By: Athena Alexander
Pinterest is a unique social media platform on which users share and discover inspirational photos on a variety of topics, from house décor to clothing trends to tattoos. Since its release in 2010, Pinterest has remained in the top 15 social media platforms and attracts over 430 million monthly users. Pinterest has added features in recent years that make it easier for users to find brands they like and instantly purchase products while staying in-app. So, what is Pinterest and how does a business take advantage of recent updates to expand its brand?
What is Pinterest?
On platforms like Instagram and Facebook, users create a profile and a feed where they can share pictures and videos with followers and friends. In contrast, Pinterest is like a visual search engine that enables users to search for topics and find images, also known as pins, and save the pins they like on pinboards categorized and organized by topic on their profile. These boards are for the user to enjoy and for other users to explore when searching for the same topics.
For example, if a user is looking to redecorate their kitchen, they could type in a general search, like “simple kitchen décor,” or a more specific search, like “small white space kitchen décor,” to find ideas. If they like an image or video that comes up, they can save the pin to a board that they name per topic. Users can log into their profile and see all of the pins they have saved and organized on their various boards. In this way, Pinterest combines the features of Instagram and Google Drive in that it allows users to search, save, compile, and share. On Pinterest, users focus on what they like instead of what they do not like. If a Pinterest user does not like a photo, they just scroll past to find something they do like. In this way, the app’s search engine quality creates a positive space where users can curate pins and boards without fear of judgment or online hate.
Pinterest has recently made changes to benefit content creators and businesses active on the platform. Here are some updates that may help your business while on Pinterest.
Established in April 2021, the Pinterest Creator Fund is different from similar funds on platforms like Instagram and Tiktok. Instead of compensating creators with large followings, Pinterest is working to help creators from diverse, underrepresented backgrounds promote and share content in fashion, photography, food, and travel. This fund goes toward boosting these creators’ pins and boards to increase traffic to their pages. Recipients of the creator fund must adhere to a creator code: to keep content positive, inspiring, and safe; to be kind; check facts; be aware of triggers; practice inclusion; and do no harm. Awardees receive "training, creative strategy consulting, and a budget for content creation and ad credits."
Idea pins are multi-page pins that resemble an Instagram story—a photo or short video posted for 24 hours on a user’s profile. However, idea pins are posted for more than 24 hours and may include multiple pages. Idea pins are proven to drive business to a page. From Pinterest HQ, "people who interact with idea pins have a higher conversion rate than other people on Pinterest." It means that the use of idea pins drives more users to the page, increasing web traffic and expanding a brand across the platform.
Product Tags, Your Shop, and Checkout
Recently, features such as Product Tags, Your Shop, Merchant Value, and Checkout have been added to the app to make shopping easier. Product Tags are pushable buttons that appear over products so that users can find where and how to purchase them. Your Shop customizes the shopping experience for users, leading to value-based and individualized options to filter products when browsing. Based on activity and preferences, this feed displays a personalized array of products for each user. In addition, businesses may add Merchant Value to their shops. For example, if a company features recycled products, they can display this tag on their profile. Users can filter results by these tags, making companies selling products made with recycled materials easy to find. If users do a general search with no merchant values selected, the "made with recycled products" description will pop up when they select the merchant. Finally, Pinterest has created a tool to instantly purchase a product while in the app. Checkout is available for merchants that use Shopify, an ecommerce platform that enables businesses to set up an online store. This option is currently available only to US businesses, but once it opens globally, shopping on Pinterest will be as simple as seeing it, liking it, and buying it.
Growing Your Brand
These new tools make it easier for customers to discover, like, and purchase products and services. By joining Pinterest, a company benefits from the searchable niches users browse to find new products and services. Pinterest also offers free business accounts, which enable businesses to view the metrics of their pins, boost posts, and run ads. Through the business account, a user is able to select pins that have been posted and promote them. Businesses are able to add company or promotion details and launch them to the Pinterest feed. These new tools will increase Pinterest’s popularity and enhance its reputation as a place to find new products.