In A Buying Mood – Pinterest Vs Facebook

If you are selling something and planning to use social media to do so, does Facebook or Pinterest offer the best chance of delivering what you want?

New research from Bizrate Insights has found that 69% of consumers who have visited Pinterest discovered something they then purchased or wanted to purchase.  This compares to only 40% for Facebook.

Even more compelling was the finding that 70% of consumers use Pinterest to get inspired about things to buy and 67% use this social media platform to keep track of things they like.

You may use Facebook more to maintain friendships, but Pinterest is clearly out in front when it comes to selling. Both are sites which online consumers use to connect with people who have similar styles and interests. Pinterest though is more often used as a destination for shopping inspiration, tracking, and product discovery.

It also seems that brand building is better on Pinterest than on Facebook.  Bizrate reports that:

“A greater percent (55%) of Pinterest users have engaged with retailers and brands via Pinterest, compared to the percent of Facebook users that engage retailers or brands on Facebook (48%).  But how customers engage differs for each of the two platforms.  Pinterest users are more likely to be “Creators”: adding and sharing retailer/brand related content, while Facebook users are more likely to be “Participators”: interacting with promotional activities developed by retailers and brands.”

The reports data from September 2012 showed that 63% of online consumers had a Facebook account and only 15% had a Pinterest account.  Facebook is not sitting twiddling its thumbs when it comes to luring purchasers. They are testing a new feature, “collections”, that lets users create wish lists of products by clicking on “want” or “collect” buttons.The reach of Facebook still blitzes Pinterest but awareness of the latter is trending upwards rapidly.  36% of online consumers had heard of Pinterest in March but by August this figure had risen to 46%.

PCWorld believes that the want button, if adopted permanently, could drive a lot of traffic to brands on Facebook and encourage impulse purchases.  They could be correct in this assumption and if it does it will have some serious implications for Pinterest.

But Pinterest is on the right growth projectory with a recent ComScore study putting it in the top 50 most-visited Web sites in the US for the first time, with 25 million unique visitors in the month. Ranked at 50th it still has  along way to catch Facebook which is ranked 4th in the same survey.

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About thedigitalconsultant

Roger Smith is an international, digital consultant and former British Council Director of Online Operations within the East Asia region.
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