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Is Pinterest useful for any type of business?

The attractive design, the images organized on boards, the focus on photos and sharing plus the promotion it got made Pinterest a very successful social network since its launch. Many of those that joined the bandwagon since the beginning say Pinterest is good for them and their businesses. Businesses are also tapping into the network trying to make the best of it.

Retail – jewellery/luxury goods/accessories is the top category on Pinterest

Pinterest is a social network dominated by women as numbers show. 22.8% of the participants in a recent comScore study called “State of the US Online Retail Economy in Q2 2012” cited jewellery/luxury goods/accessories as the category they visit the most on Pinterest. Diamonds are a girl’s best friend they say, and Pinterest proves it right.

People always want more, and if they cannot have it in reality, they could at least have it online. So it is no wonder that luxury goods are part of the main category on this social network.

Flowers/gifts/greetings are second most visited category on Pinterest

The same study showed that 21.2% of the people visit another retail section which comprises of flowers/gifts/greetings items. Many people are looking for the perfect bouquet idea for different occasions, or for the perfect gift or greeting for someone. Businesses in these domains should take advantage of the results of this study and provide interesting and useful content for Pinterest users.

Retail – fragrances/cosmetics is the top three category on Pinterest

Definitely influenced by the fact that the majority of Pinterest users are females, the top shows the preoccupation of women for cosmetics and fragrances (with 20.1% of the mentions). And it is only natural, as anyone desires to look as good as possible and to have an unforgettable and lovely scent.

Retail – food – another successful category

19.7% of the respondents in the study mentioned food as a category that they visit on Pinterest. These results complete previous studies, as food content is indeed a huge star on this social network. In May 2012 a Compete study found out that “food was by far the leading topic category for interactions on Pinterest”.

Dianne Jacob wrote in August that

“In the last few months, several food bloggers told me their traffic increased dramatically as a result of Pinterest, the virtual pinboard that’s competing with Twitter and Facebook as a social media engine.”

It is somewhat logical for food to be one of the top five categories with the most visitors on Pinterest. Posting really good photos of types of dishes, especially ones that lead to recipes, lead to shares. Deserts that look so yummy that turn into “must tries”, dishes from different parts of the world which look interesting and tempting, or simple recipes to try at home, they all capture the eye and the attention of Pinterest members. Creating boards with dishes ideas for various occasions, providing recipes which can include ingredients that a brand sells could be the key to leveraging this trend on Pinterest. Restaurants could also use the network by promoting their delicious items in menus – and not only – thus generating interest for their products offered. Creative arrangements of food for different occasions or ages – kids, barbecues, weddings, parties etc., are also shared on Pinterest. Vegan meals, salads, beef or pork dishes, chicken, pasta and all other items recipes can be shared here.

Ecards – fifth top category of interest on Pinterest

Let’s face it: it’s an era when many wishes are made through a computer or mobile device. Letters are not sent anymore– or definitely not as many as in the past – and ecards come to fill the need to send a loved one a wish. Whether it’s to show regret or to mark a happy moment or just a sign of love, ecards are used by many people and they placed fifth on top categories by visitor number on Pinterest with 19.0% of the mentiones.

Next top five categories of interest on Pinterest

According to the comScore study, the other top categories that made it to the top ten are gay/lesbian (18.8%), books (18.7%), travel – transactions (18.6%), lifestyle – green (18.3%) and retail – coupons (18.0%).

Gay/Lesbian could be considered as a surprising domain – notice that it placed sixth in the order of visitors’ preferences. The other domains reflect however trends in these days: going green, using coupons, get best deals when travelling and the interest for reading – books placed seventh in the top.

Other important categories on Pinterest

Apparel, consumer goods, healthcare, home furnishing, toys, incentives, mall, religion/spirituality, hotels/resorts and shipping complete the top twenty categories of interest on Pinterest.

It is thus clear that business in many areas, especially in retail, should take in consideration this network in their communication and promotional strategies. Creating great images that get shared and placing them in relevant articles could bring businesses traffic and potential sales. A March PriceGrabber site survey shows that

“Pinterest drives buying: 21% of respondents who use the site say that they have purchased a product after seeing its picture on the site. The most commonly purchased products were food- and cooking-related (33% of those purchased), fashion/clothing (32%), home decorating (30%) and crafts (26%).”

Natalie MacNeil from She Takes on the World, quoted by Thenextweb.com, says;

“We use Pinterest to promote our content and create boards around subjects our readers like, for example, Favorite Books and Fashion Picks, which we don’t typically cover in depth on the site. Over the last few months, traffic from Pinterest has almost surpassed our Twitter traffic which we track through Google Analytics. Now we’re experimenting with the Pinerly platform which is more robust.”


There are many ways in which Pinterest can be used for businesses from contests to incredible boards and photos that get shared, and there are many fields that can capture the power of this social network in their favour. By far retail items dominate the network, regardless if it is jewellery or food, greetings or travel items. Businesses in these domains should thus concentrate on the best ways to make the most out of Pinterest – drive traffic, create awareness and, ultimately, as always desired, generate sales.

By Violeta-Loredana Pascal

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