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#TheSocialAshTag: Piquing your Pinterest

A picture is worth a thousand words and since the world's first picture - taken in 1826 by Joseph Nicéphore - images have become a mesmerising part of our everyday lives. We share and consume billions of images daily and with good reason. Over 90% of information that gets transmitted to our brain is in the form of visuals and more than 65% of us are visual learners.
#TheSocialAshTag: Piquing your Pinterest

With the power of images in mind, enter the most popular visual search engine.

People don’t always have the words to describe what they’re looking for – but they’ll know it when they see it. As they browse Pinterest content (called ‘Pins’), they fine-tune their tastes and find the perfect idea.

Pinterest, a social network where people can find inspiration and ideas for their interests and hobbies, isn’t new but it is seeing a marked increase in usage, exacerbated by the pandemic. According to the 2022 WeAreSocial report on social media usage, over 50% of South Africans making use of social media, are now active on Pinterest – which places this social media platform ahead of LinkedIn.

But Pinterest isn't just another social media platform. While it's often lumped into the social media category, Pinterest's goal is to be a place of inspiration, rather than social networking. People pin to find new ideas and take action, rather than simply liking other people’s posts or scrolling through the latest news. Pinterest is also fast becoming the most positive place on the internet. A place where you can reconnect with what matters to you, take real actions that improve your offline life and find joy in your online life.

Pinners are planners

Pinners are planning for their post-pandemic lives. We’ve spent years in lockdown and now, we are ready to rebrand and be inspired. The pandemic halted many of our plans and completely changed our lives but we see consumers now taking control of their journeys, seeking knowledge, setting new expectations and striving for more. No matter how much shopping has changed, the powerful and critical role that inspiration plays in helping people to decide what to buy has remained the same.

Visual search and discovery are an important part of the consumer journey, connecting the dots between online research and offline buying—and vice versa. The Pinterest home feed is based on images you previously pinned, your profile is made up of boards you’ve created, and Pinterest also allows users to search for visual content using keywords, rather than scrolling through an endless algorithm-focused news feed. All of this makes Pinterest more personal, and it also means that users are more mindfully scrolling and actively seeking content from brands.

Who can you reach on Pinterest?

The Pinterest audience is curious, they’re multi-dimensional and they’re adaptive. With 454 million monthly active users, a lot of different kinds of people are on Pinterest and the popularity of Pinterest spans multiple generations. As we don’t have advertising available yet, it’s hard to bed down accurate demographics for South Africans.

Globally, Pinterest really is for everyone, but they do have some things in common. They tend to be the decision-makers in their households. The people with the purchasing power. They tend to have higher incomes and they plan, spend and buy more than on other platforms—ultimately delivering higher value for your brands.

SEO and Pinterest

#TheSocialAshTag: Piquing your Pinterest

The days of organic reach on social media might be long gone, but that's not the case for Pinterest. As I mentioned - on Pinterest, content isn’t chronological – it’s personal as people actively search for what they want to see. Your content shows up right as people are looking for something to try, buy or do. There are a lot of Pinterest e-commerce functionalities and ad formats, which are not yet available in South Africa so for now, here’s how you can boost the discoverability of your Pins and Boards with SEO-friendly content:

Conduct keyword research on Pinterest: start searching for keywords related to your business on Pinterest and see what recommended terms come up. This is an easy way to understand what popular terms you can try to rank for and inject into your content.

  • Optimise your Pinterest Boards: Did you know that Boards show up in Pinterest search results? That's why it's important to ensure your Board name and description uses SEO-friendly keywords to boost your chances of organic discovery.
  • Optimise your Pins: The title of your Pins is one of the most important spots for SEO on Pinterest, so make sure to use relevant keywords and keep this copy short, sharp and relevant (under 100 characters).
  • By designing your content pillars and boards around your target keywords, you'll be able to effectively curate your content and reach new audiences who will be interested in your content.

Pinterest is all about planning for the future and each year, the team at Pinterest releases “Pinterest Predicts” - a report which forecasts some of the biggest trends across key categories ranging from fashion to finance. With an 80% predictive value, in terms of flagging what’s coming next, Pinterest’s track record is solid.

A quick tip for South African foodie brands, Ancestral Eats is one of the trends forecasted which focuses on going back to the basics and search terms for South African recipes traditional have already seen a +150% increase. While people turned to Pinterest throughout lockdown —with searches for topics like mindfulness, baking and home organization at historic highs — trends now show that same type of fervour, but with skyrocketing searches for vacations, and searches for outfits hitting an all-time high.

Continuing from the pandemic is the interest in homes, with searches for renovations at an all-time high and searches for weddings have also resumed pre-pandemic levels, after seeing a dip March-May of 2020.

Happy pinning!

About Ashleigh Burton

Ashleigh is a Digital Communications Associate at Consulum, a government advisory firm.
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