When Pinterest started five years ago you could only get on via an invitation. Those invitations were skewed towards women looking for inspirations on topics such as DIY crafts, food recipes, fashion, brides to be and more.

Things have changed dramatically in 5 years.

If you’re still thinking Pinterest it’s just for women, heads up. According to Pinterest they have doubled their male user base in the U.S. this year. Last year the male user base in the U.S. grew 73% year over year, and has been picking up in the past 6 months (54%) vs. the prior 6 months (40%), which is outpacing overall Pinterest growth. Pinterest has six international offices: in Britain, France, Germany, Japan and Brazil. More than 40 per cent of Pinterest users are outside the U.S., up from 28 per cent in 2013.

The San Francisco-based venture capital celebrated its 5th birthday last month and they have a lot to celebrate especially being recently valued at $11 billion. Those celebrating with them are businesses, bloggers, brands, publishers who have found it to be a gold mine. Who would have thought that you could actually use Pinterest to drive more traffic to your website, oh BTW that’s free traffic!

Businesses that are holding off joining Pinterest are missing out on growing their business with several free tools that are at their disposal. For example:

  1. The Pinterest analytics will show what users are pinning from your website even if you’re not on Pinterest. Type www.pinterest.com/source/yourwebsiteurl.com

Here’s what Pinners are pinning from my website https://www.pinterest.com/source/whiteglovesocialmedia.com

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  1. Product Rich Pins can show you price and availability for a product. These Rich Pins help you rank higher on Pinterest’s search engine and it makes your stand out on a user’s home feed and therefore giving you a higher click-through rate. More importantly Rich Pins also improve your results on Google!

And it gets even better – whenever the item goes on sale by at least 10% Pinners are notified via email. Pinterest is literally sending Pinners alerts that your product is on sale – how cool is that! No other social network is working on your behalf like this.

For ecommerce businesses Pinterest is a no brainer because users are on Pinterest with a buying mindset. Women on Pinterest shop more and buy more often on Pinterest than any other social network.

Users are literally on Pinterest with their wish list in hand and that is profitable for any business. Pinners don’t think of the past; they are planning for the future and how to better their lives. Pinterest is all about me.

Enid Hwang is the company’s community manager and the fourth employee hired at Pinterest, she says “While Facebook is about sharing what you did, read or saw recently with 400 of your closest friends, Pinterest users pin stuff for their own inspiration and benefit. They are “saving stuff that means a lot to them personally”. For marketers that’s heavenly because Pinners provide you with market intelligence that can help with future inventories and product development.

If you think you should just stick to the giant Facebook that’s another big mistake.

Here are some reasons why:

  1. Pinterest pins are worth more than Facebook likes.
  1. Pinterest, more than Facebook or YouTube, is supplying the greatest percentage of its downstream traffic to retail sites. Pinterest at 10.9% vs. Facebook at 5.3%
  1. Pinterest users spend more than 2x as much online as the average U.S. internet user.
  1. Shopify users referred by Pinterest; for example, spend an average of $80 compared to
    Facebook referral of $40.
  1. 93 out of the world’s top 100 brands have accounts on Pinterest and are reaping the rewards of
    two million Pinners pinning Product Rich Pins every day.

But that’s not all.

According to Networked Insights, research based on 10 million pins, they found that consumers share branded Pinterest content 150% more often than non-branded content.

Those brands include Verizon, Campbell’s Soup, Ford and Apple. As for verticals, about 15% of Pinners are pinning style and fashion-related items. This is not the case on Facebook where users are spending less time interacting with their favorite brands than they have done in the past: the stats say that engagement is down 27 percent last year in terms of activity taking place on brand posts and pages.

What’s this telling you? Pinners love for brands on Pinterest is ascending while on Facebook that love is declining.

The study also revealed some interesting insights about what moms are sharing on Pinterest vs. Facebook:

  • 6 times the amount of home and garden content
  • 5 times the amount of fashion and style content
  • 4 times the amount of food and drink content
  • When it comes to specific topics, moms shared crochet content at 37 times the rate of average Pinterest user

The lessons here?

Make sure you’re sharing content on these topics! This is your bait especially if you’re just starting out on Pinterest and looking to rapidly build your followers. Remember that the more followers you have the better chance of your images going viral.

According to Pinterest:

  • 50 billion Pins have been collected by people onto more than 1 billion boards
  • 80% of traffic comes from mobile
  • Each year, we serve more than 1.5 trillion recommendations
  • Shopping: Every day nearly 2 million people Pin product rich Pins
  • Articles: More than 14 million articles are Pinned each day
  • ⅔ of all the content people Pin is from a business’ website

At this point you’re probably thinking…how about a company that sells services & intangibles like financial services.

Pinterest claims that financial services have had a lot of success on Pinterest.

For a B2B service company myself I can tell you that Pinterest has helped me rank number on Google with my most important key words:  Pinterest Expert and Pinterest Consultant. The amount of free qualified traffic that top ranking drives to my website every month is staggering. That is the power of Pinterest.

Even if people forget my name all they have to do is type those keywords into Google and you’ll find me!

pinterest expert

Bottom line: If you’re a business and you’re not on Pinterest you’re definitely missing out on website traffic and sales. Don’t let your competition get ahead of you.

If Pinterest and operating an account seems overwhelming for you and you feel like you are going around and around with Pinterest and not getting anywhere contact me, a Pinterest account management expert about my Pinterest management services or to learn more about how you can be more effective on Pinterest check out my Pinterest Marketing Course for Business. Chapter one is FREE.