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How Pinterest’s Female Audience Is Changing Social MarketingAs the new kid in town, Pinterest is poised to make some major waves in the social mediascene. Facebook, Twitter and Google+, watch your backs.Launched in 2010, the site grew from 1.6 million visitors in September 2011 to awhopping 11.1 million visitors in February 2012.A cursory examination of Pinterest site statistics reveals some interesting demographicinformation: Women are engaging on the social site with much more veracity than men.Currently, women make up about 82% of active users on Pinterest, according to Google AdPlanner.As a general trend, women engage more on most social sites, including on Facebook andTwitter. Comscore says women are the majority of social networking users, and spend 30%more time on sites than men. Plus, mobile social network usage is 55% female, accordingto Nielsen.SEE ALSO: 8 Strategies for Launching a Brand Presence on PinterestIs it the inherent nature of Pinterest that speaks to women? One might argue thatPinterest’s openness, its homepage feed an aggregate “board” of everyone’s pins, allowsusers to follow friends’ interests and plays to the female psyche. Many examinations havebeen made as to why this is the case. Some have proposed that women are simply moresocially inclined than men, the posited difference being that men generally view socialmedia as a tool — a means to gain information or access entertainment — while womenmore often use it to interact with others and build a community online.
Whatever the answer, the real question remains: What does all of this information meanfor businesses using Pinterest as a marketing tool? After all, women account for 85% of allconsumer purchases, everything from autos to health care.Social consumption sites like Pinterest are particularly good marketing avenues forconsumer products. Many businesses have established presences on Facebook and Twitter,using the unique properties of each platform to highlight their brands. Accordingly,individuals can Like or follow businesses they are interested in. However, it can be difficultto determine just how significant the draw of a product-centric environment for social mediausers on Facebook or Twitter. With sites like Pinterest, companies have a rich view into justsuch an environment.Businesses use two primary marketing tactics to target women on Pinterest. The first, andperhaps most straightforward, is to use the platform to exhibit items or services thattraditionally appeal to women.In the case of Walkers Shortbread, Pinterest represents one of the company’s very firstforays into social media. While the company does have Facebook and Twitter profiles, itfound a better fit for its product on Pinterest. Tom Kupfer, account supervisor for PMG PublicRelations, says, “It makes sense. Pinterest and Walkers are both popular among females.Nothing makes people want to buy shortbread like delicious shortbread photos. It’s a greatway to reach others with an interest in food.”Companies can also use Pinterest to selectively market their products. Core Performance, aproactive wellness company that specializes in training elite athletes, takes the femaledemographic into account when posting to Pinterest — by focusing on nutrition and thelatest weight loss trends and recipes. In addition, Core Performance hired Tia Albright from
wedding site The Knot to oversee its content strategy and to ensure its flavor appeals towomen in particular.SEE ALSO: Pinterest Becomes Top Traffic Driver for Women’s MagazinesAnother tactic for successful marketing on Pinterest and other social consumption sitesinvolves creating an environment that fosters positive associations with a company, ratherthan directly selling products and services. This has the added benefit of falling in line with“pinning etiquette,” which maintains that shameless self-promotion is frowned upon.Rachael Cook, founder of The Yogipreneur, uses this tactic in her marketing strategy. “If Iwere only to have links back to my site, it wouldn’t work as well as if I also reveal my ownlikes and interests to the community,” she says. By creating a communal environment,Cook can grow her personal brand while making potential clients feel welcome andcomfortable. To her, this new wave of social sites is all about creating an experience andbuilding a community rather than performing direct marketing. And by sharing other user’spins, she shows a willingness to reciprocate what she calls “mini-endorsements.”Are these marketers the cause or the result of the primarily female demographic onPinterest? The answer is both. Women, who tend to be much faster at adopting new socialmedia, set the trend. Then, marketers review site user demographics and tailor theirapproaches accordingly. Thus, these sites, though not inherently female, become a havenfor women on the Internet, with products, content and images tailored specifically for them.Looking forward, it would not be surprising to see these trends continue on the majority ofsocial sites. Social media, and particularly marketing via social media, seem to be veryinfluenced by the old mantra: Ladies first.For more information visit: http://mashable.com/2012/02/28/pinterest-women-marketing/