for a specific blog (they’d use Google for that), so they’ll be searching something generic like “chicken recipes.”
Another important thing to note is that moms trust Pinterest more than any other social media. This is a large percentage of Pinterest users, so it’s important to pay attention to them because they are also the major consumer choice makers. You can find more information from Pinterest in this video Holiday Strategies for CPG (10:37 to 11:26). Embedded 2 videos up
Pace and Longevity
Content takes longer to gain traction on Pinterest, which Pinterest discusses in this webinar: Performance Webinar 2 Pinterset Search (18:00-19:00).
They say that Pinterest ad campaigns need to least a mont. Development is slow because pinners aren’t sold on anyone yet, they are still in the research stage!
The good news here is that pinners save things, and that means they go back and look at them again. Pinterest will go back and share that content again because it’s generated interest, and they want to show it to more people who also might be interested.
This means pins have a long lifespan, which is very different from other platforms. On Twitter, you get about a millisecond. On Facebook, you really only get a few hours, but it could be up to a day (or longer if they go viral). On Instagram, you get about a day, whether it’s a post in your feed or a story.
For example, when someone is planning a trip, they might pin lots of ideas to their travel board before they even book tickets. Once they’ve actually booked their trip, they’ll go back to that travel board to start planning what they’ll do on their trip.
This concept is critical for clients to understand because they are probably much more familiar with other platforms where content may go viral right away, or at least create engagement. The Pinterest standard is slow, steady growth.
Pro Tip: If clients don’t use Pinterest, suggest that they use it for a while or even talk to someone who is just a user (not an account manager). This will help them understand these concepts of slower pace and longevity of pins.
Maximizers and Optimizers
Understanding maximizers and optimizers will help you understand purchasing habits, as everyone fits into one of these categories.
Optimizers are people who will make a purchase with the first option they find that meets their minimum set requirements. For example, someone is in the market to purchase a couch, and they will buy one from the first store they visit—if it meets their minimum set requirements.
Maximizers are researchers. They might go to four different stores before they decide which couch they’ll buy. They want to know what all their options are before they make a purchase. Pinterest thrives on maximizers!
Your goals is to help maximizers make the shift to optimizers.
Pinterest is a solid, time-tested platform that can truly help your clients increase business and garner a loyal following, but there’s a lot these clients should know before diving in. Explain these concepts to them so they can understand what it is, how it can help them, and what their expectations should be.
E010: How Pinterest is Different From Other Social Media
1:55 Peculiar Pin: Pintervention
2:58 Intro to explaining Pinterest to clients
7:00 Engagement vs Seeking Platforms
10:50 Pinterest Users in the Sales Cycle
15:00 Pace and Longevity
19:20 Maximizers and Optimizers
Peculiar Pin: This week’s Peculiar Pin is “Pintervention,” when your friends try to lure you back to Tumblr, Facebook, Twitter, or even (as a last resort) MySpace—anything to get you off Pinterest! If you need a good laugh, check out the WTF Pinterest account (and learn some “Pinter vocabulary” while you’re there! You can find all the Peculiar Pins on our Pinterest Board “Peculiar Pins.”